Super Regional Capsules, Part 1

Scouting reports on the series that begin on Friday




  College coaches break down the super-regional teams. Sources were given anonymity in exchange for their candor. All times are Eastern. Rankings indicate national seeds.

North Carolina State (41-20) at No. 8 Georgia (39-22-1)
Friday: Noon (ESPN)
Saturday: Noon (ESPN2)
Sunday: 4 p.m. (ESPN)

North Carolina State (41-20)
Coach (Record at school): Elliot Avent (457-278).
CWS History: One trip to Omaha, in 1968.
CWS Route: Won Raleigh regional in three games, beating South Carolina in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI SB
C Chris Schaeffer R-Fr. .315/.397/.423 3 19 0
1B Pat Ferguson Jr. .327/.426/.548 9 39 2
2B Dallas Poulk So. .284/.366/.437 7 32 6
3B Drew Martin Jr. .250/.343/.361 3 28 2
SS Tommy Foschi Sr. .293/.412/.420 1 26 4
LF Jeremy Synan Jr. .306/.398/.454 6 39 6
CF Marcus Jones Jr. .327/.409/.512 7 48 12
RF Matt Payne Sr. .319/.402/.495 9 47 6
DH Ryan Pond Sr. .332/.410/.528 8 45 5
Pos. Name Yr. W-L ERA IP K-BB
RHP Clayton Shunick Jr. 7-5 2.16 95 108-23
LHP Eric Surkamp Jr. 5-2 4.39 69 82-34
RHP Jake Buchanan(3 sv) Fr. 2-2 3.11 55 39-13
LHP Alex Sogard R-So. 4-2 4.21 47 33-25

SCOUTING REPORT

Drew Taylor
"Early on, they weren't a great offensive team, but as the season went on, they became a very good offensive team. They really matured. Synan really, really improved as the year went on. Early on, he was a bottom-of-the-order guy, and he wound up hitting third or fourth for them. He's really a big part of their offense now. Ryan Pond was struggling early but has really turned it on for the last couple months. That's why they're so successful: Their offense is backing up their pitching.

"Shunick is sick, he can compete with anybody in the country. That split-finger is almost unhittable, and he can throw it for strikes. Their guys have a lot of confidence when they can play with him on the mound. Their bullpen is solid, and I saw they moved Buchanan into the rotation—he's a three-pitch guy who can throw strikes. They have guys at the back of the bullpen. Not having (lefthanded closer Jimmy) Gillheeney could hurt them a little on the back side, but they have good arms back there. (Senior righthander Eryk) McConnell and (righty) Sam Brown and Sogard and (righty Joey) Cutler, those guys all have good arms, they just keep on coming at you. When you have Shunick Friday night, he's going to give you six or seven innings every time out. I think he has a chance to pitch in the big leagues. We had no chance against him. He's got enough velocity, 90-91 on the fastball, and his slider is pretty good, but the splitter is an equalizer. Surkamp was average against us. A year ago, he really threw that breaking ball for strikes and it had some depth to it, but it didn't have that depth against us and he left it up. He wasn't that dominating guy he was for Team USA last summer. His stuff just wasn't as crisp.

"I think it's an average defense. I think Foschi is a solid Division I shortstop. Dallas Poulk is a little bit shaky at second base, and it hurt them in the ACC tournament when Foschi was thrown out at a collision at home plate and they had to move Poulk to short.

"Their lineup doesn't have a lot of power, but they make things happen. Payne's a good hitter, Jones is a mistake hitter who can hit that ball into the gap. Martin does what he needs to do from the No. 9 hole, and Schaeffer has really improved. He made some good adjustments, took some balls right in the four hole in right field. I think their lineup is just working really well together right now, just in synch."


No. 8 Georgia (39-22-1)
Coach (Record with school): David Perno (245-181-1).
CWS History: Five trips to Omaha, last in 2006.
CWS Route: Won Athens regional in five games, beating Georgia Tech in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI SB
C Bryce Massanari Jr. .346/.429/.548 10 59 2
1B Rich Poythress So. .364/.455/.641 15 64 4
2B David Thoms R-So. .205/.300/.205 0 3 0
3B Ryan Peisel Sr. .332/.412/.515 8 46 12
SS Gordon Beckham Jr. .397/.505/.781 24 65 17
LF Lyle Allen Fr. .269/.321/.323 2 26 2
CF Matt Cerione So. .295/.346/.455 7 27 11
RF Matt Olson Sr. .333/.398/.494 8 41 5
DH Robbie O'Bryan So. .241/.305/.389 2 9 0
Pos. Name Yr. W-L ERA IP K-BB
RHP Trevor Holder Jr. 7-4 4.60 78 54-21
RHP Stephen Dodson Jr. 5-4 4.41 87 46-12
LHP Nathan Moreau Jr. 4-2 4.93 78 51-30
RHP Joshua Fields Jr. 2-2 (16 sv) 2.27 31 56-18

SCOUTING REPORT

Gordon Beckham
"Their whole thing is they've got power bats and power arms. They can hurt you with one swing of the bat, and they've got some strikeout stuff. Their arms are very good, their bullpen arms are very good. They can run guy after guy out there who's upper 80s, low 90s, in some cases a little better than that. That's what got them through the regional—obviously their bats came alive, but that's what did it.


"Holder was my favorite one of them all. He'll pull his cap down, attack the zone, he's a strike-thrower, so you'll have to hit. He's got a very good changeup. He attacks the zone more than the other two starters. The thing that makes them good is their pen. They can bring in (lefty) Alex McRee or (righties) Justin Grimm or Dean Weaver to set up Fields, those guys could be starting almost anywhere else in the country. It's that second tier for Fields that make that staff so good. McRee really throws the ball well, especially being lefthanded. The key to them is McRee and Weaver are two power, power arms to set up, a lefty and a righty. Two options there, to attack lefthanded hitters or righthanded hitters. If Fields is on, good luck. When he struggles throwing his breaking ball for strikes, he has to go to his fastball, he has a tendency to overthrow at times, and the ball elevates in the strike zone. If he can throw that breaking ball for strikes just to keep you honest, he's tough to hit. You've got to worry about both, tough.

"The scores at the end of the year have been really high everywhere, and that's because teams are worn out. Guys are run down a little bit, bats are getting hot, so their Nos. 6-9 guys are better than they were earlier in the year. You have to handle the guys in front of Beckham so you don't have to pitch to him. Don't let the bottom half of the order steal runs off you, work hard to get those guys, but don't let Beckham beat you, as simple as that. Olson probably got a lot of good pitches to hit this weekend because they didn't want to give him free pass, so he got good pitches to hit with Beckham behind him. Then you've got to pitch to Poythress. If those two guys have a good weekend, they'll have a good chance. Peisel, to me, he's a really, really good player. He's a very solid, consistent player. He gives them that senior leadership. Every team that goes deep into the postseason has a guy like Peisel. He plays the game hard, plays the game right, hard-nosed. And he's a physical leadoff guy, he can hurt you as well. They're all fairly aggressive, they're not up there looking for walks, they want to hit.

"Defensively, Poythress is good defender for his size, and outfield-wise they're very solid. If there's one crack in their armor, it's probably behind the plate.

"I think the key to that matchup's going to be, if N.C. State throws Shunick in that first game, they can win that first game. If they win that first game, they've got a chance. Georgia's better offensively, but the whole key to the series is Shunick."



Wichita State (47-15) at No. 4 Florida State (52-11)
Friday: 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday: Noon (ESPN2)
Sunday: 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Wichita State (47-15)
Coach (Record with school): Gene Stephenson (1,652-548-3).
CWS History: Seven trips to Omaha, last in 1996.
CWS Route: Won Stillwater regional in three games, beating Oklahoma State in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG
HR RBI SB
C Tyler Weber Sr. .272/.331/.424
7 50 0
1B Tyler Hill Sr. .275/.379/.356
0 21 1
2B Josh Workman R-Jr. .313/.419/.458
4 29 9
3B Conor Gillaspie Jr. .425/.510/.706
10 79 16
SS Dusty Coleman So. .319/.402/.520
8
71 12
LF Kevin Hall Fr. .333/.458/.417
0 11 4
CF Andy Dirks Sr. .399/.510/.639
10 59 26
RF Ryan Jones So. .324/.398/.432
2 43 16
DH Clinton McKeever R-So. .329/.418/.506
5 38 2
Pos. Name Yr. W-L
ERA IP K-BB
LHP Rob Musgrave Sr. 11-1
2.21 105 96-18
RHP Aaron Shafer Jr. 11-3
2.67 107 106-26
LHP Anthony Capra Jr. 9-0
2.87 75 87-30
RHP Khol Nanney R-Sr. 5-1 (4 sv)
1.69 32 37-9

SCOUTING REPORT

Conor Gillaspie
"I think they're really good. I thought this was the best team that I've seen them have in recent years. They don't have a bunch in the 'pen, so (Stephenson will) extend those starters, because they're very good, obviously. If you're righthanded on the mound, they're going to run three lefthanded hitters at you right out of the shoot—Dirks and Jones and Gillaspie. Those are three very tough outs. They're just scrappy, they get after you, they don't quit, they've got some guys off the bench who can hit a little bit.

"They've got some power, their catcher has some home runs. Their leadoff guy, Dirks, he's got some home runs too, and he's a threat. You can't just lay one in there first pitch, he'll hit it out of the yard. They've got three lefthanded hitters at the top who can pop it out to right field at Florida State. (Outfielder) Kenny Williams can really run. They're a potent club, no question.

"You have to get up on them and try to run the pitch counts up on the starters. That was our plan. Here's what they do well, and it's obviously a tribute to (pitching coach Brent) Kemnitz up there: they will completely change patterns. They do a great job of, in the middle of the game, all of a sudden the pattern's completely different. If you're taking one approach, they'll counter you with some other stuff, which buys you some pitch counts. Capra looked good, but we felt like Shafer the righthander, he threw a 12-to-6 breaking ball at the very top of the zone, that thing would hit at the top of the zone, so we were taking that thing and he was getting the strike call. Then he'd throw a little slider at the bottom of the zone to get a strike, he kept us off balance with the breaking ball. He has some deception in his delivery, the way he sets up and the way he delivers, it was tough to pick up. His fastball wasn't overpowering, but he located it well, I bet it was 87 or 88, might have hit an 89 or 90, but it looked a lot harder the way he kept us off balance with breaking balls. I thought Musgrave was really good. He's fastball-change, and he was throwing changuep after changeup after changeup. The wind was really howling, he just kept throwing it. Then when you make some adjustments and sit on it, he throws more fastballs and backdoor breaking balls. He mixed all three. Capra did a good job keeping his slider down against lefthanded hitters.

"The bullpen guys were pretty good. We got to (righthanded reliever Tyler) Fleming. (Righty) McKeever did a good job, nothing overpowering, just a little breaking ball, and his fastball ran in on you. (Lefthander Logan) Hoch has a good slider, and he's not afraid to throw in on righthanded hitters or lefthanded hitters.

"I know Florida State's very offensive, and in postseason play to put up all those runs, they're on fire. They lost the first game of the regional, so they know that feeling. But Wichita State is a tough group, and their starters definitely give them a real chance."


No. 4 Florida State (52-11)
Coach (Record with school): Mike Martin (1,536-517-4).
CWS History: 18 trips to Omaha, last in 2000.
CWS Route: Won Tallahasee regional in five games, beating Tulane in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI SB
C Buster Posey Jr. .468/.572/.897 24 86 5
1B Dennis Guinn Sr. .328/.429/.638 17 72 2
2B Jason Stidham So. .308/.416/.500 10 55 6
3B Stuart Tapley Fr. .397/.483/.609 7 35 1
SS Tony Delmonico Jr. .378/.460/.573 8 69 13
LF Ohmed Danesh So. .279/.400/.459 3 25 1
CF Tyler Holt Fr. .330/.472/.430 3 10 15
RF Jack Rye Sr. .389/.494/.543 6 48 11
DH Tommy Oravetz Jr. .342/.448/.550 3 4 0
Pos. Name Yr. W-L ERA IP K-BB
LHP Matt Fairel So. 11-2 3.67 98 91-38
RHP Elih Villanueva Jr. 7-2 3.61 92 91-37
RHP Ryan Strauss Sr. 2-2  (4 sv) 4.58 76 65-31
RHP Buster Posey Jr. 0-0 (6 sv) 0.00 7 10-1

SCOUTING REPORT

Buster Posey
"I think they're balanced. They've got some power in the middle of the order, and they've got some veteran guys who can handle the bat. The most impressive thing about them offensively is they don't give away at-bats, they don't swing at balls off the strike zone. They've got a tremendous idea of the zone and they're solid from top to bottom. Pitching-wise, they're very solid; I don't think they have a dominant arm out there that some other teams may have, but they'll mix and match at the end. Coach Martin's always done a great job of getting guys out of their when they're in trouble. They're awfully tough in their ballpark, they use that right-center-field wall as well as anybody. And the fans are very supportive of their team, so it's tough to go in there and win two out of three, no question.

"I think what happened was (Bucknell) probably had a strike-thrower who was mixing pitches that (FSU) probably didn't have a scouting report on. They were probably shell-shocked a little bit. You expect to win a home regional. They started to get down and probably started pressing.

"I think anybody that's got a dominant lineup that can really, really hit might give them some trouble because they don't have dominant arms, and anybody that can put pressure on their defense, because they're just OK. Delmonico and Tapley, there's no question you can attack Tapley with the bunt. If there's one weakness on that team, it's the left side of the infield defense, if you're going to point to one thing. And maybe having a dominant closer. If they use Strauss out of the pen, he's got a chance to close the game out. Fairel, he's got a quick tempo, works fast, and when he's on he's throwing strikes, he's got a good feel for the change. His breaking ball command is a little bit inconsistent right now. Villanueva's a nice different look for them because he's got a pretty good sinker, and he's a bigger, stronger righthander. They've got Fairel, a lefty guy who can move the ball away, and Villanueva, a righty who can move the ball in on righthanded hitters, so it's a good mix. It's a typical Florida State staff. They don't let anybody stay out there and get exposed for too long if it's not his day, they don't let the game get out of hand, the next guy goes out and does his job. The kids compete, throw strikes, they usually command at least one secondary pitch. Their team identity right now, they don't need to win 1-0, they're going to score some runs, so that probably takes pressure off their pitching.

"Guinn and Rye, those two guys are the key, because they hit before and after Posey. Those are the two key guys, and they're two seniors, been around the block a little bit, they force you to throw to Posey. You can't pitch around Rye because you've got Posey coming up, and you can't pitch around Posey because Guinn's coming up. Those three guys are the key. You've got to take care of Holt and Stidham, because if they get on you're in trouble. It's a very good one-two punch. They don't chase, that's the biggest thing. They don't swing at balls out of the strike zone. So it works pitch counts up. Even though the Bucknell kid did really good, he still threw 150-something pitches over nine innings. It's very hard to get 12-, 15-pitch innings, because they just keep working the count, grinding it out, then the next thing you know they get a big inning in the fourth or fifth—that's what they do.

"I think they're tough to beat at home. You've got to do something special to win two of three at home. Those seniors are itching to get Florida State back to the World Series."



Arizona (41-17) at No. 1 Miami (50-8)
Friday: 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday: 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday: 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Arizona (41-17)
Coach (Record with school): Andy Lopez (251-157-1).
CWS History: 15 trips to Omaha, last in 2004.
CWS Route: Won Ann Arbor regional in three games, beating Kentucky in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI SB
C Dwight Childs So. .200/.303/.255 1 15 1
1B C.J. Ziegler Sr. .350/.438/.681 19 58 0
2B Colt Sedbrook Sr. .333/.434/.439 3 31 10
3B Dillon Baird So. .315/.395/.487 7 36 2
SS Bryce Ortega Fr. .341/.417/.449 2 26 12
LF Rafael Valenzuela
So. .273/.313/.386 0
11 1
CF T. J. Steele Jr. .314/.393/.567 10 36 24
RF Jon Gaston Jr. .313/.400/.540 11 43 16
DH Brad Glenn Jr. .303/.388/.587 14 53 1
Pos. Name Yr. W-L ERA IP K-BB
LHP David Coulon Sr. 8-3 3.54 81 76-31
RHP Preston Guilmet Jr. 6-4 4.29 92 89-20
LHP Eric Berger R-Jr. 2-2 4.43 67 63-32
RHP Jason Stoffel So. 3-2 (13 sv) 3.25 44 72-15

SCOUTING REPORT

Jason Stoffel
"The thing that concerns me with Arizona is I just don't know if they're going to hit. They have the guys that look the part. I think Steele is a good player, Gaston's a good player. Glenn had a decent weekend against us. Ziegler's had a good year, but it just doesn't seem like they're scoring a ton of runs. We all know at the catcher spot they're a little light at the bat. At shortstop, Ortega had a good year, .340 or .350, but it's a single. Gaston and Ziegler have the ability to hit the ball out of the yard, but Miami has the ability to overpower them a little bit. If Steele and Gaston are going, they're going to be tough to beat. If not, they've got to really pitch to get through there.

"It looks like Miami is similar to Arizona State, in that they can really put up some runs. For me, the biggest thing with Arizona is if you can avoid (lefthanded reliever Daniel) Schlereth and Stoffel, at all costs. (Righthanded reliever Ryan) Perry doesn't phase me as much: it's firm, up to 97, but he doesn't strike the fear into hitters the other guys do. Stuff-wise, it shouldn't be that way. I don't know if hitters just get a better look at it early than they do against those other guys. For me, Schlereth was the best reliever in the Pac-10 this year. It's 93-94 with that breaking ball, and it's almost game over when he's in. I don't know if they're worn out at all because they've had to be used a bunch. They could really use a good start from Guilmet this weekend. He didn't look the same when we faced him from one year to the next. The velocity was down, the offspeed wasn't getting guys to swing and miss as much. If they can get a big start from him and have the lead going into Saturday, they'll be in business. If they're down 1-0 heading into Saturday, they could be in trouble, because I just don't know if they bang enough.

"Berger obviously had a great start against Kentucky. Berger's capable of that. The big thing with Eric is if he's in the zone, he'll be tough to hit. His fastball has good arm-side movement, his curveball has good 12-to-6 break and he can throw it for strikes or put it in the dirt. I'd say the changeup is not necessarily the pitch you worry about, it'll be more fastball-curveball, and his fastball is up to 93. He has the ability to shut you down and strike people out. That's one thing that team up and down has the chance to do is strike people out. Coulon is going to be three pitches for strikes, just on and just off the plate. If he walks four or five or six guys, Miami's going to be in business, because they just need to get a hit or two and they'll score some runs.


No. 1 Miami (Florida) (50-8)
Coach (Record with school): Jim Morris (692-253-3).
CWS History: 22 trips to Omaha, last in 2006.
CWS Route: Won Coral Gables regional in three games, beating Mississippi in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI SB
C Yasmani Grandal Fr. .238/.355/.429 5 24 0
1B Yonder Alonso Jr. .370/.536/.767 21 66 9
2B Jemile Weeks Jr. .366/.447/.639 11 57 19
3B Mark Sobolewski So. .326/.393/.483 7 58 6
SS Ryan Jackson So. .374/.441/.528 4 49 9
LF Dave DiNatale Jr. .315/.397/.582 9 43 11
CF Blake Tekotte Jr. .371/.480/.607 11 46 26
RF Dennis Raben Jr. .302/.411/.535 9 47 4
DH Jason Hagerty So. .295/.350/.512 7 32 3
Pos. Name Yr. W-L ERA IP K-BB
LHP Chris Hernandez Fr. 11-0 2.55 99 105-15
LHP Eric Erickson So. 8-1 4.13 69 61-13
RHP Enrique Garcia Sr. 6-2 4.80 75 60-33
RHP Carlos Gutierrez Jr. 5-2 (12 sv) 2.70 43 64-17

SCOUTING REPORT

Carlos Gutierrez
"They remind me of Arizona State last year, in the lineup from top to bottom, even if a guy's not a No. 3 or 4 hole type hitter, he can either run real well or he's an average type hitter. Any one of those guys could slide into the No. 3 or 4 slot for a lot of teams in the country. They're extremely confident right now. Their starters know they just need to give them six innings and turn it over to those two bullpen guys.

"Gutierrez, the way his arm works, he's not going to wear down. (Righthanded reliever Kyle) Bellamy's got an interesting delivery from a low slot, I think he's capable of pitching two days in a row. The only way those guys wear down is if (Miami) has to use them three days in a row. A lot of those guys that have a sinker as good as Gutierrez's have a tough time complementing it, but he's got a real late slider that keeps you from sitting on that sinker. It's a daunting task if you get to that guy.

"Hernandez is only a freshman, but he doesn't act like it. He does a lot of things well, and very few things poorly. Our approach was to wear him down. He needs to give them six strong innings. By the time you've got his cutter figured out, they can hand it over to that pen. The bottom line is he's a winner. That kid kind of has that special thing. Erickson's a little bit more of a guy who, if you wait him out or you see a mistake, you can handle him, but it just doesn't seem like that other guy gives you any breathing room. I guess the cutter is the difference-maker with Hernandez. They both mix in a lot of pitches with command. They've done a pretty good job of being able to throw all those pitches for strikes. Those guys can go to both sides of the plate with different looks pretty good. If there's any weakness at all to the No. 1 team in the nation, it would be the starting pitching, but Garcia's good enough. He's a big guy, on top of you, he throws it. Are you going to be able to get five, six runs on him in six innings? I don't think you'll bang him around that much, he's just not dynamic like Hernandez, where you've got an uphill battle to get a couple of runs. Garcia's a big dude. His best quality is he gets on that hitter pretty good. He keeps you honest with a good mix.

"Their lineup really is that good. It starts off with two guys that could be labeled two of the best players in the nation (Tekotte and Weeks), and you haven't even gotten to Yonder yet. Our players ask me what I thought of Raben and DiNatale—those are No. 3, 4, 5 hitters in most conferences, and they slide them in the 6 and 7 slots. Those are the only guys you can take a breath against, and they're two pretty good hitters. So you don't really have any wiggle room. You're looking at 3 or 4 hole hitters all the way down the lineup. Tekotte might be the best total package there is left in the tournament. We weren't real impressed with Weeks last year—his hands are a little shaky at second base but he gets it done. At the plate, he's got the perfect approach between Blake and Yonder. Real patient, goes to right-center and left-center. You're saying he's a table-setter, but the numbers are legitimate. He would be one of the best hitters on any other team in the country.

"Yonder's the real deal. You're nervous as hell pitching to him, so you're going to get walks, and you don't get any breaks behind him. And when he hits it, he hits it pretty damn hard. Yonder's a lot better against righties than he is against lefties. They're all going to hunt for fastballs, everybody who goes in against them knows that. But they all do it in a different manner. You don't know when Yonder's taking or going to let it fly. Some of their guys who are real aggressive early in the count will flip the switch on you and be more patient. They really do keep you on your toes with their approach, not just their talent. Jackson's got kind of a mid-oppo approach, but if you try to zip one in he can take it over the left-field fence. They're smart enough or good enough to mix it up on you. You think you're catching a break from all these big bodies—he's not as physical as those other guys but he's just as good. He's just gotten stronger. I'm curious to see how he'll do with wood bats. (Outfielder/DH Adan) Severino's a big, strong guy. He could drive the ball to all fields. He was an 8-hole guy and he's big. Ahead of him, DiNatale, to be honest he'll look bad, but it's almost like he's setting you up or he's good enough to make adjustments, because he's aggressive early and he's a really good hitter later in the count. You think you may be getting a break, and he's not as good as Yonder, but he's the guy to do it in the eighth or ninth inning for them. He's done it in the clutch for them.

"Defensively, if there was a weakness, Yonder would make a good play, then he'd be too slow to react. It's not focus, just skill level. He gets beat sometimes down the right-field line. You've got two really good defensive catchers, and no weak spot in the field. Where the hell do you hit the ball? They're great up the middle. Maybe you could argue Weeks' hands aren't as good or he doesn't look as pretty as Jackson when he does it. It only takes a second to watch Jackson and predict he can play it in the big leagues. That guy does it perfect.

"The biggest difference is Gutierrez. He is the death sentence if you're losing in the eighth inning."


Stanford (37-22-2) at No. 5 Cal State Fullerton (41-20)
Friday: 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday: 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday: 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Stanford (37-22-2)
Coach (Record with school): Mark Marquess (1,322-667-5).
CWS History: 15 trips to Omaha, last in 2003.
CWS Route: Won Stanford regional in five games, beating Pepperdine in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI SB
C Jason Castro Jr. .372/.423/.601 12 63 4
1B Brent Milleville Jr. .307/.364/.546 10 51 3
2B Cord Phelps Jr. .352/.447/.585 13 53 6
3B Zach Jones Fr. .259/.322/.386 3 32 9
SS Jake Schlander Fr. .232/.307/.253 0 24 3
LF Toby Gerhart So. .238/.391/.495 6 19 2
CF Sean Ratliff Jr. .298/.381/.654 20 65 8
RF Jeff Whitow Jr. .275/.322/.422 1 14 3
DH Randy Molina Sr. .339/.411/.497 5 39 0
Pos. Name Yr. W-L ERA IP K-BB
RHP Austin Yount Jr. 5-3 3.54 56 31-16
RHP Erik Davis Sr. 7-3 4.59 96 91-34
RHP Jeffrey Inman So. 7-2 4.22 64 40-26
RHP Drew Storen Fr. 4-3 (6 sv) 2.90 49 44-13

SCOUTING REPORT

Jason Castro
"I think they're different now that Milleville's in the lineup and hitting, because it just adds some balance in the lineup. Before, if you were lefthanded with a breaking ball, it was going to be difficult on them. With Phelps righthanded, then it was (Joey) August, (Brendan) Domaracki, Castro, Ratliff and Molina—six lefties in a row. That was going to cause them a lot of problems if you had a quality lefthander out there. Millevile breaks up that middle. August and Domaracki don't play every day, you have Gerhart and Whitlow in the mix. Toby was a monster this weekend, and when we faced him he was an out on the ball away. With Milleville, if you have big-time velocity, he's going to be in trouble. But I don't know if Fullerton has big-time velocity on their staff. If the ball gets elevated a little bit, he has a chance to hit it a long way. Castro is a really good hitter, you have to pick your spots inside to open up the outside part of the plate. You have to cross counts on him. Ratliff for me is dangerous. There are a ton of ways to get him out, but you better execute. When you go over the middle of the plate and elevate it, he has a chance to hurt you. If you can get him to two strikes, he'll chase that ball all day long, and you can get him in the dirt. So there are ways to get him out, but he's got 20 home runs. The guy who's really changed their program this year is Schlander. He's a stud. He makes every play, and he's way more athletic at short than they've had in several years. The reason their pitchers are having better years is because of Phelps and Schlander up the middle. Their field plays quick, and they're making more plays up the middle than they have in several years. With Castro being good behind the plate, and Ratliff being a solid, plus defender in center, that's really helped them. Castro's been playing great, and he's been throwing guys out, which is different.

"I think you have to do a lot to neutralize the Fullerton running game, they're pretty special at that part of the game. When you have a team that steals 120 bases out West that's pretty good, because the teams out here are pretty good at holding runners: guys are slide-stepping more, picking over, pitching out, because you have to. I understand Fullerton really likes to steal third, so that may be on Schlander or Phelps more than Castro, keeping those guys close to second. For Stanford to be able to do what they want to do, their starters have to be able to go deep into the game. I know (lefthander Jeremy) Bleich had a good game the other day against Arkansas, but he still walked (five) guys in four innings. I don't know if that will cut it against Fullerton with the way they generate runs. I haven't seen Arkansas, but I'm guessing they don't have the slash-and-run game that Fullerton has.

"If you look at Fullerton's pitching numbers, (Jeff) Kaplan and (Cory) Arbiso have won 11 games with over a 4.00 ERA. (Daniel) Renken won five games with over a 4.00 ERA. It's not that they're dominating on the mound; they'll give up their runs. But you have to keep them down, too. One thing about Stanford, they're all throwing the changeup really well. If you can get pop-ups, you can keep guys off base. Yount was good both games this weekend. He's been good all year for them. He's 84-86, just kind of mixes, throws a loopy breaking ball he can throw for strikes, and his changeup is pretty good. Davis is throwing more strikes, his changeup is good, causing people problems. If you break down Davis, he's got a ton of infield pop-ups, getting guys out on their front foot on the changeup. Storen probably has the best arm on the staff. I think Storen is very aggressive, you have to make him throw strikes. He has a good breaking ball, and I think he's fearless. He really goes after it on the mound. The guy who came up big for them is (freshman righthander Danny) Sandbrink, throwing a complete game against Pepperdine. It's not overpowering stuff, just strikes. Once the game got out of hand it helped him, he was able to just relax and threw strikes.

"One of the things to really look at in that Fullerton-Stanford matchup is how well does Jones play at third against that Fullerton bunt. He's OK, he's athletic, but I don't know that he's been tested like Fullerton's capable of testing him with the bunt. Fullerton has that way of, if a guy makes a mistake, they're just going to go right back at him. If it becomes a rough day over there, then it becomes a long series for Stanford. Generally the way to beat Fullerton is to pop a three-run homer, which may negate some of the runs they manufacture and it may take them a few innings to get there. Which is something Stanford's capable of doing."

No. 5 Cal State Fullerton (41-20)
Coach (Record with school): Dave Serrano (41-20).
CWS History: 15 trips to Omaha, last in 2007.
CWS Route: Won Fullerton regional in five games, beating UCLA in the final.
Pos. Name Yr. AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI SB
C Dustin Garneau Jr. .250/.374/.409 4 24 6
1B Jared Clark Jr. .301/.417/.549 9 53 6
2B Joe Scott Jr. .295/.353/.385 0 11 1
3B Joel Weeks Sr. .323/.396/.414 2 37 3
SS Christian Colon Fr. .335/.408/.453 4 39 12
LF Gary Brown Fr. .289/.372/.428 5 27 24
CF Josh Fellhauer So. .333/.390/.517 7 38 16
RF Erik Komatsu Jr. .348/.453/.576 8 51 18
DH Brian Wilson Jr. .333/.455/.542 3 17 2
Pos. Name Yr. W-L ERA IP K-BB
RHP Jeff Kaplan Sr. 11-2 4.37 105 89-33
RHP Cory Arbiso Jr. 12-3 4.21 98 68-14
RHP Daniel Renken Fr. 5-5 4.11 81 80-22
RHP Adam Jorgenson Sr. 2-1 (11 sv) 5.18 48 57-14

SCOUTING REPORT

Christian Colon
"The first thing, they're going to pitch and play defense. I watched the games against UCLA this past weekend. They've got the young guy up the middle, Colon, who's made some errors this year but is an outstanding shortstop. Some of those balls he makes errors on are balls other guys won't get to. Their outfield is incredibly fast, they probably take away two or three doubles per game. And they'll need to be good against Stanford, because those guys will swing it a little bit. I don't think Fullerton is as good as they have been on the mound in the past, but they're going to throw strikes, and Serrano will call the right pitches. They're going to do every facet well. Offensively, Komatsu's a legit threat to hit it out of the park, Clark is a legit threat to hit it out of the park. Other than that they're going to battle, put the ball in play, like Fullerton always does.

"The teams are fairly evenly matched. Fullerton will do more things to execute and win games, but Stanford is very physical. If Stanford gets a runner on in the ninth down by one run, they're not bunting—it's the exact opposite of 99 percent of the teams out West. They're swinging away. Those guys in the middle of Stanford's lineup—Castro, Molina, Ratliff, Milleville—you're going to see a team that pitches well against those kind of guys in Fullerton. I think you'll have to see Stanford adapt a little bit.

"Kaplan is just really good. He's not going to light up a lot of guns, not going to overwhelm you from a scouts' standpoint, but he's going to throw strikes, hit his spots and find ways to win. He'll give you chance to win every time he steps on the mound. Renken is young, he will definitely be a talent down the road and is a talent right now. I think the combination of his talent and Serrano calling the pitches makes him a little better than he normally would be. Arbiso's good, he's solid. I don't think there's any of the Fullerton guys of the past in that group, the Wes Roemers or Ricky Romeros, a guy who will flat-out dominate a game, but the way they approach it, they'll be in it with all those guys. With their starters, they're always going to have three quality pitches. Obviously they worked on that quite a bit. Coach Serrano's good at what he does. He's going to make sure he'll have the guys out there who can throw the pitches he wants to call. As long as he has guys who can execute that—even if they're not your overpowering guys, which none of those guys is right now—what he does with that is special. They have quality guys out of the pen. Jorgenson has been there before, and pitched a lot of good games for them."