2022 NCAA Tournament Stanford Super Regional Preview
Coach: David Esquer
Postseason history: 12th super regional appearance (third straight). Seeking 18th trip to Omaha and second straight.
Postseason route: No. 1 seed in Stanford Regional. Went 4-1, defeating Texas State in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Cardinal)
“Their lineup, top to bottom, is pretty seasoned with older guys that have played. I don’t think there’s anybody in their lineup that doesn’t have experience. They got Omaha experience last year. It’s a talented group of guys, too. It’s a lot of who’s who of recruits and they’re all pretty much as advertised. It’s not like, ‘Hey, man, these guys are not playing up to their ability.’ They’ve got good players who are playing well. Top to bottom, it’s pretty solid. The bottom of the order can do damage and have competitive at-bats. There’s not a lot of guys that you’re like, ‘It’s good this guy is up, now we can get through this portion of the lineup.’ They had a bit of a rough stretch offensively at the beginning of the season and then they got hot. And once they got hot, they won every game.
“Drew Bowser, Adam Crampton, Tommy Troy are all hitting toward bottom of the (order) and are sophomores, but they all played last year and are good. At the top, Brock Jones, Brett Barrera, Kody Huff, it’s a very dangerous lineup top to bottom. They’re all good players. They have talent but they’re good baseball players. Eddie Park is a really good baseball player. He doesn’t have ridiculous tools, but he’s an above-average runner, has above-average bat-to-ball skills and he knows how to play the game. That’s the separator that creates length. Their biggest weapon is a very solid lineup.
“Alex Williams emerged as a true No. 1. Once they put (Quinn Mathews) in (the) bullpen, they got a real closer, length with innings. They have veteran guys (to) give them depth on the mound. They went from not having a ton of depth on the mound to having guys step up and they have depth now. In a two-out-of-three series they’re tough to beat and they haven’t lost many series the last two years.
“Their defense is good. They have the best defensive SS in our league in Crampton. He’s probably one of the top defenders in the country. Bowser at third base is athletic, he’s made some errors but they’re more throwing errors. It’s a guy that can get the ball and make all the plays. When he’s struggled, it’s he’ll throw the ball 92 (mph) across the diamond and it’s offline. He’s physically capable of making every play. They’ve shuffled second base a bit, but Barrera and Troy are both capable. Probably not plus defenders but they’re solid. The outfield, Brock Jones can go get it, he doesn’t have a great arm but he can go get it. So can Park, he’s a good defender out there. Braden Montgomery has a hose.
“(Montgomery is) probably the most talented dude on the team. He’s a freak. Major power, major arm strength. Tooled out of his mind. He’s on the perfect team because they don’t need him to be the dude even though he’s got the best skill set on the team. It kind of keeps him a little bit from having to do anything crazy. Other guys on the team can carry him a little bit but he’s going to get his homers, he can throw someone out from firght field if he needs to. He doesn’t have to be the guy on this team. That makes for a good transition (from high school).
“Jones has got some swing and miss, he can chase a little bit up, chase a little bit down. He can swing and miss some. But in a big spot, he gets it done. If you look at his trajectory, when the big games happen, he shows up. I don’t know that he’s the best pure hitter in the league, it’s not like he goes out and just gets hits. He may have a game where he strikes out three times, but he has big power so when he barrels a ball, it’s going to be hard. He shows up in the big games. I think he’s pitchable, but he seems to have competitive at-bats in the biggest moments. And he’s scary because it’s big power, he can leave the yard anywhere—all fields are open for him to leave the yard. When he gets the barrel on it, he’s got a shot.
“Williams has a plus changeup. He’s not overpowering with his stuff. He’s adjustable. We wanted to take away the changeup, but he was able to go to his breaking ball more. He’s a good college pitcher, commands his fastball to both sides of the plate and elevates it. He has three pitches for strikes. That makes him tougher to game plan. He doesn’t have an overpowering fastball but he hides it and it has a little bit of sneak to it. Your only concern is with him not being super overpowering in the biggest games where every inning is like the ninth inning. His pitchability is good enough to get through those. He’s super competitive. It’s not big stuff but it’s good makeup and good pitchability.”
C: Kody Huff
1B: Brett Barrera
2B: Tommy Troy
3B: Drew Bowser
SS: Adam Crampton
LF: Eddie Park
CF: Brock Jones
RF: Braden Montgomery
DH: Carter Graham
SP: Alex Williams
SP: Joey Dixon
SP: Ty Uber
RP: Ryan Bruno
RP: Quinn Mathews
Coach: Jim Penders
Postseason history: Second super regional appearance (first since 2011). Seeking sixth trip to Omaha and first since 1979.
Postseason route: No. 3 seed in College Park Regional. Went 3-1, defeating Maryland in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Huskies)
“They’re extremely well coached. They do a great job, they all have a lot of confidence and they’re competitive. They’re really tough.
“Austin Peterson is a pro. He has three pitches for strikes. He really commands it and controls all his pitches. He has as good (of) fastball command as I’ve seen in a while.
“The bullpen—they matchup guys, lefties and righties, and they embrace their roles. They’re a very difficult team to beat in a series.
“They have guys who have been through it. They have some good pieces that they added to a really good team. They have a good mix of speed in the outfield, T.C. Simmons is a good player in center field. Casey Dana is a calm presence. They have a tough middle of the lineup and the top of the lineup is good. One through nine, it’s a balanced lineup. A different guy can hurt you on different days. Erik Stock can carry the team and Matt Donlan had a big day against Maryland in the regional final. They’re just hard to get out.
“They make the plays, they don’t beat themselves. They make the routine plays a lot. They make some plus plays here and there.
“The biggest thing is the belief that they have and it’s genuine, you can see it.”
C: Matt Donlan
1B: Ben Huber
2B: David Smith
3B: Zach Bushling
SS: Bryan Padilla
LF: Erik Stock
CF: T.C. Simmons
RF: Casey Dana
DH: Korey Morton
SP: Austin Peterson
SP: Pat Gallagher
SP: Enzo Stefanoni
RP: Garrett Coe
RP: Justin Willis
Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Sunday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2 or ESPNU)