Columbia Super Regional: Anonymous Coaches Break Down Dallas Baptist, Virginia
Coach: Dan Heefner
Postseason history: Second super regional appearance (first since 2011). Seeking first trip to Omaha.
Postseason route: No. 3 seed in Fort Worth Regional. Went 3-1, defeated Oregon State in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Patriots)
“If you get them in a hitter’s ballpark, they are as dangerous as any team in the country. They know how to elevate pitches and put them up into the air when they play at their home yard, which is very conducive to that. When you get them in environments like that, they are as dangerous as anybody.”
“The lineup goes through Jackson Glenn. He’s probably the most mature hitter they have. He is the one that will take the walk, will take that close pitch more often than some of the other guys. I think when he goes, they go, that type of situation. I think he is their leader and he also provides the confidence that they need to go into an environment like this, being as veteran a guy as he is and being the player of the year.
“We didn’t do it very well, he got to us multiple times, but you have to mix it with (Glenn). You have to not let him see the same timing consistently. It’s got to be plus, minus, plus, minus, north, south, and constantly change his eyesight and his timing because if you let him time it up, you’re going to be done.
“The guy that got us and has gotten us in the past is (Andres) Sosa. Not great, jump-off-the-page numbers, (but) he always seems to be the guy that we know how to pitch him, but we’re constantly 2-0 or 3-1 to him and he will make you pay in a big-time way. He’s kind of a guy that you almost feel like is hiding in the lineup and is laying low in the weeds, and you get through some of the big-name guys and you kind of relax and boom, he gets you.
“Dom Hamel has a Power Five conference fastball. He will run the ball up in the zone. You have to lay off of that pitch. If you cannot lay off the fastball up, you’re going to pop up and strike out 15 times a game and all of the sudden, you look up and it’s the eighth inning. Great presence, great confidence on the mound.
“Same type of situation arm strength-wise (with Rhett Kouba), a little bit more east or west type of guy. The ball will run out of his hand in on your hands and he can pull that slider away, where Hamel is more of a north and south type of guy. It just depends on who you match up better with offensively. Both of those guys give (DBU) a chance to win a super without getting to the third game.
“They don’t have that push-button bullpen where in the seventh inning you know who’s coming in, in the eighth inning you know who’s coming in, all of that, so I think you have that situation where they continue to run the right stuff at you until the right guy clicks that day and then they stick with him. I think that tends to be their approach.
“I think Dan (Heefner) is very smart with (bullpen usage). He knows (he can) continue running out similar stuff. He’s going to wait until he hits on the right guy for the right day.
“I think it will be interesting to see how their defenders play on a natural surface field. Obviously, if they played that many home games this year, and they also played the conference tournament on turf, I think if you’re going to beat them, you’re going to need to test their infielders on a natural surface, which is something that most teams have a hard time doing.”
Coach: Brian O’Connor
Postseason history: Seventh super regional appearance (first since 2015). Seeking fifth trip to Omaha and first since 2015.
Postseason route: No. 3 seed in Columbia Regional. Went 4-1, defeating Old Dominion in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Cavaliers)
“Andrew Abbot is what stands out. That kid is unbelievable. In the last decade in the ACC, I would put him with Reid Detmers, Brendan McKay, Danny Hultzen as one of the best lefthanded starters I’ve seen. He can pitch, he’s confident. And it’s not just stuff. It’s stuff, pitchability, confidence and execution.
“The problem against Abbott is he’s got the fastball at the bottom of the zone with the changeup off of that. He can put the fastball where he wants. He’s got the changeup coming off of that. Hitters get stuck in between and then he’s ahead. Then you talk about the spin. And there’s deception and pitchability. Every time something starts to get going with him, he’ll either go sinker away, groundball double play and you’re back to the dugout, like what just happened. Or he’ll go 0-1, pop out, punchout, threat gone. It’s every time. It’s so hard to get something going off of him.
“The rest of the pitching staff was good, not great. But they looked like they were unhittable in regionals. Their lineup right now is completely confident, they play great defense, there’s pressure throughout. (Associate head coach Kevin McMullan) runs the offense that they run. The ball’s going to be in play, they’ll bunt, hit and run and then they might hit the home run to walk you off. They’ve got guys with thump. I love Kyle Teel. I know he’s only a freshman but there’s so much energy from his at-bats. I felt like the guys fed off of him.
“I think the momentum is sustainable for Virginia because it’s been a build. And it’s a good team. It’s not your No. 3 seed that snuck in and played its butt off for a weekend. They scuffled early. Everybody thought they would be good and then they scuffled. They didn’t get hot at the end, they just started playing better and better. I don’t look at them as a team that got hot at the end, (I) just look at a team getting better and better.”
Missouri Baseball: Five Questions to Answer Entering 2022
Coming off of a tough 2021 season, Missouri has hit the reset button.
Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Sunday, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2 or ESPNU)
Monday, 1 p.m. ET (ESPNU) if necessary