June 7, 2012

Super Regional Capsules

Super Regional Picks

NCAA Interactive Bracket


Inside the Super Regionals


By Phil Stanton and Sean Ryan

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founders


From 64 to 16, we’ve reached the Super Regionals. As we prepare for this weekend’s games, CBI takes a look inside the Supers.


Seasoned Veterans

For the majority of the Super Regional teams, there are veteran head coaches in the dugouts. The skippers of the 16 programs average more than 20 years as head coaches. The youngster of the group? Kevin O’Sullivan, who is in his fifth year at No. 1 national seed Florida. The only other coach not it double figures is Scott Stricklin of Kent State at eight years. The two elder statesmen actually will go head-to-head in Tallahassee, leading their respective alma maters with nearly 3,200 wins between them. Mark Marquess is in his 36th season at Stanford with 1,463 victories, while Mike Martin (right) has compiled 1,719 wins in 33 campaigns. Martin and Marquess rank third and fourth among active D-I coaches in victories, and third and seventh all-time in D-I. Entering this season, Martin (2), South Carolina’s Ray Tanner (9), TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle (11), Oklahoma’s Sunny Golloway (17), Arkansas’ Dave Van Horn (18), Marquess (20), Oregon’s George Horton (22) and Stricklin (24) ranked in the Top 25 among active coaches in winning percentage. (photo by Mike Olivella)


Eight is Enough

There are eight different conferences represented in the Super Regionals. The Pac-12 and SEC lead the way with four each, but no Super Regional matches a Pac-12 school against one from the SEC. So, theoretically, the College World Series field could contain teams from just these two leagues. The ACC and Big 12 have two teams each, while America East, Big East, Mid-American and Mountain West each have one.


Four Score

If the Pac-12 or SEC did send four teams to Omaha, it would tie the record for most teams from one conference in the CWS. The SEC had four in 1997 (Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State) and in 2004 (Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina). The ACC sent four in 2006 (Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina).


Planting the Seeds

There were seven national seeds and 10 No. 1 seeds that won their Regionals this past weekend. No. 6 North Carolina was the only national seed not to advance. Three No. 2 seeds won their Regionals: Arkansas, Oklahoma and TCU. Kent State and St. John’s were the lone No. 3 seeds to advance. And Stony Brook became just the third No. 4 seed to win a Regional, joining 2006 Missouri and 2008 Fresno State. The Tigers lost in two games at Cal State Fullerton in their Super Regional, while the Bulldogs won two straight at Arizona State after losing the opener of the Super Regional series. Fresno State went on to win the national championship.


One on One

There are only two match-ups of No. 1 Regional seeds in this year’s Super Regionals: Stanford at Florida State and NC State at Florida. Last year, there were three such meetings, while there were six in 2010 and five in both 2009 and 2008.


Feeling Super

Including this year’s field, there have been 65 different schools participate in a Super Regional since the NCAA moved to the current format in 1999. There were four first-timers a year ago: California, Connecticut, Dallas Baptist and UC Irvine. The Golden Bears beat the Patriots to advance to the College World Series. This year, there are also four programs making Super Regional debuts: Kent State, Oregon, St. John’s and Stony Brook. The Golden Flashes and Ducks will meet in Eugene, so one of those teams will get their first Super Regional victory. Kent State and Stony Brook are looking for their first trips to the College World Series. Oregon has been to Omaha once, going 0-2 in 1954. St. John’s has not been to the CWS since 1980. (photo courtesy of St. John's Media Relations Office)


Eyeing Omaha

NC State has been to the College World Series once, going 2-2 in 1968. Besides the Wolfpack and the four first-time Super Regional programs, the other 11 teams have all been to Omaha at least once in the past eight years. Florida, Florida State and two-time defending national champion South Carolina are looking to reach the CWS for the third consecutive year.


School Success

Three athletic programs had teams reach the Super Regionals in baseball, reach the Sweet 16 in men’s basketball and play in a bowl game in football: Baylor, Florida and NC State. All three won their bowl games, while Baylor and Florida reached the Elite Eight in hoops before their runs ended.


It’s Automatic

Of the 16 teams in the Super Regionals, only four earned automatic bids. UCLA won the Pac-12 regular season crown, while Kent State, St. John’s and Stony Brook each won its conference tournament. The remaining 12 schools received at-large bids.


Super Regional Success

Florida State is playing in its 12th Super Regional, an NCAA record. Miami and Cal State Fullerton have both appeared in 10. The Seminoles have played in 28 Super Regional games, more than any other school. The Titans have 16 Super Regional wins, followed by Texas with 15. South Carolina and Miami both have 14 Super Regional victories.


Home Field Advantage

In the previous 13 seasons, there has not been a year when all home teams win their Super Regional. The largest number has been seven, with the lowest being five.


What’s in a Name?

It’s a colorful Super Regional round with Golden Flashes, Red Storm and Cardinal. We have Wolfpack and Seawolves. We’re missing Lions, but we have Tigers and Bears, oh my. Razorbacks, Horned Frogs and Gamecocks. And Sooners and Laters, er Gators.


Batter Up

Five Super Regional teams rank in the Top 20 in the country in batting average: Stony Brook (2 - .336), Arizona (4 - .333), Baylor (10 - .312), UCLA (11 - .312) and Kent State (17 - .306).


Pitching In

Five Super Regional teams rank in the Top 20 in the country in ERA: Florida (5 – 2.85), Arkansas (7 – 2.86), Oregon (11 – 3.02), Stony Brook (16 – 3.06) and Baylor (20 – 3.14). (South Carolina ranks No. 21 – 3.14). 


Power Outage

Florida leads the nation with 71 home runs. Stanford (tied for 25th – 46) is the only other Super Regional team to rank in the Top 25 in the country in dingers. Arizona, with 20 homers, has the fewest homers entering the Super Regionals – the Wildcats’ Hi Corbett is one of the biggest parks in college baseball. Down the line in right is 349 feet, right center is 405, center is 392, left center is 410 and down the line in left is 366. Hi Corbett also served as one of the parks used in the movie Major League, and members of the Arizona baseball team were used as extras.


Ring Em Up

Florida (3.71) and LSU (3.56) rank first and second in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Tigers rank fourth with 8.7 Ks per nine innings, and NC State is sixth at 8.6.


Stars Among Us

·    LSU’s Raph Rhymes enters the Super Regionals as the nation's top hitter at .452, 22 points higher than Danny Poma of Hofstra. Stony Point has three hitters who rank in the top 22 in the country: Travis Jankowski is seventh (.417), William Carmona is 16th (.393) and Maxx Tissenbaum is 22nd (.390).

·    Nine players in the country have walked 55 or more times this season, and FSU has three of them: Sherman Johnson (63, second in country), James Ramsey (57) and Stephen McGee (55).

·    Four freshmen ranked in the Top 20 in the country in ERA, and three are still playing. NC State’s Carlos Rodon is fifth (1.61), UCLA’s David Berg is seventh (1.71) and TCU’s Preston Morrison is 18th (1.98). (Benton Moss of North Carolina is 15th.)  By comparison, there are two upper classmen in the Top 20 who are still playing: Baylor’s Josh Turley is 11th at 1.83, and Kent State’s David Starn is 20th at 2.01.

·    Stony Brook’s Maxx Tissenbaum is the toughest to strike out in the nation, with a strikeout every 37.2 at-bats (6 Ks in 223 at-bats). Teammate Pat Cantwell is ninth, and LSU's Raph Rhymes is 13th.

·    Arizona’s Kurt Heyer tied with three others for the nation’s lead in wins with 12. LSU’s Kevin Gausman and Stony Brook’s Tyler Johnson, who likely will face off this weekend, join FSU’s Mike Compton, Kent State’s Tyler Skulina and Oregon’s Alex Keudell with 11 wins, tied for fifth in the nation.