Fayetteville Super Regional: Anonymous Coaches Break Down Arkansas, NC State
Coach: Dave Van Horn
Postseason history: 13th super regional appearance (third straight). Seeking 10th trip to Omaha and third straight.
Postseason route: No. 1 seed in Fayetteville Regional. Went 3-1, defeating Nebraska in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Razorbacks)
“I’ve never seen anything like Kevin Kopps. You could go back to the best pitchers that have thrown in this league over time. You could go back to David Price, Luke Hochevar, has anybody ever been that dominant? To not talk about that would not be giving any credit to the truth. The truth is, has anyone ever been that dominant, that good? You can see the stuff on TV, you see the hitters and you think, ‘What’s wrong with these guys, they’re just not hitting it?’ Then you get to the field and you see the spin on that slider. It’s at such another level, the spin on that ball and stuff. Nobody’s figured him out yet. Everybody’s been waiting, when he’s going to get tired or fatigued but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s been crazy. To me, it’s absolutely crazy what he’s done.
“It’s Kopps and then what Casey Opitz has done behind that plate handling all those arms is just incredible to me. It’s a very good team. A lot of guys can hurt you. He’s been incredible behind home plate.
“What Robert Moore has done has been impressive. It feels like he has a thing for the moment. That’s the thing that’s been most impressive. Most of those hits come at big times. He’s just a guy that isn’t fazed by the moment and it’s to the point where when he’s up in the moment, you think something is going to happen. That’s what’s been most impressive.
“You’re talking about a really good catcher, an unbelievable center fielder and a really good middle infield.
“You talk about all the home runs they hit and the defense, but the separator has been they’ve gotten some good starting pitching and then Kopps.”
North Carolina State
Coach: Elliott Avent
Postseason history: Fifth super regional appearance (first since 2013). Seeking third trip to Omaha and first since 2013.
Postseason route: No. 2 seed in Ruston Regional. Went 3-0, defeating Louisiana Tech in regional final.
Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Wolfpack)
“I thought they were awesome. I thought the lineup was awesome. They do damage throughout, they’ve got good at bats throughout. The issue early on was the bullpen, but their starting pitching is really good. They were able to shorten what they needed in the bullpen with good starts. They just weren’t throwing the ball well early in the year. When we played them, I thought they could go to Omaha. Their lineup is scary top to bottom.
“They play defense all over the place. At times in the past, their defense would be their weaker point They’ve had teams in the past that were just OK defensively. But this year they have speed in the outfield, Jose Torres is awesome at shortstop. I would probably say I thought the issue would be the bullpen, but it hasn’t been that way.
“To compete with Arkansas, you’ve got to be able to score and NC State can bang with them. They can mash. They’ve got five good arms. After that, they’re in trouble. They’ve got two good lefties in the pen and three righthanders that can throw multiple pitches for strikes. They’re very competitive. This will not be a cake walk.”
'Jonny Barrels' Arrives: Butler Leads NC State To College World Series Opening Win
A five-RBI day from Jonny Butler and shutdown relief work from Evan Justice led NC State to a 10-4 win over Stanford to open the College World Series.
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