2010 Atlanta Regional

Capsules by Barrett Neale, Michael Perry, Matt Mullen, Andrew Woods, Sean Ryan, Phil Stanton


1. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8)

Atlanta, Georgia

At-large bid from ACC

2010 record: 21-9, 45-13 (second in Coastal Division)

Head coach: Danny Hall (Miami (Ohio), 1977)

Record at school: 743-326-1, 17 years

Overall record: 943-443-1, 23 years

Assistant coaches: Tom Kinkelaar, Bryan Prince, Matt White

Team offense: .325 BA, 539 R, 114 HR, .578 SLG%, .423 OB%, 54/75 SB

Team pitching: 3.96 ERA, 516 IP, 517 H, 176 BB, 489 K

Top hitters: Derek Dietrich (.360/16/58), Tony Plagman (.357/19/73/.706 SLG), Matt Skole (.344/19/61/.697 SLG), Chase Burnette (.348/15/63), Thomas Nichols (.369/10/40), Jeff Rowland (.326/10/41/11-15 SB), Cole Leonida (.306/11/55)

Top pitchers: Andrew Robinson (4-0, 2.67, 7 SV, 30.1 IP, 32 IP, 8 BB, 24 K), Deck McGuire (8-4, 3.01, 104.2 IP, 86 H, 31 BB, 112 K), Jed Bradley (9-4, 4.17, 86.1 IP, 98 H, 22 BB, 95 K), Mark Pope (7-1, 4.26, 1 SV, 69.2 IP, 85 H, 11 BB, 63 K), Brandon Cumpton (9-2, 4.95, 72.2 IP, 82 H, 30 BB, 52 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2009 (2-3 at Atlanta Regional)

Notes: This is Georgia Tech’s 26th trip to the postseason, and its 24th during the past 26 years. It is also the Jackets’ 15th regional during coach Danny Hall’s 17 years in Atlanta, and their 10th time as a Regional host. Hall won his 900th game at Georgia Tech on Feb. 20 and is the winningest coach in program history. The Yellow Jackets have had a successful month, winning 11 of their past 15 games. They are currently second in the country with 114 home runs, behind Auburn’s 117. The Yellow Jackets had a league-high four members selected to the All-ACC First Team – senior first baseman Tony Plagman, sophomore third baseman Matt Skole, junior shortstop Derek Dietrich and junior Deck McGuire, the 2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year. Plagman is among five ACC players leading the conference with 19 home runs this season, bringing his career total to 53, and he needs only five more to break the school record that current Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek set from 1991-94. Dietrich, whose teammates call him “D-Boi,” comes from an athletic family – his grandfather, Steve Demeter, is a former major league infielder and coach and his sister, Dawn, is a former professional ice skater – and he spent two years as a member of the St. Ignatius Circus Company in Ohio, juggling at community service and charity events. Sophomore pitcher Jed Bradley and junior two-way player Thomas Nichols were voted onto the All-ACC Second Team.


2. Alabama Crimson Tide

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

At-large bid from SEC

2010 record: 15-15, 37-22 (fourth in SEC West)

Head coach: Mitch Gaspard (Louisiana-Lafayette, 1988)

Record at school: 37-22, 1 year

Overall record: 248-150, 7 years

Assistant coaches: Dax Norris, Kyle Bunn, Bobby Barbier

Team offense: .297 BA, 416 R, 53 HR, .441 SLG%, .391 OBP, 62-84 SB

Team pitching: 4.90 ERA, 525.1 IP, 578 H, 189 BB, 459 K

Top hitters: Taylor Dugas (.391/1/33/13 2B/18-22 SB), Josh Rutledge (.357/8/61/15 2B/14-17 SB), Clay Jones (.332/15/58/13 2B), Jon Kelton (.299/1/30/13 2B), Ross Wilson (.259/7/40), Jake Smith (.249/11/47)

Top pitchers: Nathan Kilcrease (6-2, 4 SV, 2.47 ERA, 80 IP, 59 H, 15 BB, 68 K), Jimmy Nelson (8-2, 3.69 ERA, 97.2 IP, 91 H, 26 BB, 89 K), Brett Whitaker (2-3, 3 SV, 4.65 ERA, 31 IP, 33 H, 10 BB, 27 K), Taylor Wolfe (3-2, 5.50 ERA, 37.2 IP, 47 H, 21 BB, 41 K), Adam Morgan (6-4, 6.04 ERA, 79 IP, 101 H, 29 BB, 63 K)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2009 (0-2 at Clemson Regional)

Notes: Alabama returns to the NCAA tournament for the 10th time in the past 13 years. Alabama is back in the field under first-year coach Mitch Gaspard, who returned to Alabama in 2008 as an assistant for the second time after serving as head coach at Northwestern State from 2001-07. The Crimson Tide was the No. 7 seed but reached the SEC title game. Leadoff man Taylor Dugas, who batted .518 in 340 high school at-bats, has an on-base average of .538 and has walked or been hit by a pitch 69 times compared to 18 strikeouts. His brother Tyler played at McNeese State. Cleanup man Clay Jones is the biggest power threat, slugging at .605. Jones' brother Ben is a football player at Georgia. Junior Josh Rutledge has started at short for three years and was only the second freshman to led Alabama in hitting (Dave Magadan also did it) - his brother Michael played at Mississippi State and Samford. Starter Jimmy Nelson's dad played football and ran track at Florida and his mother played basketball at Florida State. Reliever Nathan Kilcrease is only 5-6, 160, but limits opponents to a .205 average. Starter Adam Morgan's father played for Bama's 1983 national runner-up squad.


3. Elon Phoenix

Elon, North Carolina

At-large bid from Southern Conference

2010 record: 19-11, 38-22 (third in SoCon)

Head coach: Mike Kennedy (Elon, 1991)

Record at school: 474-329-3, 14 years

Overall record: 474-329-3, 14 years

Assistant coaches: Greg Starbuck, Robbie Huffstetler, Nick Brannon

Team offense: .297 BA, 472 R, 83 HR, .484 SLG%, .401 OB%, 96-127 SB

Team pitching: 5.41 ERA, 539 IP, 609 H, 233 BB, 421 K

Top hitters: Neal Pritchard (.345/11/46/15 SB), Scott Riddle (.317/6/31), Matt Hinson (.315/16/49), Mike Melillo (.312/11/56/12-19 SB), Alex Swim (.309/1/34/12 2B), Ryan Adams (.300/11/57/18 2B), Niko Fraser (.290/1/21/10-12 SB)

Top pitchers: Kyle Webb (0-3, 4 SV, 3.41 ERA, 37 IP, 33 H, 15 BB, 28 K), Jimmy Reyes (10-3, 3.97 ERA, 95.1 IP, 92 H, 21 BB, 95 K), Daniel Britt (5-2, 4.62 ERA, 78 IP, 88 H, 25 BB, 52 K), Ken Ferrer (9-5, 4.99 ERA, 70.1 IP, 74 H, 32 BB, 50 K), Thomas Girdwood (3-2, 8 SV, 5.33 ERA, 27 IP, 22 H, 11 BB, 25 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2009 (1-2 at Atlanta Regional)

Notes: Elon is in the tourney for the third straight year and fifth time overall. The Phoenix went 2-2 in the Southern Conference Tournament, with the two losses coming in extra innings to top seed and eventual winner The Citadel. Pitcher Jared Kernodle and starting third baseman Scott Riddle will miss the opening game of the NCAA Tournament against Alabama as they sit out the third of a three-game suspension for a fight with The Citadel during the SoCon tourney. Both missed the final two games of the tournament for the Phoenix. Riddle is also the starting quarterback on Elon’s football team. Catcher Mike Melillo suffered an injury to his left thumb against The Citadel and was forced to DH for the final two SoCon tourney games. Melillo started the “Pinch Hit for Haiti” fundraising effort to assist the earthquake victims through the Red Cross. More that $17,000 has been raised.


4. Mercer Bears

Macon, Georgia

At-large bid from Atlantic Sun

2010 record: 16-11, 37-22 (second in Atlantic Sun)

Head coach: Craig Gibson (Mercer, 1986)

Record at school: 162-168, six years

Overall record: same

Assistant coaches: Brent Shade, Kyle Bedrosian

Team offense: .340 BA, 505 R, 89 HR, .549 SLG, .414 OBP, 80/97 SB

Team pitching: 5.66 ERA, 517.0 IP, 596 H, 197 BB, 410 K

Top hitters: Michael Langley (.396/6/48/99 H/.572 SLG), Jacob Tanis (.382/22/86/.744 SLG), Billy Burns (.374/2/25/29-33 SB), Nick DiMauro (.360/2/48), Tyler McCarty (.345/ 4/34), John Moreland (.312/21/52/ .683 SLG)

Top pitchers: David Teasley (5-1, 5 SV, 4.57, 69.0, 64 H, 27 BB, 63 K), Matt McCall (7-2, 4.57, 69.0, 69 H, 29 BB, 41 K), Brandon Love (8-3, 6.19, 68.1, 87 H, 27 BB, 62 K)

Last NCAA appearance: This is Mercer’s first trip

Notes:  This is Mercer’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament after defeating Jacksonville 7-3 to win the Atlantic Sun Championship. The Bears earned their first conference title since 1983. Coach Craig Gibson was on that 1983 team, which at the time was part of the Trans America Athletic Conference and did not get an automatic berth in the NCCA tournament. The A-Sun Championship was the school’s fourth title (1979, 1981, 1983, 2010). Their final record of 37-22 gave them the most wins in a single season since 1981 when they won 39. In the championship game, the Bears got things going early in the top of the first when Michael Langley knocked in Billy Burns with an RBI double. Langley’s double gave him 98 hits on the season, which tied the record for single-season hits. The Bears struck again in the sixth with a home run by Jacob Tanis, his 22nd on the year and conference-leading 86th RBI. Tanis was voted A-Sun Tournament MVP and Brandon Love, David Teasley, Nick DiMauro and Billy Burns all joined him on the All-Tournament team. Assistant coach Kyle Bedrosian pitched for Mercer and is the son of former major leaguer Steve “Bedrock” Bedrosian. Former major leaguer and star at Georgia Jeff Treadway is the Bears’ volunteer coach.