Breaking Down The Super-Regionals: Part II

Super-regional capsules for Saturday-Monday bracket

Super Regionals Schedule

All games are Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Oklahoma (44-20) at No. 2 Rice (53-10)
7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU)

South Carolina (40-23) at No. 7 Georgia (45-20)
11 a.m. (ESPN2), 4 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU)

Miami (Fla.) (39-21) at Mississippi (43-20)
7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Stanford (33-25) at Oregon St. (42-14)
10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

No one knows the super-regional teams better than their opponents. Will Kimmey talked to college coaches who had faced multiple teams still alive in the NCAA tournament and offered them anonymity in exchange for their candor.

RICE (53-10)

Coach (Record at school): Wayne Graham (680-267, 15 seasons)
CWS History: Four trips to Omaha, last in 2003; one championship in 2003
CWS Route: Won Houston regional in three games, beating Baylor in the final.

Top PlayersKey Stats
Eddie Degerman, rhp12-1, 1.67, 150-45 K-BB
Cole St. Clair, lhp5-2, 1.55, 91-24 K-BB, 11 saves
Joe Savery, 1b/lhp.336, 19 2B, 7 HR, 59 RBI; 5-1, 2.76 62-24 K-BB
Brian Friday, ss.377, 21 2B, 8 HR, 52 RBI
Josh Rodriguez, 3b.346, 9 HR, 20 2B, 58 RBI

Scouting Report

Obviously, they can pitch with anybody in the country and that probably includes most Double-A teams. The starting pitching is dominant. (Reliever) Bryce Cox just started to figure it out in the second half of the season by changing his arm action. He always had velocity, now he has control to go with it. He's a righthanded complement to St. Clair. And St. Clair is a game ender. If he's in the game and you're losing, you will not come back. He's a strikeout guy with power arm from the left side and college guys just do not see that.

When you score three or four runs on Rice, you feel like it's eight or nine. They have an athletic defense, so on the rare occasions you put it in play, they're going to catch it. Degerman, in terms of his stats, he's a front-line production guy. Savery will be a first-rounder next year (and) St. Clair is a first- (or) second-rounder next year. With that amount of a quality arms in a short series, you can't get to a bad arm.

Brian Friday is quality hitter. He's a line-drive power guy with a high average that gets on base a lot. Keeping him and Rodriguez and (Tyler) Henley off base is a key. The top three hitters are quality pro-type hitters. Savery is a power lefthanded bat, (Aaron) Luna has as much power as any freshman in country with a quick bat. He has some holes, but make a mistake and you're going to pay. Jordan Dodson is an adequate outfielder. He's in there for his bat, but he can get hot and carry you for a weekend.

You have to keep their offense down because they will keep yours down. You have to win 4-3, 3-2. You better move runners up when you can and you better drive runners in when you can because you won't have many opportunities to do it. On the flip side, if they start to score, it's going to be tough to come back. The team that will beat them needs dominant pitching, because if they can score on you, you're done.

OKLAHOMA (40-19)

Coach (Record with school): Sunny Golloway (40-19, one season)
CWS history: Nine trips to Omaha, last in 1995; two championships, last in 1994
CWS route: Won Norman regional in five games, beating Wichita State twice.

Top PlayersKey Stats
Daniel McCutchen, rhp9-8, 4.00, 138-41 K-BB
Chuckie Caufield, rf.358, 18 SB, 66 R, 9 HR, 17 2B
Ryan Rohlinger, 3b.377, 14 2B, 12 HR, 63 RBI
Kevin Smith, 1b.317, 9 HR, 65 RBI, 16 2B
Steven Guerra, rhp11-3, 3.59, 71-28 K-BB

Scouting Report

The whole infield has been there, done that, and knows what they're doing. They can really catch it, man. Their offense is tough to pitch to. They're all older hitters who do a good job making adjustments. Caufield is the spark plug. If he's on base consistently you’re in trouble. He can really run and gets it started.

Rohlinger and Smith and Kody Kaiser are just good hitters who in that park hit for power. They're more pure hitters who have some strength. Rohlinger is a great pure hitter and never gets fooled on a pitch. Mix patterns on them, you can't pitch the same guy the same way three times in a row. Show in and away, change speeds. They were really hot against us and just dialed in. Everything we threw, they knew what was coming. Stay out of the big inning; you can't walk guys or give up free outs or defensive mistakes. They have a lot of heart and play awfully hard. During that 12-game win streak, they won five or six in their last at-bat, leaving people on the field. They did that twice to Missouri. They never give up and keep battling. You can't let them back in games if you're up.

They've got to hit when McCutchen isn’t on the mound. You have to jump on them from the start and pitch them well. If you get them down some runs in an RBI situation, Smith or Rohlinger are antsy. You can get them to chase early because they know they're the guys. But they're going to hit and the opponent will as well.

McCutchen is ultra competitive, real high energy on mound with a good fastball and great curveball, that's his out pitch. Try and stay with him and battle pitch for pitch. He can get frustrated if you screw with his rhythm and step out. He wants to work fast. He's got great stuff and three good pitches and knows how to pitch. Do what you can to frustrate him and make sure you're ready to hit. The main weakness is, after McCutchen they don’t have a standout arm, they just pitch. Guerra has good numbers but he's 86-88 (mph) and just moves it around. He's definitely hittable. They play good defense behind their guys. They throw strikes and use the defense. They aren’t overpowering, McCutchen can be at times, but other than that it's going to be a pretty offensive game.


Coach (Record with school):
Ray Tanner (454-198, 10 seasons)
CWS History: Eight trips to Omaha, last in 2004
CWS Route: Won Charlottesville Regional in four games, beating Evansville in the final.

Top PlayersKey Stats
Justin Smoak, 1b.306, 17 2B, 16 HR, 61 RBI
Neil Giesler, 3b.357, 9 2B, 36 RBI
Wynn Pelzer, rhp5-4, 3.63, 63-35 K-BB, 5 saves
Mike Cisco, rhp7-4, 3.57, 71-22 K-BB
Phil Disher, dh.275, 5 HR, .627 SLG

Scouting Report

South Carolina is kind of an enigma. They were so hot for a while, then went into the tank. And now in regionals, they got it back with the Disher kid hitting in place of (Michael) Campbell after he got hurt. They've got good lefthanded hitting in Giesler and (Robbie) Grinestaff and Smoak. You're hoping Smoak and Giesler aren't up with guys scoring position. (Chris) Brown is a catalyst.

In the lineup and on the bench, they have guys who can homer. When they get big hits here and there, that's what make them effective. Smoak is one of best freshman hitters in the country. He doesn’t have that South Carolina approach of trying to drop bombs and yank everything. He shoots middle of field. I want to say pitch them backwards. They are very aggressive. If you get them 0-2, they are in big-time chase mode. A breaking ball pitcher can have good success with them, hitting with offspeed stuff. That's a recipe for success.

Pitching's kind of been their downfall. When they lost (Arik) Hempy (to Tommy John surgery), that really hurt because there's not a legit Friday guy now. Pelzer was awesome out of bullpen, but now he's starting and I don’t like many other guys out there. I love Pelzer and his split, but the other guys are typical South Carolina guys. They try to elevate the fastball, bury the breaking ball and throw a lot of offspeed stuff. They are generally up and down; instead of expanding (the strike zone) laterally they expand vertically. The big thing for them is can they slow teams down, because they're going to give up some runs. They have arm strength, but they get down in counts and get the ball up. They're got 90-91 (mph fastballs) but it gets straight.  

Their defensive numbers are really good. (Reese) Havens is talented at shortstop and Giesler does a nice job at third. (Trent) Kline is a good catcher. It's a typical South Carolina club in that they don’t beat themselves.

GEORGIA (41-19)

Coach (Record with school):
David Perno (177-122, five seasons)
CWS History: Four trips to Omaha, last in 2004; one championship, 1990
CWS Route: Won Athens Regional in five games, beating Florida State twice.

Top PlayersKey Stats
Joey Side, cf.352, 19 2B, 13 HR, 7 3B, 53 R
Josh Morris, 1b.311, 23 HR, 14 2B, 66 RBI
Joshua Fields, rhp3-2, 1.77, 50-11 K-BB, 15 saves
Brooks Brown, rhp7-4, 4.17, 111-38 K-BB
Gordan Beckham, ss.294, 17 2B, 12 HR, 52 RBI

Scouting Report

This is the best team in the league for me. They've got talent and prospects on mound and in position players. They've been swinging the bats really well. I don’t think they have an automatic out in the lineup; it's good 1-9, or at least 1-7. I love Joey Side, you don't want to see him up with runners on. You can't make mistakes to Morris or he'll hammer them. Morris hit 20-some home runs, but you feel like you can pitch to him, especially with some velocity you can get in on him.

I like their offensive approach. (New hitting coach) Doug Sisson made a dramatic difference in their hitters' approaches and team demeanor. They’re calm, play the game the right way. The same kids were there last year, but they're better. They stay on the baseball, trying to hammer it from left-center to right-center. You better be able to pitch.

They're pitching better now than what they did at the beginning of the year. Rip Warren is good now, Trevor Holder was good. You know what Brown brings, power stuff even if he's a little erratic. They're getting key quality outings from these guys. They've got a really nice mix. (Mickey) Westphal is crafty senior lefty who's done a nice job of pitching. (Nathan) Moreau is good as a freshman, and they have a stud in bullpen. They can mix and match with Warren to chase lefties and Fields has been lights out, up to 95 with a breaking ball that's good. It’s a seven-inning game, with Warren as a set up guy and Fields blowing it out. That gives them a lot of confidence. Westphal, a soft lefty, doesn’t overpower you. Take a middle-of-the-field and changeup approach. You can't get too big or undisciplined against him. They're effective because it's a soft lefty, Brown's got a good arm, then another lefty with a good arm. That's three looks in three days.

I really like Beckham at short, really like (Jason) Jacobs behind plate, that's good move with him. Side is premium defender in center, with him, (Bobby) Felmy and (Jonathan) Wyatt, they cover the outfield really well. (Ryan) Piesel at third, you can exploit.

MIAMI (39-21)

Coach (Record with school):
Jim Morris (602-218-3, 13 seasons)
CWS History: 21 trips to Omaha, last in 2004; four championships, last in 2001
CWS Route: Won Lincoln Regional in three games, beating Manhattan in the final

Top Players
Key Stats
Jon Jay, cf.361, 14 2B, 70 R, 28 SB
Jemile Weeks, 2b.346, 61 R, 17 2B, 9 3B
Tommy Giles, rf.343, 9 HR, 17 2B, 11 SB
Chris Perez, rhp3-1, 1.74, 12 saves
Scott Maine, lhp11-3, 4.37

Scouting Report

This isn't a typical Miami powerhouse team. They got in a good regional, not having to see Nebraska, but Jim Morris teams have a tendency to play better late anyway. It's funny, Miami reminds me of Florida State. FSU is so tough at home, they figure out a way to win. They have really, really good ballplayers, and they're young with Weeks, (Dennis) Raben and (Yonder) Alonso. Weeks is very special; his hands are so fast, he runs well, works the count in certain situations. (Catcher Eddy) Rodriguez is much better player this year than last year. Defensively, he's been good, but he's a better hitter now.

All the righthanded hitters are pull, all the lefthanded hitters are spray. Rodriguez and (Danny) Valencia you can pitch one way. Weeks, Alonso, Raben and Jay, each guy you pitch different. If you give them an opening they bust right through it. You have to play great baseball. A normal team might score one run, Miami will score six.

To me, their best player is Giles. He's a good runner with a flat bat in the zone who hits to all fields. You need to keep Weeks off the bases, man he can fly. He doesn't look good fundamentally defensively, but he makes every play and has range that's unbelievable. Alonso, don't let him get extended. He looks to pull. Jay, he doesn't look like anything special but he's a tough out. If you can throw upper 80s, you can get in on him, but not if you don't have a good fastball even if you locate. And Jay is super in center.

On mound they don’t have Friday night guy. Maine is closest thing to it. I like Maine. He's 88-92, good breaking ball with some feel and he attacks the zone. After that it really drops off. Obviously Perez is a stud in the bullpen; it's an eight-inning game with him. But he can be wild. (Andrew) Lane, Danny Gil, (Jon) McLean is good mix-match bullpen, so they can beat anybody late on any day. They are going to be exposed on the mound in a longer series. Be aggressive, make them throw offspeed stuff for strikes by going after fastballs.


Coach (Record with school):
Mike Bianco (241-130-1, six seasons)
CWS History: Four trips to Omaha, last in 1972
CWS Route: Won Oxford Regional in three games, beating Tulane in the final.

Top PlayersKey Stats
Chris Coghlan, 3b.349, 21 2B, 71 R, 24 SB
Zack Cozart, ss.333, 16 2B, 9 HR, 61 RBI, 14 SB
Alex Presley, cf.343, 18 2B, 7 3B, 60 RBI, 20 SB
Mark Wright, rf.301, 14 HR, 19 2B, 72 RBI
Will Kline, rhp5-2, 3.02, 71-21 K-BB

Scouting Report

Their veteran players from a year ago, when they were loaded, you look at Presley, Cozart, Coghlan, they all had solid years. They played Texas close last year and want to win more now and they can taste it. Coghlan is the best all-around hitter and an outstanding athlete who can beat you with a long ball, line drive, and he's trouble if he gets on base. Him and Presley are the best all-around players. Keep those top four guys off base. They're all athletic, quick and will steal. All line drive hitters. Not a traditional lineup with four slashers up top.

They play very good defense. I love (Justin) Henry at second base. That's a really good infield defense. Cozart is an outstanding shortstop, and I like (Justin) Brashear catching and throwing. He's a decent player who got hot in the regional. He'll hit mistakes and can be pitched to, but will hurt you with a mistake. That's pretty much the bottom of the order, they hurt your mistakes. Mark Wright scares you because he's got bat speed, but not a lot of other guys scare you--but they're good. They have a lot of early action guys that want to swing the first pitch of the at-bat. You want them to get them to swing at pitches early in the count, rather than take pitches and get an advantage.

On the mound they're new. They lost so much. Those guys have gotten better as year's gone on. The key is development, so many guys who hadn't pitched before are out there. Bianco does a great job with his pitchers. Being a former catcher, he's not afraid to run guys out there. Kline is their best arm now, but he threw relief against us and stuffed it. Ole Miss, I do think you can score against them. The pitching is improved, but none of their guys run out there with dominant stuff. The most dominant stuff guys are Lance Lynn and Cody Satterwhite, the two freshmen, but they're the Sunday guy and a bullpen guy. Lynn is one-pitch guy; if he doesn’t establish his second pitch, lefties will get to him if they can handle the fastball. (Brett) Bukvich is mid-80s and throws three pitches for strikes. Take borderline pitches; generally the staff as a whole doesn’t have great command. Take some pitches and get some walks, get advantage counts.


Coach (Record with school): Pat Casey (383-251-4, 12 seasons)
CWS History: Two trips to Omaha, last in 2005
CWS Route: Won Corvallis Regional in three games, beating Hawaii in the final.

Top PlayersKey Stats
Cole Gillespie, lf.383, 23 2B, 12 HR, 15 SB, 73 R
Dallas Buck, rhp11-2, 3.01, 82-51 K-BB
Jonah Nickerson, rhp10-4, 2.67, 105-31 K-BB
Darwin Barney, ss.339, .444 OBP, 14 SB
Kevin Gunderson, lhp2-2, 2.40 16 saves

Scouting Report

They've got three really good starters. Buck is Buck. And Buck wins. Talk about his stuff being down or whatever, he still goes out there and sinks it and you can't do much with it. Nickerson is probably a better pitcher. He mixes pitches well, his fastball is right around 90. To me he's going to give you some problems. They key against them is to make it where Gunderson can't get into the game. The other arms are OK.

They have team speed but the pitchers do such a good job throwing strikes and avoiding big innings. The middle infield is as good as anything we saw this year. Barney and (Chris) Kunda can really play defense. Barney's a spark plug for the team, a leader on defense and offense.

Gillespie's the real deal, as good as hitter as we saw all year. He's head and shoulders their best guy and he'll hit doubles on good pitches. Barney is real good, and (Mitch) Canham is a good player with some power. They're good offensively, very underrated. What they did to us, they took advantage of a bad inning. They do a really good job of putting pressure on you, starting runners with hit and run, bunting, (being) very aggressive. Once they get a baserunner, there's going to be something coming. They execute really well. We didn’t want to double up pitches or live in one part of zone or live with one pitch. They adjust well. We tried to mix on them and change speeds and go in and out. They're really smart hitters. It's important to all guys 1-to-9 to get a sac bunt, a sac fly. Get the leadoff man out; that limits their offense. But they're real good at getting on base. They take every breaking ball until they get a strike, so throw breaking balls early and they'll take it for strike one and you get ahead.

Buck is probably pissed where he got drafted (second round), same with Nickerson and Gunderson, I would think they're going to be on fire. They're not happy and lost money and I bet they're on a mission. They got to Omaha last year, so they have that experience, and you often see teams build on that the next year if they return a lot of key guys. It's not just about getting there.

STANFORD (33-25)

Coach (Record with team): Mark Marquess (1,257-615-5, 30 seasons)
CWS History: 15 trips to Omaha, last in 2003; two championships, last in 1988
CWS Route: Won Austin Regional in three games, beating North Carolina State in the final

Top PlayersKey Stats
Greg Reynolds, rhp 7-5, 3.36, 99-28 K-BB
Chris Minaker, ss.363, 11 HR, 20 2B, 68 RBI
Ryan Seawell, cf.323, .426 OBP,
Chris Lewis, 2b.311, 8 HR, 48 RBI, 14 2B
Nolan Gallagher, rhp5-4, 3.75, 48-28 K-BB

Scouting Report

More than anything they're just Stanford, in regionals and supers it's ho-hum, let's play. They play within themselves. I can definitely see them getting out of that super-regional if they play like they can play, up to their potential. Stanford has talent. They made a bunch of lineup and rotation changes over the year and now they feel pretty good with guys they have plugged into certain spots. They're absolutely a different team now than early on, and they've got that witch doctor in the dugout, he'll give you fits.

Offensively, they weren’t going real good when we played them, but the potential was there. They have big physical guys in the lineup. (John) Hester can be a really good hitter, (Jim) Rapoport (.249/.310/.340) had a bad year, but he caused havoc on bases. One guy that destroyed us was Minaker. He was awesome. He's a spark plug, the team goes with him. That offense is real tough right now, they got hot at the right time. They knocked Texas and NC State around. Minaker is really good, spraying to all fields and making adjustments. He's a senior and was by far the best hitter. (Michael) Taylor played really well, Lewis had a good series. The had a good approach, good situational stuff with getting bunts down and running the bases. They really take advantage of mistakes by pitchers, you've got to get ahead. Pitch backwards some and hit with your breaking ball. You can pitch to Lewis, he can spin off the ball. Minaker is the most dangerous, he'll make adjustments and attack. Pitch him different throughout the game.

Greg Reynolds has as much stuff as anyone we’ve faced this year. He cruised for five innings before we got to him late. Beating him is tough to win that first game. He's the real deal, throws the fastball for strikes in and out of the zone, with a good breaking ball and a changeup. Reynolds got hot when they got hot. He was OK and just god enough to get you beat early on. That's the major difference for the team. One thing that impressed me was the young lefthander. Jeremy Bleich was nasty. He fills it up and can be upper 80s. The rest of pitching is just average. Gallagher is a good college pitcher.  That's three pretty good college starters, they can be pretty tough with those guys. Reynolds has no pattern, he throws three pitches in any count, but you want the ball down against him. Bleich got 1-0, 2-0 counts and we took advantage of his fastball.