2023 NCAA Tournament Super Regional Preview: Top Hitters & Pitchers

Image credit: Wyatt Langford (Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Breaking down the top hitter and pitcher for each team in the Super Regionals.


Best hitter: Alex Stone, C. Stone has been the Blue Devils’ most consistent bat all season to the tune of a .324/.390/.602 slash line. Stone leads all Duke hitters in doubles (16), home runs (17) and RBIs (62). The junior backstop at one point had a 30-game hitting streak and can change the complexion of the game with one swing of the bat. 

Best pitcher: Fran Oschell, RHP. The strength of the Duke pitching staff is its bullpen, and there might not be a better reliever in the country than Oschell. The towering 6-foot-7 righthander has pitched his way to a minuscule 0.74 ERA along with an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of 63-to-18 across 36.2 innings. His upper-90s fastball has a ridiculous 40% miss rate and is a key reason as to why opposing hitters have a cumulative batting average of just .134 against him. 


Best hitter: Kyle Teel, C. It was difficult to select just one hitter out of a loaded Virginia lineup, but the potential top-10 overall pick has been one of the top bats in the country this season. Teel this season is hitting .423 to go along with 25 doubles, 13 home runs and 64 RBIs. Teel’s advanced bat-to-ball skills allow him to punish nearly any pitch around the strike zone and make him a nightmare to throw to. 

Best pitcher: Connelly Early, LHP. The Army transfer has been excellent for the Cavaliers all season. He has an 11-2 record, 3.35 ERA and 90 strikeouts to 20 walks in 75.1 innings pitched. Early’s four-pitch mix and advanced sequencing keeps opposing hitters off balance. His best pitch is a changeup that has 10 mph of separation off his fastball, and has generated a 40% miss rate thanks to its late drop. 

South Carolina 

Best hitter: Ethan Petry, OF. It is rare to see a freshman tear up the loaded SEC in their first season, but Petry did just that. He led the Gamecocks in nearly every offensive category, but his calling card is his 70-grade raw power, which has led to 23 home runs and 75 RBIs. Not only does Petry hit for power, but he has also amassed a .374 average to this point. 

Best pitcher: Jack Mahoney, RHP. The Gamecocks’ pitching staff has been hit hard by injuries, as multiple key contributors have been dealt season-ending injuries. However, Mahoney has stayed healthy and emerged as the most reliable starter on the staff. He has a 4.05 ERA and 80 strikeouts in as many innings pitched. Mahoney’s fastball averages 93.5 mph, which is an offering he supplements with an above-average slider and changeup. 


Best hitter: Wyatt Langford, OF. Langford is a five-tool player who is on the short list of prospects that are being discussed for the first overall pick in July. Even though he missed a week’s worth of games with an injury, Langford has still managed to hit .387 with 24 doubles, 18 home runs and 48 RBIs. He has a professional approach that has led to an on-base percentage of .511. Langford has thunderous bat speed and drives the baseball with authority to all parts of the field. 

Best pitcher: Hurston Waldrep, RHP. The athletic righthander has perhaps the best pure stuff of any arm in the country, as evidenced by his 129 strikeouts in 85.1 innings. His riding fastball has been clocked as high as 101 mph, and he also has a hellacious split-change to go along with a slider that has serious teeth. There is an argument that Waldrep has three 70-grade pitches, and when his arsenal is at its best he is nearly unhittable. 

Oral Roberts 

Best hitter: Jonah Cox, OF. Cox has recorded a hit in 58 of his 59 games played this season and is currently riding an unbelievable hitting streak of 44 games. He is hitting .424 with 16 doubles, eight triples and 10 home runs. Cox’s plus speed has allowed him to swipe 27 bases and oftentimes he will turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. He is the catalyst atop Oral Roberts’ potent lineup. 

Best pitcher: Cade Denton, RHP. The 2023 Summit League Pitcher of the Year is one of the best late-inning arms in college baseball. On the year, Denton has a 1.65 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 75-to-9 in 54.2 innings pitched. His heavy fastball has been up to 99 mph this year, while his plus slider has a 48% miss rate and plays exceptionally well off his heater.  


Best hitter: Drew Cowley, SS. Cowley has been the Ducks’ most consistent bat this spring to the tune of a .342 average. He leads the team in doubles (21), home runs (16) and RBIs (67). Cowley will hit for power to all fields and has a smooth lefthanded stroke with quick hands. His fingerprints are all over the box score night in and night out and this weekend figures to be more of the same. 

Best pitcher: Grayson Grinsell, LHP. With the status of righthander Jace Stoffal up in the air, Grinsell this weekend projects to log quality innings and be relied upon heavily. The freshman southpaw this year has a 3.52 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 46 innings. Grinsell hides the ball incredibly well and his lively fastball jumps out of his hand. His high-70s changeup is also an above-average offering and has plenty of tumbling action. 


Best hitter: Brayden Taylor, 3B. After a slow start to the season, Taylor enjoyed a monster month of May to raise his average to .321. The sweet-swinging third baseman has 14 doubles and 23 home runs to his name, as well as a team-leading 69 RBIs. Taylor’s advanced approach has allowed him to walk nearly as much as he has struck out, and his above-average baserunning skills have led to 14 stolen bases. 

Best pitcher: Ben Abeldt, LHP. Abeldt throws from a deceptive sidearm slot that is a nightmare for both righthanded and lefthanded hitters. His low-to-mid 90s fastball explodes out of his hand, and it is a pitch he throws 85% of the time. Even with how frequently Abeldt throws the pitch, opposing hitters are still unable to square it up. Abeldt also mixes in a sweeping slider. It is an effective pitch, but one he throws almost exclusively to lefthanded hitters. Coming into this weekend, Abeldt has an ERA of 3.74 and has not allowed an earned run in his last 18.1 innings pitched. 

Indiana State 

Best hitter: Adam Pottinger, OF. On a team that is built on its pitching, Pottinger’s bat stands out among the rest. He is hitting .306 with 20 extra-base hits, including eight doubles and 11 home runs. Last weekend he went 4-for-10 with two home runs and three RBIs, and has recorded a hit in each of his last six games. The junior outfielder has hit his stride in the last month and a half, and this weekend he’ll look to continue his hot hitting. 

Best pitcher: Matt Jachec, RHP. The Sycamores’ pitching staff is a deep one, but the ever-reliable Jachec has been their best arm for two seasons. While he won’t blow you away with premium velocity, Jachec’s excellent pitchability is his calling card. He has advanced feel and command for all three of his offerings, with his above-average slider being the headliner. It has two-plane break and gets plenty of swing and miss, especially when it is located on the glove side. This season Jachec has a 4.05 ERA with 97 strikeouts to just 14 walks in 96.1 innings pitched. Expect for him to toe the rubber this Friday night against the Horned Frogs. 


Best hitter: Andrew Pinckney, OF. Pinckney has a tantalizing hit/power combination that has translated to a .347 average with 12 doubles, three triples and 17 home runs. He has an athletic operation in the box with big-time bat speed that enables him to drive the baseball to all parts of the field. Pinckney’s 56 RBIs are the second best on the team, and he is also a strong defender in the outfield with a plus arm. 

Best pitcher: Luke Holman, RHP. Alabama’s pitching staff has had its fair share of injuries as both Grayson Hitt and Ben Hess are out for the season, but Holman has both remained healthy and emerged as the most reliable arm for the Crimson Tide. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and plus breaking ball, Holman has notched 79 strikeouts in 75.1 innings pitched while holding opposing hitters to a .180 average. 

Wake Forest

Best hitter: Nick Kurtz, 1B. The Demon Deacons are loaded on both sides of the baseball and while projected day one draft pick Brock Wilken has had a monster 2023 campaign, Kurtz has been Wake’s best bat. The 6-foot-5 first baseman is hitting .384 with 10 doubles, 23 home runs and 67 RBIs. His excellent swing decisions have translated to a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 59-to-40 and a sky-high on-base percentage of .552. Kurtz’s long levers allow him to get the barrel on the ball no matter where the pitch is located, and he is one of the toughest outs in college baseball. 

Best pitcher: Rhett Lowder, RHP. The back-to-back ACC pitcher of the year has been the anchor of the best pitching staff in the country. He has pitched his way to a 1.77 ERA with an unbelievable 125-to-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 101.2 innings pitched. Lowder has a mid-90s fastball that he pairs with a plus slider and double-plus changeup. Lowder’s outstanding command combined with his sheer stuff makes for an incredibly difficult at-bat for opposing hitters, and they are hitting only .207 against him. 


Best hitter: Christian Moore, 2B. Moore is an on-base machine who has serious power in his strong righthanded swing. He is hitting .321 with 11 doubles and 17 home runs, while his 48 RBIs are second on the team. Moore is also an above-average runner and his 15 stolen bases are most among Tennessee hitters. Last weekend he went 7-for-10 with two doubles, four home runs and eight RBIs and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Clemson Regional. 

Best pitcher: Chase Dollander, RHP. While Andrew Lindsey has been outstanding since his move to the rotation, Dollander is a potential top-half of the first round selection and has the stuff to boot. Even though his ERA is a bit high at 4.50, Dollander’s upper-90s fastball and plus slider have led to 111 strikeouts across 78 innings of work. When he’s on, Dollander is as good as any pitcher in the country. 

Southern Miss 

Best hitter: Dustin Dickerson, SS. Dickerson is enjoying a career year offensively as he has set new career highs in home runs (10), RBIs (50) and stolen bases (13). His .328 average leads all Southern Miss hitters and his sound approach has led to 35 walks against 27 strikeouts. The junior shortstop has a knack for coming through in the clutch, and this weekend he will look to lead the Golden Eagles to their second College World Series appearance in program history. 

Best pitcher: Tanner Hall, RHP. Hall is the workhorse of the Southern Miss pitching staff and he has allowed only one earned run in his last 28 innings pitched. He has pitched his way to a 2.08 ERA this season with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 119-to-32. Hall throws nothing straight, and his sinker-slider combination baffles opposing hitters. Under the bright lights of Pete Taylor Park is where Hall thrives, and this weekend projects to be no different. 


Best hitter: Hunter Gilliam, 1B. The 6-foot-2 Gilliam has been the Wildcats’ most productive hitter this season, and has slugged his way to a .324 average with 13 doubles and a team-leading 12 home runs and 71 RBIs. He has above-average raw power, and consistently hammers balls into the gap. Kentucky this weekend has an uphill battle, but Gilliam has the ability to change the game with one big swing of the bat. 

Best pitcher: Mason Moore, RHP. Although he has exclusively been used out of the bullpen this season, Moore has established himself as Kentucky’s best and most reliable arm. He has a 1.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 50.2 innings pitched, but he consistently avoids hard contact and has held opposing hitters to a .167 average. Moore is an arm who can be used multiple times in a weekend, and last weekend he turned in 10 shutout frames across two separate five-inning appearances. 


Best hitter: Dylan Crews, OF. Crews has had an incredible season to this point with a .432/.573/.736 slash line. He has perhaps the best pure hit tool of anyone in college baseball, and his pro-like approach has led to 61 walks against 40 strikeouts. Crews’ operation in the box is one that won’t need much tinkering as he progresses through professional baseball, and he has plus bat speed with big-time strength in his forearms. He pulverizes anything in the strike zone and peppers all parts of the field with scorching line drives. 

Best pitcher: Paul Skenes, RHP. Skenes is not only the best pitcher in the country, but is perhaps the best pitcher in college baseball in the last decade. He has pitched his way to a 1.90 ERA with an astounding strikeout-to-walk ratio of 179-to-17 across 99.1 innings pitched. Skenes has held opposing hitters to a .171 average thanks to his elite three-pitch mix. His fastball has topped out at 102 mph and has plenty of arm-side run, his high-80s sweeping slider has big-time horizontal movement and is a borderline 80-grade pitch, and his changeup has ample tumbling action and arm-side fade. 


Best hitter: Dylan Campbell, OF. Campbell is riding a remarkable 38-game hitting streak and has put together a great season. The junior outfielder is hitting .345 with 18 doubles, 13 home runs and is 25-for-28 in stolen base attempts. He is one of a handful of veteran hitters that make the Longhorn offense go. Campbell is also a sound defender in right field with an above-average arm. 

Best pitcher: Lebarron Johnson Jr., RHP. Johnson Jr. is in the middle of what has been an outstanding two-month stretch. Last weekend he allowed one run in a complete game effort against Miami, and since April 8 he has allowed more than two runs in an appearance only once. Johnson Jr.’s fastball sits comfortably in the mid 90s, and is an offering he supplements with a hellacious slider that has a 50% miss rate. This season he has a 2.62 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 82.1 innings pitched.


Best hitter: Tommy Troy, 3B. Troy is one of the most polished bats in college baseball, and this season he has hit his way to a .410 average to go along with 16 doubles, 17 home runs and 57 RBIs in 53 games played. He has big-time “buggy whip” in his hands at the plate and really gets the barrel moving through the hitting zone. Troy makes his presence felt on the basepaths as well, and his 17 stolen bases are most on the Stanford roster. 

Best pitcher: Quinn Mathews, LHP. Mathews is as consistent as they come on the mound, and this year he won the Pac-12 pitcher of the year award for the second consecutive season. He has a 3.65 ERA with 136 strikeouts in 111 innings pitched. Mathews’ calling card is his plus changeup that he throws to both righthanded and lefthanded hitters, while his naturally deceptive delivery allows his fastball to play up. The veteran southpaw is used to pitching on the biggest of stages, and this weekend he has the chance to add another big-time start to his resume.

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