2019 NCAA Super Regional Preview: Louisville

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Dan McDonnell

Postseason History: Ninth super regional appearance (first since 2017). Seeking fifth trip to Omaha and first since 2017.

Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Louisville Regional. Went 4-1, defeating Illinois State, 4-3, in regional final.

Scouting Report (anonymous coach breaks down the Cardinals)

“They prey on that mistake. There’s a small opening and they get you. They’re good. This is not a Louisville team like it was a couple years ago when they had four first-round picks over the course of two years. It’s not that, but Lucas Dunn, Logan Wyatt, Tyler Fitzgerald, these guys are really good players.

“You look at all the speed throughout, the power throughout, they hit-and-run all the way through, they go first to third all the way through, the offense is just constantly coming at you. There are five or six guys that will bunt and then steal a base. They do a really good job with two strikes. Don’t sacrifice a ton, but they get the guys moving. They have them moving 3-1, 3-2, try to steal second, try to steal third. This is just a constant offense.

“The starting pitching they’re going to throw you is a little bit ridiculous. What can I say about Reid Detmers that you haven’t heard? It’s impossible to get a hit off him, which is actually a bit crazy because he wasn’t great in their regional. We see this type of guy all the time (in our league) and we had some of my guys that are really good hitters, really good players say, ‘I don’t know if anybody’s going to get a hit off this guy this year.’ Detmers had one of the best fastballs I’ve ever seen in our league. Take out velocity, but just a really good fastball. You felt like you couldn’t get it timed up, you couldn’t get your barrel on it. It’s a big curveball and it’s tough on lefties because of where it comes from and it looks like it’s out of the zone and then it’s into the zone. But It was the fastball with him. With Detmers you had to make him get the fastball down. Then they come out with Nick Bennett and Bennett’s a power arm, power fastball. Fastball-changeup is what he likes to do more than the curveball. It’s 94 mph. He’s got a curveball but it’s fastball-changeup.

“Fitzgerald’s good, Justin Lavey’s good, they’re good in the middle. They’ve got some speed in the outfield with Dunn and Jake Snider. Snider is one of the fastest left fielders in the country. They’re solid defensively. I think Fitzgerald is good, I like that kid. They’re home and they’re always better on turf than they are on dirt. They’re good defensively.

“The thing about them is they just tend to be solid throughout. When they’re asked to execute, they execute, whether it’s a hit-and-run or a bunt. They just play good baseball. Eric Snider is really good coach, obviously everyone knows what Roger Williams does with those arms.”

Position Name, Year AVG OBP SLG AB HR RBI  
C Henry Davis, Fr. 0.286 0.35 0.411 112 3 19  
1B Logan Wyatt, Jr. 0.291 0.461 0.473 220 9 52  
2B Justin Lavey, Jr. 0.288 0.355 0.361 208 3 27  
3B Alex Binelas, Fr. 0.308 0.392 0.649 185 14 57  
SS Tyler Fitzgerald, Jr. 0.321 0.396 0.490 243 7 62  
LF Jake Snider, Jr. 0.286 0.383 0.392 245 1 31  
CF Lucas Dunn, So. 0.309 0.408 0.406 165 1 22  
RF Drew Campbell, Jr. 0.283 0.372 0.392 166 2 33  
DH Danny Oriente, Jr. 0.320 0.401 0.424 172 1 45  
Position Name, Year W L ERA IP BB SO SV
LHP Reid Detmers, So. 11 4 2.96 100.1 25 156 0
RHP Bobby Miller, So. 6 1 4.37 68 34 78 2
LHP Nick Bennett, Jr. 7 3 4.40 73.2 30 73 0
RP Michael Kirian, So. 3 1 1.59 28.1 8 39 4
RP Shay Smiddy, Jr. 1 0 2.31 23.1 18 28 0

East Carolina

Coach: Cliff Godwin

Postseason History: Fifth super regional appearance (first since 2016). Seeking first trip to Omaha.

Postseason Route: No. 1 seed in Greenville Regional. Went 4-1, defeating Campbell, 12-3, in regional final.

Scouting Report (anonymous coach breaks down the Pirates)

“When I evaluate them, I go, ‘That’s just a really sound team from behind the plate to the interior defense to the outfield.’ They secure the ball well, they play catch well and then obviously they’ve got some talent on the mound particularly in their starting pitching. One thing that I like about their team is they have a bunch of different kinds of players. I really feel like they all know who they are and are willing to do whatever it is that’s best for the team. Bryant Packard’s trying to hit for average and some power but the Turner Browns and Brady Lloyds and some of their other pieces that you might not hear about are really good about hitting and running and bunting and slashing and hitting the ball the other way on the ground and moving runners. So, they become a very complete, sound team. You can’t sleep on middle of the order guys bunting too. You saw it the other day against Campbell, Alec Burleson drops down a sacrifice. They get a runner on third base you have to be ready for a safety (squeeze), maybe even a suicide squeeze—or a double. They play with some and competitive spirit. But Louisville’s not going to be scared of that.

“Jake Agnos is good. He’s competitive. He can throw his fastball to both sides and he’s got a good breaking ball and he competes well. Jake Kuchmaner hasn’t been throwing as well down the stretch but I thought he was pretty good.

“If you could, you’ve got to try to get lefthanded on Packard, Burleson and Spencer Brickhouse. You’ve got to be careful challenging those three right on left with power. I think you’ve got to set them up and show that you’ll pitch in a bit, speed them up and slow them down. To me, the biggest travesty I remember in the draft was Bryant Packard went in the fifth round. I’m like fifth round? I guess I get it, major league profile and all that. But he’s athletic and that swing is pretty. And he hits to all fields and there’s power. I would take that guy real, real good. But that’s why I’m not a scout.

“Brown’s got Velcro in his glove. He just catches everything. Lloyd same thing. I don’t think you look at them in an infield/outfield and go, ‘Oh, yeah.’ But they’re solid. Brickhouse is fine at first base. Ryder Giles, I think they think he can play pretty good defense and he’s fine.

“They play a lot of people. (Godwin) does some stuff like it’s the fifth inning, runner on first and all of a sudden here comes the pinch runner. Obviously, he understands his team and he trust the depth of it and they’ve got different pieces.

“He’s a good coach. You need that (energy) this time of year because you’re a little bit tired. Your mind has to organize your body at this time of year. The energy of the game itself helps your physical wellbeing but if you’re a team that has spirt and energy and connectivity, I only think it only helps this time of year.

“They’re sound. They run the bases well, they do the little things well, they play a good game of catch with the ball, they throw the ball to the proper base, their starting pitchers throw strikes. They’ve got some guys that can hurt you with long ball and some other guys that can do some other things in between. It makes for a what now type of deal. I really like their team. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re going to Nebraska.”

Position Name, Year AVG OBP SLG AB HR RBI  
C Jake Washer, R-Jr. 0.311 0.401 0.611 193 16 53  
1B Spencer Brickhouse, Jr. 0.328 0.463 0.599 192 12 51  
2B Brady Lloyd, Sr. 0.261 0.355 0.300 203 1 22  
3B Ryder Giles, Fr. 0.254 0.392 0.310 142 1 25  
SS Turner Brown, Sr. 0.294 0.388 0.402 214 3 31  
LF Bryant Packard, Jr. 0.353 0.440 0.554 204 7 37  
CF Bryson Worrell, So. 0.247 0.292 0.449 89 5 19  
RF Alec Burleson, So. 0.375 0.400 0.582 232 9 57  
DH Thomas Francisco, Fr. 0.311 0.452 0.481 106 4 26  
Position Name, Year W L ERA IP BB SO SV
LHP Jake Agnos, Jr. 11 2 2.02 98 42 140 0
LHP Jake Kuchmaner, So. 6 2 3.11 84 26 73 0
RHP Tyler Smith, Jr. 7 1 5.23 74 27 49 0
RP Alec Burleson, So. 5 1 2.87 53.1 21 58 5
RP Evan Voliva, R-Sr. 5 4 3.51 33.1 14 46 4

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