Image credit: East Carolina righthander Gavin Williams (Photo courtesy of ECU Media Relations)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, presented by Rapsodo, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy preview all eight super regionals taking place this weekend around the country.
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In order of when each super regional will begin, the eight series are:
- East Carolina taking on Vanderbilt in Nashville. The Commodores are looking to get to the College World Series to defend their national title from 2019, while the Pirates are looking for the first CWS appearance in program history.
- Texas Tech hosting Stanford in Lubbock. These two teams are built somewhat similarly. Both swing the bats well, and both have more questions on the mound, especially when it comes to depth. With Texas Tech historically playing well at home, it has to be given the edge in this one.
- Top-ranked Arkansas hosting North Carolina State. The Wolfpack swept through the Ruston Regional with relative ease, but hitting the road to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks is a different thing altogether, especially with Arkansas coming off of an emotional regional final win over Nebraska. For NC State to have any shot at an upset, it has to stay on schedule on the mound.
- Mississippi going to Tucson to take on Arizona. Both teams have things to hang their hat on when it comes to pitching, with Doug Nikhazy leading the Rebels and the Wildcats’ staff showing improvement of late, but this has the look of a very offensive series.
- Dallas Baptist and Virginia going at it in a neutral-site super regional in Columbia, S.C. Virginia has the pitching to neutralize DBU’s powerful offense, but will it be able to actually get it done? For the Patriots, can righthander Dominic Hamel out-pitch Cavaliers ace Andrew Abbott in game 1 and help the program to its first CWS?
- Mississippi State playing host to Notre Dame. If the Irish play anything close to as well as they played last weekend, they very well could be headed to Omaha. But MSU will have a raucous crowd at Dudy Noble backing the team and that can make a big difference, especially against a Notre Dame team that didn’t really play in front of crowds to any degree this season.
- Louisiana State taking on Tennessee in Knoxville. The Tigers will look to extend retiring coach Paul Mainieri’s career out at least another week, while the Volunteers will look to keep the ball rolling after an exciting regional weekend played in front of massive crowds at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. A series win for Tennessee would mean its first trip to Omaha since 2005.
- Texas hosting the biggest Cinderella team left, South Florida. The Bulls played well in winning the Gainesville Regional last weekend, but will have to take things up a notch this weekend to win a series against a team as talented, especially on the mound, as the Longhorns.