Super Regional Capsules Part I

Scouting reports and lineups for the left bracket

Louisville (47-16) at No. 2 Cal State Fullerton (45-14)
Friday: 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday: 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday: 10 p.m. (ESPN2)

Coach: Dave Serrano.
Postseason History: Ninth super regional appearance (seventh in a row). Seeking 16th trip to Omaha.
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Fullerton Regional. Won in three games, beating Utah in the final.
C Dustin Garneau R Sr. .296 .416 .444 4 24 22 18 6
1B Jared Clark R Sr. .350 .438 .571 11 74 30 40 13
2B Joe Scott R Sr. .303 .392 .400 1 37 14 35 9
3B Joey Siddons R Jr. .361 .397 .398 0 21 3 10 5
SS Christian Colon R So. .351 .438 .519 7 35 23 22 13
LF Jeff Newman L Sr. .306 .436 .319 0 10 16 29 10
CF Josh Fellhauer L Jr. .399 .479 .521 5 53 24 25 17
RF Gary Brown R So. .337 .402 .494 3 35 13 32 22
DH Khris Davis R Jr. .330 .416 .665 16 55 32 37 14

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Daniel Renken R So. 10 2 0 2.56 109 31 88 .210
SP Noe Ramirez R Fr. 8 1 0 2.91 99 19 86 .231
SP Tyler Pill R Fr. 11 3 0 3.95 98 12 73 .279
RP Nick Ramirez L Fr. 3 1 7 2.70 37 8 26 .239

Scouting Report

"They're very experienced offensively. They're a team that will do anything at any time. They will drag, they will push, they will steal. They will do anything to get things going. They're extremely experienced, they're tough outs, they all can bunt, they all can hit-and-run. And they don't strike out much, so there are always balls in play.

Christian Colon (Photo by Larry Goren)
"I think the guys that scare you the most would be Fellhauer, Clark, Davis, those guys scare you the most. Their best hitters are Fellhauer and Colon, and their toughest outs for me are Fellhauer and Colon. They have very good team speed. I think (assistant coach Greg) Bergeron has just done a great job of running that offense. He's really good at offense, and he takes advantage of all his bullets. They're a competitive, confident group, and they can exploit your weaknesses. If you have weaknesses on defense, and a lot of clubs do, their offense is going to run you into the ground. If you have a team that doesn't hold runners, they're going to demolish you. I think a California team is the best team to beat them. This sounds crazy, but I don't know if a non-California team can really play at the speed that they play at. Not to say the LSUs and the North Carolinas and the Louisvilles can't beat them, but they were 17-7 in their conference, so somebody beat them.

"Defensively, they're very, very good. You're talking about a USA player at short, a fifth-year guy at second, a fifth-year guy at first, a fifth-year guy behind the plate, a serviceable guy in Siddons at third, Fellhauer can track it in center. Speed shows up more in defense than offense sometimes. Gary Brown is the fastest guy in the country, his speed shows up in defense all over the place. They're a veteran defensive team.

"I do like their starters. Renken is very competitive, with the split, the change, he'll get lefthanders out, he'll come right at you and throw strikes. I like Noe Ramirez a lot too, he doesn't give in. I like Noe Ramirez quite a bit better than Pill. He's got a good, quick arm, a good fastball, a good slider, and he's got a good change. I thought you could kind of get to him with runners in scoring position, but when he's rolling he's really, really good. He's got three above-average pitches. Pill's got plenty of fastball, I thought his breaking ball was extremely slow, not really a knockout breaking ball. But I do think Pill is good.

"In the bullpen, I like Nick Ramirez on the mound. He's not a powerful guy, 84-87, with a lot of pitchability and good demeanor. He does a good job out of the bullpen. I like (Ryan) Ackland a little bit. Ackland and Mertins are serviceable, competitive guys, but you can get to those guys. Ackland's got some deception, he can get a couple righthanders out. He's underhand almost—there's a place for him.

"You've got to punish their pitching. For me, the way you beat them is you've got to pound their pitching and get into their bullpen. It's just not that deep of a bullpen. They clearly weren't even challenged at all this past weekend, and that was expected. I question their depth on the mound, but their offense is so good, they overcome it. When they give up five, they score six, and when they give up eight, they score nine. It's almost like their pitching depth doesn't ever come into play unless their backs are against the wall. But as long as Pill, (Noe) Ramirez and Renken are out there, they're just so good defensively and offensively, those guys are plenty good enough."

Coach: Dan McDonnell.
Postseason History: Second super regional appearance (last in 2007). Seeking second trip to Omaha (last in 2007).
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed at Louisville Regional. Won in four games, beating Vanderbilt in the final.
C Jeff Arnold R Jr. .251 .389 .344 3 32 31 44 13
1B Andrew Clark L Jr. .356 .485 .567 9 55 54 27 1
2B Adam Duvall R Jr. .335 .427 .558 11 51 27 35 12
3B Chris Dominguez R Jr. .348 .446 .688 23 80 32 50 19
SS John Dao R Sr. .253 .310 .314 0 22 9 21 3
LF Josh Richmond R So. .316 .392 .502 7 31 18 30 5
CF Drew Haynes L So. .213 .366 .220 0 13 27 26 17
RF Ryan Wright R Fr. .336 .378 .476 5 66 17 27 12
DH Phil Wunderlich L So. .372 .450 .678 18 78 18 21 4

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Justin Marks L Jr. 11 2 1 3.40 101 32 125 .218
SP Dean Kiekhefer L So. 6 4 0 4.56 73 21 60 .300
SP Tony Zych R Fr. 6 2 2 3.25 44 10 31 .235
RP Derek Self R Fr. 7 0 1 3.25 44 13 34 .249
Scouting Report

"They're confident. That's the one thing Dan McDonnell's done, besides having good players. They're high-energy guys, they run on and off the field, they play an aggressive style of baseball, they're very aggressive on the bases. They're not going to be more talented than Fullerton, but they're going to play very hard. They play off momentum, and when they've got something going well, they can really ride it out.

Justin Marks
"They have catalyst players at the top. Richmond has a fiery red mohawk right now, he fires up the crowd every time he takes off his helmet. He's one of those kids you love him if he's on your team, you hate him if you're playing him. Duvall's a good player, just solid tools. He can run. Clark is Clark; he can beat you with one swing, gets his hits. Dominguez is a mistake hitter; you miss over the plate, he can hit it out. He's dangerous. Wunderlich may be their best hitter. Hitting behind Clark and Dominguez, he gets a lot more pitches to hit. He's kind of a clogger on the bases—he's a thick guy—but he can really hit.

"They have younger kids after that. The Wright kid has a little bit of power, not too much. He's a solid guy, he's not driving the ball to the fence every time, he just puts the bat on the ball. Their catcher, Arnold, is good. He's not a great hitter, but he's solid behind the plate, he blocks everything, he's accurate when he throws, about 2.0 (seconds) to second base, on the money every time. Dao at shortstop can flat-out pick it. He can really, really, really play defense—picking balls, short hops on the run, making Jeter plays in the hole. Their center fielder (Haynes) is just a guy who's 5-foot-7, does nothing but slaps the ball the other way, plays a hell of a center field.

"Marks is throwing four pitches. Early in the year he was going more to his slider, but now he's using his curveball more. It's a good pitch, it's got some depth to it. He throws it for strikes to lefthanded hitters and righthanded hitters and buries it when he needs to. He goes left, right, up, down with his fastball. His changeup and slider are good.

"Kiekhefer is a low three-quarters trick pitcher lefty; if you don't have a good approach he'll frustrate everybody. If you don't make him elevate and use the whole field, he'll get ground ball after ground ball and frustrate your hitters. (Bob) Revesz is pretty good. He's OK, not great, mostly a two-pitch guy, fastball-slider. The fastball is firm, around 90, the slider is kind of a sweeping, slurvy pitch, 2-to-8 plane on it. It's the guys with the third pitch who are a little bit tougher—he didn't really have a third pitch. I think they'll move Zych to the three-spot, he's better. He's got a short three-quarters arm, a bit sneaky, the fastball gets on you good, low to mid-90s. He's got a slurvy 10-to-4 slider that he throws to righties and lefties, throw it over early and bury it later in counts. He'll throw a changeup to lefthanded hitters as well. I guess he's pitched pretty well two outings in a row. So they've certainly got enough pitching.

"You look at them, you don't say, 'That's an Omaha team,' but when they're confident like they are now, I could see them pulling off an upset. That's going to be tough to do at Fullerton. McDonnell's an Ole Miss guy. They've got a lot of sizzle going on. They're doing the motivational stuff, the big meeting in the outfield, getting everybody fired up. They're an emotional team, they're very reactive. So when things are going their way, momentum's on their side, they're very dangerous. But if you hit them in the mouth when the bell rings, it's going to take a huge momentum shift for them to get back into it. But they definitely have some players, and they're going to play defense."

Arkansas (37-22) at Florida State (45-16)
Friday: 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday: 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sunday: 12 p.m. (ESPN)

Coach: Mike Martin.
Postseason History: Ninth super regional appearance (second in a row). Seeking 20th trip to Omaha (second in a row).
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Tallahassee Regional. Won in three games, beating Ohio State in the final.
C Rafael Lopez L So. .287 .359 .399 4 29 16 22 1
1B Mike Meschke L Jr. .325 .424 .554 3 23 15 22 0
2B Jason Stidham L Jr. .366 .464 .662 12 75 42 34 5
3B Stuart Tapley R So. .316 .446 .592 13 59 43 57 8
SS Stephen Cardullo R Jr. .383 .489 .630 10 48 45 44 20
LF Mike McGee R So. .377 .492 .759 18 75 38 46 13
CF Tyler Holt R So. .390 .514 .561 5 26 53 45 33
RF Ohmed Danesh L Jr. .270 .370 .472 6 34 25 47 9
DH Tommy Oravetz L Sr. .268 .403 .492 8 33 30 40 2

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Sean Gilmartin L Fr. 12 3 1 3.48 93 35 81 .219
SP Brian Busch L Fr. 6 2 0 4.04 85 34 62 .245
SP Mike McGee R So. 6 2 0 4.04 69 42 72 .248
RP Jimmy Marshall R Sr. 3 2 10 4.62 25 23 39 .227

Scouting Report

"What they have going for them is they've got the best coach in college baseball sitting in their dugout. There's no question about that, I really don't think that's arguable. Anybody that's seen them play will know there's not a ton of talent on the field for them. But they all play the same way: They play hard, they compete, and they all do the little things well. They extend pitchers, they drive up pitch counts, and they exploit bullpens, which is what makes them successful. As long as Coach Martin's sitting in there, they've got a chance.

Stuart Tapley (Photo by Sports On Film)
"I think the first two guys in their lineup make them go, with Holt and Cardullo. Holt can run, he'll steal you a bunch of bases, plays great defense, and understands his role as a leadoff guy as well as anybody we played this year. When those two guys are on base, they are hard to beat, because then you've got to deal with McGee, Stidham and Tapley with guys in scoring position. McGee really came out of nowhere to hit a bunch of home runs; he's hitting with a bunch of confidence in the batter's box. Stidham's been a .350 hitter for three years, so he knows what's going on. If you make the slightest mistake to Tapley, he's going to hammer it. I think Tapley's the easiest one to pitch to, but I felt like he was the most dangerous one. Even if you pitch to your plan, you have to execute your pitch. If you hang it the slightest bit or leave the fastball up the slightest bit, he's going to hammer it. The bottom of their lineup, you have to go get out. You have to attack them and go get those guys out.

"Defensively, I think Cardullo's stabilized things. Stidham's a solid second baseman, Tapley makes the routine plays at third. The biggest thing for them from last year, by moving Cardullo to shortstop, that gives them three solid guys who will make routine plays. Last year the routine play is what they'd kick. They're solid in the middle and on the corners, then in the outfield, Holt can go get it with anybody. The only way you hit it over Holt's head is if you hit it out of the ballpark. Lopez is just OK, there's nothing special about him. He can really throw, he's got a strong arm, which helps him control the running game. I think he's more comfortable back there than he was early. You look at them on the field, there's nothing spectacular about them, but they win. They know how to win.

"Busch moves it in and out, he's got a decent little slider, and a good feel how to pitch. He won't beat himself, he throws strikes—you have to hit to beat him. Gilmartin has a good breaking ball. He can throw it in the strike zone or out of the strike zone, and his breaking ball makes his fastball play up. Both of them can run their fastball in to righthanded hitters, which will get them off the outside of the plate and make their breaking ball play well.

"I think (John) Gast and (Geoff) Parker moving to the bullpen kind of helped solidify their bullpen. Both those guys were in the rotation early but were moved to pen and have had good years in the pen. Marshall has a good fastball-breaking ball mix, and when he's in the strike zone, he's pretty dominant.

"To beat them, you've got to get the bottom guys out, and you have to hit and score runs on them. And you have to have depth in your bullpen, because they're going to make a starter work. If you can get six innings out of your starter against them, then he pitched a pretty good ballgame. I think being at home will be a huge factor. How to beat them? Hopefully they're on the road. I think they just feed off the atmosphere, and they're a tough team to beat there at home. Their history, and that ballpark, they'll have four or five days to prepare for an opponent. They'll play with energy and excitement, that's why it's so tough to beat them there."

Coach: Dave Van Horn.
Postseason History: Third super regional appearance (last in 2004). Seeking sixth trip to Omaha (last in 2004).
Postseason Route: No. 2 seed in Normal Regional. Won in three games, beating Oklahoma in the final.
C James McCann R Fr. .236 .283 .321 9 34 5 23 0
1B Andy Wilkins R So. .329 .457 .648 17 51 45 47 7
2B Bo Bigham R Fr. .308 .410 .423 1 4 9 11 4
3B Zack Cox L Fr. .266 .352 .555 11 35 20 55 1
SS Ben Tschepikow L Sr. .317 .393 .520 9 46 28 28 16
LF Collin Kuhn R Fr. .267 .379 .388 3 18 18 39 10
CF Brett Eibner R So. .226 .373 .489 10 28 28 56 3
RF Chase Leavitt L Sr. .306 .452 .403 1 30 44 37 11
DH Scott Lyons R Sr. .311 .352 .486 8 43 14 26 2

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Dallas Keuchel L Jr. 7 3 0 4.12 94 27 62 .279
SP Brett Eibner R So. 5 4 0 4.25 66 31 62 .226
SP Drew Smyly L Fr. 3 1 0 4.72 53 25 53 .247
RP Stephen Richards L Jr. 5 1 9 1.09 33 15 48 .184

Scouting Report

"They're just another SEC team that doesn't have a superstar. The thing about the SEC teams, everybody's been through some adversity. Arkansas has really been through some stuff; I thought they were kind of lost with their arms there, but then Smyly throws a great game for them in regionals.

Dallas Keuchel (Photo by Bill Nichols)
"The key to beating them, you've got to have velocity. Velocity beats their bats. They absolutely destroy mid-to-upper-80s pitching—they destroy it. They will hit the crap out of teams that are throwing that speed, crush 'em. You've got to beat them with good fastballs. One thing about their guys, Dave Van Horn's kids will sit offspeed a lot. They'll sit offspeed with runners in scoring position. If they hit a fastball for a laser foul, they'll sit offspeed the very next pitch. They very much practice hitting offspeed.

"Their catalyst is Tschepikow. He's their catalyst at shortstop, he's a pretty damn good hitter for them. The other guys are OK. Tschepikow's their best senior by far, but Leavitt and Lyons are solid. Wilkins is definitely a power guy, but you've just got to jam fastballs right up his rear end. If he gets anything soft over the plate and gets extended, it's a home run. Cox is a dead-red fastball hitter. He is a legitimate, pure hitter. You're going to see those numbers consistently grow. He's a professional hitter, reminded me as a freshman of Hunter Morris at Auburn, in that category.

"Kuhn's a good little player. (Travis) Sample and McKinney were playing more for them in the SEC tournament. He and McKinney both have juice in their bats, but you can beat them with fastballs. When you make mistakes up and over the plate, they punish those. They've got some good young players: McKinney, Cox and Kuhn are going to be good players, and some of their sophomores, Wilkins, (Jacob) House, Eibner.

"Eibner's another cripple hitter, a 6-4 athlete with a power arm. If you hang something, he hits it out. But he's got a big arm. He's a mid-90s guy. He's just a long-limbed kid, a tall, lean, fast-twitch kid, just wired tight. He's got a good arm, just throws the crap out of it.

"Their pitching is OK. Keuchel can beat anybody. He's a guy that can throw a lot of pitches, throws them where he wants to, does a very good job living down in the zone, getting hitters to chase out of the zone and make contact out in front. You just have to raise the window, look for stuff up above the belt, zone hit with him. That's a unique lefty, because he has the heavy ball. He has the fastball that if you don't lay off of, you'll just swing over it all night. He's a lefty that sinks it; a lot of lefties run the ball, but he's got true lefthanded sink. He has a heavy, sinking fastball, and if you don't know that's coming, it can cause you problems for a while until you figure it out. His breaking ball is OK, but it maybe caused him some problems. He throws a changeup off that fastball, I would call the breaking ball a third pitch for sure.

"In the bullpen, I like Bolsinger. He's got a decent fastball from a three-quarters slot, a pretty firm fastball, but the slider's definitely his best pitch—a hard, 10-to-4, sweeping kind of slider. He does a good job burying it and expanding it late for an out pitch. He's a two-pitch guy, doesn't throw the changeup very much. If you can lay off the slider below the belt, attack fastballs and hit the slider up in the zone, you can hit him OK. But he does a good job of commanding the slider. Richards is a three-quarters guy who's got an absolute bastard slider. His fastball has arm-side run. He comes after hitters with a fastball-slider mix and lives down in the zone. His slider has hard, frisbee action, and he uses it to expand away from lefties, uses it as a back-foot pitch against a righthander. He's really effective when hitters leave the zone."

Virginia (46-12-1) at Mississippi (43-18)
Friday: 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Saturday: 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sunday: 3 p.m. (ESPN)

Coach: Brian O'Connor.
Postseason History: First super regional appearance. Seeking first trip to Omaha.
Postseason Route: No. 2 seed in Irvine Regional. Won in three games, beating UC Irvine in the final.
C Franco Valdes B Jr. .292 .310 .486 5 38 5 43 0
1B Danny Hultzen L Fr. .335 .423 .439 3 33 27 29 7
2B Keith Werman L Fr. .375 .478 .411 0 7 9 4 3
3B Steven Proscia R Fr. .325 .371 .537 9 56 16 45 9
SS Tyler Cannon B Jr. .349 .442 .493 1 35 30 34 17
LF John Hicks R Fr. .313 .350 .480 7 36 10 32 6
CF Jarrett Parker L So. .378 .469 .714 16 64 34 67 19
RF Dan Grovatt L So. .378 .453 .545 7 50 30 33 13
DH Phil Gosselin R So. .302 .394 .474 6 61 35 38 19

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Danny Hultzen L Fr. 9 1 0 2.01 81 26 90 .241
SP Andrew Carraway R Sr. 7 1 0 4.30 82 20 69 .236
SP Robert Morey R So. 3 0 2 2.91 59 21 79 .208
RP Kevin Arico R So. 2 2 11 2.01 31 6 40 .171

Scouting Report

"They're solid in all aspects of the game: They play good defense, they pitch the heck out of it. Their lineup one through nine was stronger than North Carolina's was. They don't have the premium players like (Dustin) Ackley and (Kyle) Seager, but one through nine you have to pitch to them, and you have to have a good plan on the mound to get them out, because they can hit one through nine.

Andrew Carraway (Photo by Carl Kline)
"I don't think they're particularly vulnerable against lefties. I think they're balanced lefty-righty one through nine, it doesn't make a difference. They seemed to handle a pretty good righthander on Friday night in their regional (Stephen Strasburg), they've beaten righties and lefties this year. They have a very balanced lineup. They don't have one or two guys that have 19 or 20 home runs, but a bunch of guys in that six to seven range. They play such an aggressive style of baseball, if you're calling pitches against them, you have to worry about a lot of things: You have to worry about the hit-and-run, you have to worry about the stolen base. They're powerful enough to drive the ball into the gaps and create a bunch of havoc on the bases.

"Parker's gotten better every game that he's gone out. The biggest difference from last year is how much stronger he's gotten. He's really snapping the barrel through the zone. He can go foul pole to foul pole from a power standpoint—there are not too many guys with that ability. Grovatt wakes up in the morning hitting line drives. It's just who he is—the kid can hit. Gosselin has as quick a bat as you'll see. They can hit, and they hit good pitching. It really didn't surprise me one bit at all that they went out and won their regional.

"Hultzen should be pitching in A-ball right now. He's that good of a talent. From the left side he can move his fastball around, and it's a good fastball. The kid really likes to compete, he competes hard when he's on the mound. Carraway's a senior who's won a lot of games for them. I don't know if Morey's on that kind of radar screen yet, but I think he's going to be a first-round pick next year. I saw a lot of velocity as well as the good slider.

"In the bullpen, (Tyler) Wilson and Arico both compete, they both attack the strike zone, they both have a couple pitches they can throw in the strike zone. The thing about Virginia, they're going to get six or seven innings out of their starter, and those two guys let them turn it into a seven-inning ballgame. And Packer has as good of stuff as anybody, so when he's in the strike zone, he's a dominant guy too. Then they have a bunch of pieces they can mix and match from there.

"You have to be as balanced as they are to be able to beat them. You have to be able to match them pitch for pitch, and you're going to have to score seven or eight runs to beat them. You have to find a way to turn it into an 8-6 or 9-5 ballgame. They're going to win the low-scoring 2-1 games, because they're used to playing tight ballgames. They hit, but they don't hit enough home runs to really separate themselves from their opponent. Everybody on their pitching staff's going to attack the strike zone, they're going to go out there with a plan on both sides. They're not going to chase it as hitters, and on the mound they will attack the zone with all their stuff. I honestly think their age might be the only thing that keeps them from being an Omaha team this year. But you could have said that with them going out to Irvine, and it didn't seem to bother those young kids too much."

Coach: Mike Bianco.
Postseason History: Fourth super regional appearance (last in 2007). Seeking fifth trip to Omaha (last in 1972).
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Oxford Regional. Won in four games, beating Western Kentucky in the final.
C Kyle Henson R Sr. .336 .416 .593 8 33 11 27 1
1B Matt Smith R So. .342 .429 .525 7 57 29 51 4
2B Evan Button L Jr. .339 .416 .477 2 19 14 32 2
3B Zach Miller R Jr. .338 .440 .500 5 38 26 40 8
SS Kevin Mort R Jr. .294 .368 .328 0 32 21 16 4
LF Logan Power R Sr. .319 .434 .496 6 55 45 38 8
CF Jordan Henry L Jr. .347 .475 .402 0 31 53 22 35
RF David Phillips L Jr. .305 .378 .432 2 20 11 28 1
DH Matt Snyder L Fr. .311 .390 .511 8 31 15 30 0

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Drew Pomeranz L So. 8 4 0 3.46 88 34 114 .236
SP Phillip Irwin R Jr. 8 3 0 3.84 80 18 68 .298
SP Brett Bukvich L Sr. 9 3 0 4.42 71 16 72 .269
RP Jake Morgan R So. 3 1 9 3.65 37 5 51 .243

Scouting Report

"What Mike (Bianco) has done there has been pretty neat with that program, with the fans and the interest in the program. Their crowd is a factor now. That crowd's been a factor the last three or four years—that's a tough place to go play. They've always done it with those big arms; they had those big righthanders a couple years ago, and it's amazing what the Pomeranz kid did this weekend. He's got a big lefthanded body, and a great fastball. His breaking ball's very good, but seeing a big guy sitting in the low 90s from the left with some hop in the finish, that's pretty special.

Drew Pomeranz
"We all know how special Scott Bittle is. For them to do that without him is pretty neat. They've got good pitching, big guys with good breaking balls. They're just very consistent, very deep on the mound. Irwin stands out with his breaking ball. You've got a legit fastball and a breaking ball out of Pomeranz and Irwin. That's a good one-two punch. Bukvich and (Nathan) Baker are lefthanded guys; Bukvich can pitch a little bit, but not every time. He can pitch backwards with a changeup, he'll give you six innings sometimes, but he's a senior. It's not like he's a freshman throwing 86. His experience makes him good. Baker has better stuff, but you can beat him. I guess Morgan's done a great job—I guess Western Kentucky got to him the other night, but I think he's had a pretty good run. He's a competitive guy who will come after you a little bit. Morgan's not an overpowering guy though.

"They've been searching to replace Zack Cozart at short for a couple years now. Mort's been steady, but it's not what they had. He's not over the top special or anything. Miller's 5-foot-8, doesn't look the part but gets it done. They just sort of put it together. I just think they dominate the routine play. I don't think they make great plays, other than Henry in center. I don't think the left side can make a great, great play, but I think they'll dominate the average play. They've got a JC catcher that's wound up catching more than a 16th-rounder who's come back for his senior year, Brett Basham. Henson's wound up catching many more innings.

"Credit goes to the coach; they've got a style to play. They're not the best position-player team you're going to diagram, but they've got two or three good arms and some other guys. I guess they're not too deep or they wouldn't have had to use their No. 1 on two days' rest in the regional. It'll be interesting to see how they navigate the next step, and if they keep advancing, the next step after that. Because that workload could take a while to recover from.

"It's a deep lineup, but no superstars—who's got 20 home runs? Nobody. Matt Smith is a big donkey, a gap hitter. Phillips is a big, physical guy. Their stolen bases come from Henry, but not a lot throughout the lineup. I just think they've got some age and some craftiness about them. Henry is just a table-setter—he makes an offense go, with his ability to steal a base. If he gets on to start an inning, he does a real good job with it. Then you've got some scrap hitters like the Miller kid, not the best guys in the world, but scrappy. Then guys that can hit it out, go opposite field like Matt Smith or the Button kid. It's built around pitching and Henry in the leadoff spot. They've just got a very aggressive approach; we threw them a ton of first-pitch changeups, and they got themselves out. They're not going to take a lot of first-pitch fastballs. They don't miss many fastballs.

"To beat them, I just think it's that first pitch. They're sitting so dead-red that if you can get an offspeed pitch over, that's your best chance. If you're going to consistently give them fastballs in fastball counts, you'd better have a good fastball. They're ready to swing 0-0. Then with two strikes, they do a good job of putting the ball in play with two strikes. A lot of times it forces you to have to get inside of them with a fastball. Throw them a breaking ball with two strikes, their offense does a good job with it. They've got a home run leader of eight, how are they scoring their runs? They're piecing it together. Especially if they've got a runner on base, they're coming out of their shoes the first two pitches, and they like to hit-and-run. They force you to pitch. (Bianco's) running a good offense, he's got the entire team buying into the team concept. But it all comes back to Pomeranz and Irwin."

Rice (43-16) at No. 3 Louisiana State (49-16)
Friday: 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday: 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday: 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Coach: Wayne Graham.
Postseason History: Ninth super regional appearance (fifth in a row). Seeking eighth trip to Omaha (fourth in a row).
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Houston Regional. Won in five games, beating Kansas State in the final.
C Diego Seastrunk B Jr. .289 .401 .445 6 44 44 36 1
1B Jimmy Comerota R Jr. .295 .383 .372 1 26 31 28 11
2B Brock Holt L Jr. .346 .426 .542 10 40 34 33 11
3B Anthony Rendon R Fr. .384 .458 .688 19 70 31 22 9
SS Rick Hague R So. .324 .384 .502 9 57 22 66 11
LF Michael Fuda R So. .351 .372 .506 3 18 6 28 6
CF Steven Sultzbaugh R Jr. .327 .375 .509 7 30 15 57 7
RF Chad Mozingo L So. .324 .391 .543 8 50 20 36 10
DH Jeremy Rathjen R Fr. .242 .314 .358 1 13 8 27 3

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Ryan Berry R Jr. 7 1 1 2.00 77 15 62 .181
SP Mike Ojala R Jr. 5 0 1 1.73 62 24 68 .248
SP Taylor Wall L Fr. 7 5 1 3.45 94 37 77 .237
RP Jordan Rogers R Sr. 8 3 7 4.42 53 29 52 .212
Scouting Report

"I think their overall record was somewhat affected by those pitchers they didn't have. When Berry and Ojala did get healthy, they weren't throwing complete games right away. I think if you look at their overall record, everyone's saying they're not as good, but I'm telling you it's the best team we've played. Defensively, unmatched. They're so good defensively it's not even funny. They're the best defensive team I've ever seen. You've got to crush it to get it through the infield against those guys. The range, the arms, the speed in the outfield, it's all there. Their catchers are OK, I guess if there's one area that isn't as strong, that's it. Positionally, they're just really good. They don't have anybody that's bad defensively. Some of them are better hitters than others, but they can all hit at least a little bit. Their first baseman, Comerota, was a very good high school shortstop.

Rick Hague (Photo by Andrew Woolley)
"I think they have a big league third baseman. You'll see those guys where you say, 'This guy's going to play in the big leagues,' like Huston Street. They've got three guys like that, in my opinion. All of them will play pro ball, but their third baseman, shortstop and center fielder are big leaguers. These are big league bodies that play like big leaguers. They play in a ballpark where it's hard to hit a home run. Their field faces south, the wind blows straight in. You can't hit a home run to center field in that park. And Rendon has 19 home runs. He can say, 'OK, if you're going to pitch me like that, I'm going to hit singles.' He's very mature, and he's a plus defensive player at third base.

"Sultzbaugh is huge. The scouting reports just say, yeah, whatever, don't walk him. How can he get overlooked? He's like the first guy you see when you walk in there. He's a Greek god. He can run—he might be the fastest guy on their team, he just looks big so you think he's playing first or something. And he's a great center fielder. And Hague's going to play in the big leagues, and not just because he can hit—he's got it all, man. Maybe his numbers weren't as good, all you hear is knocks on him, but that guy is going to play shortstop in the major leagues. He's got a plus arm, he can run, he's going to hit enough. And someday he may have unbelievable power. He's got all five tools.

"Offensively, they're very tough to pitch to. You can't get them out the same way more than maybe one or two times. They make adjustments, they know what your pitcher's doing. They figure it out, and they get him out of the game. They're very smart, and they're very capable. Their spray charts are all over the place. These are not guys who hit the ball in the same place all the time. You know what else? They're a very, very good two-strike hitting team. Like a lot of teams that are good offensively, they strike out a lot, because they're aggressive hitters, but they're very tough with two strikes.

"I think Berry's got good deception with his delivery. He's obviously got great stuff. He's a real easy thrower, and the ball gets up on guys. There's not a whole lot of effort in there, he just kind of flips it in there low 90s. Ojala has command of three pitches. He's similar to Berry. Neither one of them is a conventional-looking guy. They throw a little different, little extra movement with their bodies and gloves, they go for the deception thing a little bit. They know how to pitch, they throw you different pitches in different counts, they throw fastballs in well. And they've got deception to their deliveries. That's why they don't get hit.

"With Wall, here he is as a freshman on a team that's supposed to win every series, and instead of going Sundays, he had to go Fridays after those other guys got hurt. I see a guy who's probably learned a lot throughout the season. He's had the spotlight on him. He cross-counted, he mixed it up, threw in effectively, threw up. He would go up late with his fastball, throw his changeup. He doesn't have great stuff, but he's got very good command, he knows what he's doing and he's very confident at this point. He probably benefited from Berry and Ojala being out for a while. If they were to make a run and win that super regional and do well in the College World Series, it's going to have a lot to do with the fact that when those guys were hurt, other people had to pitch. Jared Rogers, Wall, they have been pitching in big spots. It gives them guys in the middle innings and late innings that pitched a lot more than they were supposed to, so they've got experience.

"In the bullpen, (Matt) Evers and Jordan Rogers have great stuff, although their numbers aren't spectacular. I would say the bullpen might be their Achilles' heel, because those guys have great stuff but their command isn't great, and their confidence level, it's not like they're sitting there with 15 saves. So that might be the one question mark with them. First of all, they're not going to take those other guys out, unless they're losing by a lot. I'm sure they'll manage it in an intelligent manner.

"You're going to have to play a real good game to beat Rice. If you have a guy that can really pitch, and can hold them down, then maybe get into their bullpen, that's your best chance. You've got to get those starters out of the game. But if you don't have good command of your fastball or you don't have a second pitch, they'll wear you out."

Coach: Paul Mainieri.
Postseason History: Eighth super regional appearance (second in a row). Seeking 15th trip to Omaha (second in a row).
Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Baton Rouge Regional. Won in three games, beating Minnesota in the final.
C Micah Gibbs B So. .291 .406 .478 6 38 39 42 2
1B Sean Ochinko R Jr. .333 .388 .498 7 47 18 28 2
2B D.J. LeMahieu B So. .339 .407 .460 4 38 26 38 9
3B Tyler Hanover R Fr. .315 .350 .429 4 44 11 31 6
SS Austin Nola R Fr. .232 .339 .337 2 16 13 19 3
LF Ryan Schimpf L Jr. .332 .444 .642 18 59 38 38 18
CF Mikie Mahtook R Fr. .323 .387 .509 6 29 13 31 9
RF Jared Mitchell L Jr. .333 .478 .569 9 42 50 58 33
DH Blake Dean L Jr. .326 .426 .587 15 64 43 30 4

Pos. Name Throws Yr. W L SV ERA IP BB SO AVG
SP Anthony Ranaudo R So. 9 3 0 3.09 102 41 138 .199
SP Louis Coleman R Sr. 12 2 0 2.72 106 19 119 .211
SP Austin Ross R So. 5 7 0 4.94 78 20 72 .292
RP Matty Ott R Fr. 3 2 15 2.22 45 4 62 .246

Scouting Report

"It's an unbelievable level of consistency to do what they did in the SEC, winning nine of 10 conference series. They've got a unique starter in Coleman; he's different. He throws across his body a little bit. He's like 6-foot-5, he's long and lanky, then he lifts up and steps toward the third-base coach's box and delivers the ball at a fairly severe angle toward the plate. Righthanded hitters feel like the ball's coming at your ribs a little bit. He's probably 89-91 himself, and using his breaking ball in there. It's not what you teach, but it works for him. He's just very, very deceptive. We didn't see anybody like him all year.

D.J. LeMahieu (Photo by Andrew Woolley)
"Their Friday night guy, Ranaudo, he really beat some people. He's just a big, powerful guy that can throw some fastballs at your belt and get away with it; that's how you know he's got a good fastball. He's got a good breaking ball to go with it. I would give him some toughness points as well. What this Ott kid did was amazing to me. He's another little low three-quarters, a little more of a drop down guy, pumping the zone with a fastball and a slider. For a freshman to do that, he looked like a veteran stopper.

"I'm not sure their pitching staff runs deep. You've got a power arm, then you've got an Ichabod Crane, across-his-body guy the second day, and a legitimate closer. Three legitimate pieces to a pitching staff: a No. 1, No. 2 and a closer. Then they've got some guys who compete a little bit like Ross and (Daniel) Bradshaw, but it really drops off.

"I like the Nola kid a lot defensively—plus arm, good range, solid glove. He's a good player. I think putting him in there at short made them better. I always thought LeMahieu was a bigger kid, longer swing, a little slower actions because he's longer. You need a little more quickness at short. I think second matches his body more. I think it's a better match with Nola. Ochinko playing first base is pretty scary over there, but it's better than having him at third base or behind the plate. But it's good to have his bat in there; not a great bat, but competitive. The little Hanover kid at third, he's just a little winner, dirtbag guy. He wills everything he does. He'll dive either side, get dirty; I respect that. That's a freshman left side of the infield that's worked for them.

"In the outfield, they pretty much can go get it. Mahtook, I think he's going to be dynamic—he might be the best of all of them. He's a big kid, gets great jumps, can run, and I think he's really going to swing it. He really got the bat head through there. He's good, going to be somebody to contend with for a while. I thought he might be their most explosive big league body guy.

"I really think a lefty is the way to go against them. You get Dean, Schimpf, Mitchell and (Leon) Landry left-on-left, and you get Gibbs from the right side. They just really stay on the ball better against a righthander. Mitchell can be pitched to, but if you miss, he's dangerous. If you leave a fastball out over the plate, he can really hurt you. But if the fastballs tight on him a little bit, he doesn't like it, or a left-on-left breaking ball, he doesn't like that at all. That's a pitch you can throw multiple times and be safe with.

"Schimpf is the one who's a polished, balanced, short-approach guy. He's put up numbers for them this year. Dean's been playing better of late; a lot of it has to do with how he's been pitched, because people know he can hit. His numbers are not as good as last year, but he's a very mature hitter as well. Landry's another football guy, a great athlete.

"If your guy throws a fastball that comes in there a little bit straight, doesn't change planes, that strong, four-seam fastball that has no action on it, they're going to knock that silly. But if you've got a fastball that can change planes, you've got a shot. You've got to be good to beat them. You better not be out there 87-88 with a straight fastball and an average breaking ball. If those pitchers aren't getting life on their fastballs, LSU is going to be there. You're going to have to have not just run, but some sink, I believe. If a righthander sincerely beats them, he's done a heck of a job."