Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Monday, TBD (If necessary)
Coach: David Esquer
Postseason history: 14th super regional appearance and fourth straight. Seeking 19th trip to the College World Series and third straight.
Postseason route: No. 1 seed in Stanford Regional. Went 4-1, defeating Texas A&M in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Cardinal)
“They have an explosive offense. The thing with them is it can kind of trick you a little bit because you can stay in the game with them and their pitching has been a little bit of a question mark outside of Quinn Mathews, who has been really good. But they separate as the game goes on. I’ve watched them play enough where it’s like the fourth or fifth and it’s 2-2 and then they win 14-3. They can put together a big inning, there’s not a break in the lineup and they could go three, four (runs) in like three straight innings and it’s like, ‘woah, what happened?’ You can beat them, no question about that, but if you get a guy in there that has a tough outing, or you get to your middle-inning guys, and they put up seven runs in two innings and it’s like game over.
“That’s a team that’s been to Omaha two straight years. There’s not a lot of panic in their game. If they’re down, they’re going to keep playing baseball. It showed up against Texas A&M. They know they’re pretty good, they know they can score at any time at any point of the game. They just keep playing. At our level, you play teams with not as much experience and they feel (the pressure) more. Stanford doesn’t do that. They have experience with talent. It’s a pretty good combination.
“I don’t think they fully trust their bullpen and their arms. They know they have back-end guys with Drew Dowd and Ryan Bruno. They have real stuff. They can stuff you, but they can also walk you, which is a little scary. They want to get the ball in those guys’ hands, but in a tight game it can be a little scary. When you look at the other relievers and starters, Matt Scott, he’s super talented. He looks like a future Friday night arm. When he’s on he’s good but he’s a freshman and he’s had some ups and downs. Some guys are like that, just a little inconsistent. But they can separate in a game before the bullpen’s even an issue though.
“If you look at (Tommy Troy’s) stats, his advanced stats, he doesn’t swing and miss at fastballs. It’s something crazy where he’s only swung and missed at like seven fastballs the entire season. You have to be able to execute your fastball in a place where you might hit it and get him out or you have to throw a ton of offspeed. Those still have to be executed and decent.
“Defensively with their top guys they’re really good. Owen Cobb is a veteran shortstop that makes all the plays. Malcolm Moore, people thought he’d struggle as a true freshman defensively. I never saw that. I thought he received well and blocked well. Their outfield is solid, Eddie Park can go get it. He’s pretty athletic. Troy’s solid, too, Drew Bowser at second base, they’ve got some range. They’re good. They’ve got the attributes of a good team. If your pitching is a little down, you have to pick guys up defensively, and they do a good job of that.”
Coach: David Pierce
Postseason history: 14th super regional appearance and third straight. Seeking 39th trip to the College World Series and third straight.
Postseason route: No. 2 seed in Coral Gables Regional. Went 3-0, defeating Miami in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Longhorns)
“They have the Big 12 pitcher of the year (Lucas Gordon) but their No. 2 (Lebarron Johnson Jr.) is the best pitcher and prospect in the Big 12. He’s an absolute stud. So, they’ve got an extremely dangerous 1-2 punch.
“Offensively, they’re good and their veterans are very smart. Eric Kennedy is a savvy veteran; he picks his spots. I feel like he’s played there for 10 years. They play good defense, their catcher (Garrett Guillemette) is very solid, they have enough bullpen options to match up and they’re confident.
“They have some different looks out of the bullpen and some velocity that’s formidable. If Gordon is on and Lebarron is on, those guys are both going to get deep into the game. If you can get either of them out early—I know that’s not great analysis, everyone wants to get the starter out early, but I think that’s especially important with them.
“(Dylan Campbell is a) smart hitter. You’ve got to mix and get him to be over aggressive. He’s really good. There’s a reason he’s hit in 500 consecutive games or whatever (38 games, a Big 12 record). That’s not by accident.
“It’s definitely a different feel this year with (new assistant coaches) Steve Rodriguez and Woody Williams there. Not a good or a bad thing, just different. The lineup can all run it out. The one that’s sneaky dangerous is Jared Thomas. He’s a good leadoff guy. Thomas, Campbell, (Peyton) Powell, (Porter) Brown, those guys all walk. They’ve got some high strikeout numbers but those guys all walk. Kennedy’s the one that doesn’t but he’s just dangerous. Of his 68 hits, 31 are extra-bases. Jared Thomas is good. Porter Brown’s been a good player since high school. Guilmette is a good catcher, there’s no question he’s a good catcher but he’s a really good hitter, too. They have a ton of extra-base hits, that’s one thing that jumped out to me preparing for them was the number of extra-base hits that Campbell, Guilmette and Kennedy have.
“I think they’re good defensively. That’s a very good defense. Kennedy is a really good college baseball player. If you look at Omaha teams, there’s usually a guy that’s been there a long time and is a good college baseball player and that’s him.”