2010 Columbia Regional

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


1. South Carolina Gamecocks

Columbia, South Carolina

At-large bid from SEC

2010 record: 21-9, 43-15 (second in SEC East)

Head coach: Ray Tanner (North Carolina State, 1980)

Record at school: 623-281, 14 years

Overall record: 1,018-454-3, 23 years

Assistant coaches: Chad Holbrook, Mark Calvi, Sammy Esposito

Team offense: .299 BA, 422 R, 82 HR, .489 SLG%, .393 OBP, 42-62 SB

Team pitching: 3.62 ERA, 521.2 IP, 445 H, 191 BB, 520 K

Top hitters: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.372/9/43/10 2B), Brady Thomas (.333/8/28/11 2B), Whit Merrifield (.329/12/36/12-18 SB), Adam Matthews (.317/7/29/11 2B), Christian Walker (.308/6/39), Jeffery Jones (.308/8/29)

Top pitchers: Jose Mata (6-1, 2.29 ERA, 35.1 IP, 27 H, 8 BB, 29 K), Matt Price (3-1, 7 SV, 2.83 ERA, 41.1 IP, 28 H, 17 BB, 62 K), Blake Cooper (10-1, 2.94 ERA, 104 IP, 86 H, 29 BB, 88 K), Sam Dyson (5-5, 3.92 ERA, 82.2 IP, 77 H, 17 BB, 86 K)

Last NCAA Appearance: 2009 (2-2 at Greenville Regional)

Notes: South Carolina is back in the field after finishing second in the SEC. The Gamecocks have finished first or second in their division in the SEC regular season in 10 of coach Ray Tanner's 14 years. Tanner previously was the boss at NC State. USC finished unbeaten (14-0) in nonconference midweek games for the first time and is one of eight teams to win 40-plus games each of the past 11 seasons. The Gamecocks were CBI's team of the week earlier this year. Blake Cooper (31 career wins) is a Golden Spikes Award candidate and leads the SEC in wins and innings. He is fourth in opponents' average (.223), sixth in ERA and seventh in Ks. Freshman Matt Price has struck out 62 in 41.1 innings and limits hitters to a .187 average. Opponents hit only .231 off the USC pitching staff. Catcher Brady Thomas, a part-time starter, has 35 hits, 20 of which are for extra-bases (.686 slugging). Jackie Bradley Jr. does a little of everything, slugging .571 and getting on base at a .471 clip. The Gamecocks are 35-1 when leading after seven.

2. Virginia Tech Hokies

Blacksburg, Virginia

At-large bid from ACC

2010 record: 16-15, 38-20 (fourth in Coastal Division)

Head coach: Pete Hughes (Davidson, 1990)

Record at school: 116-104, 4 years

Overall record: 418-415-2, 14 years

Assistant coaches: Dave Turgeon, Mike Gambino, Mike Kunigonis

Team offense: .322 BA, 460 R, 76 HR, .519 SLG%, .401 OB%, 65/88 SB

Team pitching: 4.67 ERA, 511 IP, 511 H, 182 BB, 504 K

Top hitters: Steve Domecus (.371/12/58/.646 SLG), Austin Wates (.373/8/51/17-20 SB), Ronnie Shaban (.355/8/63), Tim Smalling (.354/7/35), Buddy Sosnoskie (.346/10/40), Sean Ryan (.322/1/27), Michael Seaborn (.284/7/44)

Top pitchers: Justin Wright (8-4, 3.59, 92.2 IP, 70 H, 32 BB, 95 K), Mathew Price (7-3, 4.59, 84.1 IP, 88 H, 25 BB, 82 K), Jesse Hahn (5-4, 3.86, 70 IP, 69 H, 20 BB, 74 K), Joe Mantiply (3-1, 5.67, 54 IP, 63 H, 17 BB, 55 K), Ben Rowen (5-2, 3.02, 5 SV, 47.2 IP, 40 H, 9 BB, 58 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2000 (0-2 at Fullerton Regional)

Notes: This is the ninth regional berth in Virginia Tech program history, but the Hokies have never played in a Super Regional. They earned a national ranking this season for the first time since 1992, and they qualified for the ACC tournament for the first time since it moved to an eight-team format. They won their first two games against Georgia Tech and Clemson before losing to Division B winner NC State in extra innings in a three-hour, 56-minute game that ended at 1:23 a.m. Junior outfielder Austin Wates made the All-ACC First Team and is expected to be drafted in the first few rounds of the Major League Draft, while senior catcher Steve Domecus, junior pitcher Justin Wright and senior pitcher Ben Rowen were named to the All-ACC Second Team. Domecus has proven to be a consistent hitter – he currently has a 15-game hitting streak and also had a 17-game streak earlier this season – and his 27 doubles break the single-season record of 25 that Casey Waller has held since 1989. Wright struck out a career-high 15 batters while pitching a complete game against Georgia Tech in the Hokies’ 6-2 ACC tournament victory. Rowen is one of 45 relief pitchers on the midseason watch list for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, and set a school record for individual pitching appearances with 35, eclipsing the 34 Rhett Ballard had in 2007. Virginia Tech has set two records as a team this season: its 504 strikeouts break the single-season record of 461 from 1988 and its 141 doubles break last season’s record 138. The Hokies have brothers on the team in senior catcher Anthony Sosnoskie and redshirt sophomore utility player Buddy Sosnoskie.


3. The Citadel Bulldogs

Charleston, South Carolina

Automatic bid – won Southern Conference Tournament

2010 record: 24-6, 42-20 (first in SoCon)

Head coach: Fred Jordan (The Citadel, 1979)

Record at school: 665-470, 19 years

Overall record: 665-470, 19 years

Assistant coaches: David Beckley, Randy Carlson, Zach Brown

Team offense: .299 BA, 411 R, 57 HR, 127-157 SB

Team pitching: 4.55 ERA, 553.2 IP, 593 H, 214 BB, 485 K

Top hitters: Nick Orvin (.341/7/29/22-27 SB), Justin Mackert (.338/5/37/24-27 SB), Bryan Altman (.329/13/66/15 2B/15-17 SB), Matt Simonelli (.315/5/58/19 2B/22-27 SB), William Ladd (.296/2/25/11-12 SB), David Greene (.292/6/52/12 2B), Kyle Jordan (.274/5/41/11 2B), Brad Felder (.264/11/32/18-21 SB)

Top pitchers: Asher Wojciechowski (12-2, 3.25 ERA, 119 IP, 102 H, 31 BB, 144 K), Matt Talley (7-3, 3.79 ERA, 97.1 IP, 95 H, 32 BB, 82 K), Drew Mahaffey (4-3, 7 SV, 5.02 ERA, 28.2 IP, 23 H, 27 BB, 26 K), Michael Clevinger (5-2, 5.19 ERA, 85 IP, 106 H, 34 BB, 73 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2004 (1-2 in Columbia Regional)

Notes: The Bulldogs went 4-0 in the SoCon tourney to stretch their win streak to 12, the second-longest streak in the nation and the longest among the NCAA Tournament teams. The Citadel recorded the most wins in a season under head coach Fred Jordan, the SoCon Coach of the Year, and the second-highest total in school history. The Bulldogs had 46 victories in 1990, the year they reached the College World Series. The Citadel swept a three-game set at Georgia Southern the final weekend of the season to win the regular-season crown. Starting shortstop Kyle Jordan is the son of the head coach. Staff ace Asher Wojciechowski, a projected first-round draft pick and the SoCon Pitcher of the Year, picked up two wins in the SoCon tourney. He went eight innings in each start, on Wednesday against Furman on Day 1 and against Western Carolina in the title game on Sunday. He had tied a school record with 12 wins this season. During their 12-game win streak, the Bulldogs are 52 for 58 in stolen bases. They were 17 for 18 in a three-game series against UNC Greensboro. The Citadel is 5-0 in extra-inning games, including a pair in the SoCon tourney.


4. Bucknell Bison

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Automatic Bid – Won Patriot League Tournament

2010 record: 8-13, 25-33 (fourth in Patriot League)

Head coach: Gene Depew (Bucknell, 1971)

Record at school: 545-630-7, 29 years

Overall record: Same

Assistant coaches: Scott Heather, Jim Gulden, AJ Yoder

Team offense: .313 BA, 380 R, 72 HR, .489 SLG%, .382 OB%, 37/47 SB

Team pitching: 6.10 ERA, 464.2 IP, 576 H, 212 BB, 299 K

Top hitters: Ben Yoder (.393/10/46/.659 SLG), B.J. LaRosa (.374/4/34), Andrew Brouse (.368/17/52/.691 SLG/16-19 SB), Doug Shribman (.364/20/60/.737 SLG), Ben Allen (.326/1/25), Bob Donato (.305/6/29).

Top pitchers: Michael Dallanegra (1-1, 2.66, 1 SV, 20.1 IP, 14 H, 10 BB, 7 K), Andrew Clarke (1-2, 3.66, 2 SV, 19.2 IP, 11 H, 16 BB, 12 K), Dylan Seeley (5-3, 4.03, 82.2 IP, 93 H, 20 BB, 48 K), Jack Boehm (4-3, 6.22, 59.1 IP, 85 H, 15 BB, 24 K), Trey Frahler (4-6, 6.53, 73 IP, 102 H, 34 BB, 55 K).

Last NCAA appearance: 2008 (1-2 at Tallahassee Regional)

Notes: Bucknell is back in the field for the second time in three years – in 2008, the Bison shocked No. 4 Florida State 7-0 on the first day of the tourney for one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history. Coach Gene Depew was a football star at Bucknell on the defensive line and spent 20 years as an assistant football coach. Andrew Brouse was named Patriot League Player of the Year. B.J. LaRosa, Doug Shribman (6 HRs, 16 RBI in PL Tourney) and Ben Yoder were first-team choices. Senior second baseman Yoder’s brother AJ is an assistant coach for the Bison – in 2009, Ben was player of the week in the Patriot League the same week as AJ (VMI) was player of the week in the Big South. Senior shortstop Ben Allen has started 141 straight games for the Bison. Bucknell fields .972 as a team with 56 errors in 58 games. Best out of conference wins came against Elon (18-3), Northwestern (4-3) and Illinois (8-7). Won two of three at favorite Army to advance to Patriot League final, where the Bison took two of three on the road at Holy Cross.