June 5, 2009

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Picking the Super Regionals


We bring back our prognosticators for a look at the upcoming Super Regionals. Along with Phil and Sean we have Allen Brown, a former pitcher from Rice who played from 1993-96 and covered the Houston Regional; Joe Godri, the head coach at Villanova; and Steve Hill, our favorite calculus teacher at Toms River North High School in Toms River, N.J. We have one new predictor, Tracy Woodson, the head coach at Valparaiso.


In case you weren’t keeping score at home, Phil went 12-4 in regional picks, followed by Sean and Tracy at 10-6, Allen and Steve at 9-7 and Joe at 8-8.




Allen: Texas (as they do against any team in the nation) has superior starting pitching to TCU. TCU is a better, deeper, more diversified offensive team than Texas. Good pitching beats good hitting in Austin as Horns advance.


Joe: I love these in-state battles, everyone in the Lone Star knows which the better team is. Most of TCU players grew up Longhorn fans only to be Frogs (Toads) at the end of the day. As a Colorado State alum I am pulling for the MWC and friend Jim Schlossnagle hard! Horns won earlier in year 6-Love. Horns woes continue at plate but arms pitch Texas to Omaha. Texas 2-0


Phil: Texas got stretched by Boston College and Army in its regional. The Longhorns have the better arms and win in two close games.


Sean: Longhorns get back to Omaha, but it’s not easy. Texas in three.

Steve: Texas in 2


Tracy: Texas - pitching wins and they do it well

Baton Rouge


Allen: These teams are fairly evenly matched on offense and in starting ptiching with LSU holding an advantage in the bullpen and Rice holding an edge on defense. This series will be interesting and close with LSU prevailing at home in three games.


Joe: 2008 CWS elimination rematch. My Cat's opened the season at the new "Box." I assure you Wayne Graham's Rice Owls have never witnessed what they are about to encounter on the Bayou. Rice's Berry stuns the Bengal Tigers with a complete game victory in Game 1. After that, Owls become Tiger bait!  One of the true genuine men in college baseball, Paul Mainieri, makes the trip back to Nebraska! LSU in 3


Phil: The Tigers will take advantage of the home turf and turn back the Owls in two.


Sean: Teams split first two, Tigers take third at the new Box. (Can we order up a sky like last year’s Super Regional?)

Steve: LSU in 3


Tracy: LSU - Rice struggled a bit in regional and it catches up with them this time

Chapel Hill


Allen: These teams play each other regularly and there will not be any secrets. The Pirates got through their regional at home despite fairly poor starting pitching. That won't cut it in Chapel Hill as the Heels win.  


Joe: Here we go again! The battle for North Carolina gets you a greyhound ticket to Omaha. I need to use the same breakdown here as I did with the Lone Star regional. That means the Pirates know the Tar Heels are better. My goodness they call North Carolina the "Tar Heel State." ECU's Bill Goodwin should be a Coach of the Year candidate but the BUC Stops HERE!  White & Warren and thanks for coming! UNC in 2


Phil: The Pirates can hit and should enjoy hitter-friendly Boshamer. Heels have better arms and survive in three.


Sean: Alex White returns to form. Tar Heels win in two close games.

Steve: North Carolina in 2


Tracy: UNC - might be best team in the field



Allen: The Titans continue to roll at home and advance in two games over Louisville.


Joe: Tough handicapping here. I am a big fan of the Titians style of play and my Wildcats are in the Big East with the Redbirds! After 12 head-to-head match-ups with Dan McDonald's Cards over the last three seasons I know all to well about the Birds offense and LHPs. I say Cards Justin Marks gets it done in his game and the Redbird offense of Dominquez, Wunderlich, and Clark string a big inning together in Game 3 to advance. Louisville in a real tight three games.


Phil: Louisville had played so well over the past five weeks. The Cards keep it going and win in three close games over the Titans.


Sean: Cardinals make it interesting, but the Titans take it in two.

Steve: Cal State Fullerton in 2


Tracy: Fullerton - travel for Louisville will hurt



Allen: The Gators played well at home last weekend in a competitive regional. They play well again this weekend and end the Corky Palmer victory tour.


Joe: Coach Corky Palmer's retirement party will be held after a 2 & Q BBQ in OMAHA!! Eagles gore Gators in two! Coach Palmer, congratulations on a wonderful career!


Phil: Gators shed crocodile tears for Coach Palmer and win in two.


Sean: Gators end Golden Eagles run in two.

Steve: Florida in 3


Tracy: Florida - don't think Southern Miss has enough to beat the Gators



Allen: Another SEC vs. ACC match-up. No team was more impressive than the Cavs in the Regionals. With Scott Bittle unavailable on the mound for the Rebs and with Drew Pomeranz unable to pitch until Saturday at the earliest, UVa advances to the World Series.


Joe: Toughest regional on board. Two of the best young skippers in the game with Bianco & O'Connor. This is the Rebels fourth Super Regional in five seasons with nothing to show for it with better clubs. The Cavs have a lot of young 'CALF'S' running around on the diamond. Experience on this stage, experience in the lineup, and a great flag-waving deep south home field advantage all points to the Rebels advancing.... So I will go with UVa & O'Connor to navigate through a close three-game series. UVa in 3


Phil: Cavaliers got outstanding pitching and did not commit an error in three regional games. Rabid Rebel fans will try to rattle the Wahoos. Ole Miss outlasts UVa in three.


Sean: Cavaliers continue their odyssey to Omaha. Virginia in three.

Steve: Virginia in 3


Tracy: UVa - The region they won shows just how good they are



Allen: An intriguing match-up of SEC vs. ACC. I doubt the Seminoles will score 37 in a game (or probably even in the whole series) against the Hogs, but Florida State will prevail at home in three games.


Joe: Never easy for Mike Martin’s Noles to advance through. Over the past few seasons the NCAA certainly has challenged the Noles by sending Georgia (twice), Texas and now Arkansas to Tallahassee for these types of games. 37-6 vs. Ohio State, Coach Martin better hope the baseball gods aren't Buckeye fans!!! I had the Hogs to win in Norman on the plains but now in the humidity in the swamp like conditions of north Florida I have the Noles in 2.


Phil: Florida State is on a mission to prove it should have been a national seed and sweeps the Hogs in two.


Sean: Seminoles slug past Hogs in three (in a tossup for me).

Steve: Florida State in 3


Tracy: Arkansas - upset of these regionals even though they are pretty good



Allen: Sun Devils roll into the World Series in two straight behind Mike Leake and company.


Joe:  Clash of two legendary college baseball programs. Side bar, I believe both programs wear white spikes, this might be only location that happens this weekend. Tim Esmay one of the best guys I ever work for is on the Sun Devils bench. Sun Devils won't need to stage a fight this year! ASU declaw the Tiger's under a cactus! GO DEVILS......in 2!


Phil: Sun Devils look to erase memory of Super Regional loss a year ago and tame Tigers in two.


Sean: Sun sets on Tigers’ season. Sun Devils in two, but the games are close.


Steve: Arizona State in 2


Tracy: Arizona State - Clemson struggled to win their regional and now they go to Tempe, I don't think so

(photo courtesy of Texas Media Relations Office)