2013 Blacksburg Regional

(capsules compiled by Sean Ryan, Phil Stanton, Zachary Kerr)


1. Virginia Tech Hokies

Blacksburg, Virginia

At-large bid from ACC

2013 record: 15-14, 38-20 (third in Coastal Division)

Head coach: Pete Hughes (Davidson, 1990)

Record at school: 220-172, 7 years

Overall record: 522-383-2, 17 years

Assistant Coaches: Patrick Mason, Mike Kunigonis

Team offense: .290 BA, 380 R, 52 HR, 52-83 SB

Team pitching: 4.31 ERA, 524.1 IP, 555 H, 211 BB, 368 K

Top hitters: Mark Zagunis (.336/9/48/62 R/16-21 SB), Tyler Horan (.347/11/50/23 2B), Chad Pinder (.322/7/48), Andrew Rash (.312/9/57/20 2B)

Top pitchers: Devin Burke (10-3, 3.30 ERA, 95.1 IP, 93 H, 32 BB, 48 K), Joe Mantiply (6-0, 2.92 ERA, 71 IP, 74 H, 25 BB, 48 K), Jake Joyce (7-1, 3 SV, 3.58 ERA, 55.1 IP, 53 H, 29 BB, 50 K), Clark Labitan (2-5, 10 SV, 2.83 ERA, 41.1 IP, 36 H, 19 BB, 33 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2010 (2-2 in Columbia Regional)

Notes: This is the 10th regional berth for Virginia Tech, but the program has never played in a super regional. The Hokies are hosting a regional for the first time. Virginia Tech had a 38-20 record going into the 2010 tournament, as well. Redshirt senior outfielder Andrew Rash is the only returning position player from that squad; he started all four games. Senior Jake Joyce threw two innings in a 16-7 victory against Bucknell in that tournament, and senior Joe Mantiply threw 3.2 relief innings to earn a win against The Citadel, 4-3, in that regional. Juniors Chad Pinder and Tyler Horan made the All-ACC first team. It is the first time Virginia Tech has had two players on the first team. Pinder was voted best third baseman in the conference, and Horan led the conference in doubles with 22. The Hokies had their best overall record and second-best conference record as an ACC team. The 2010 Hokies went 16-14 in conference play. This is also the first time Virginia Tech has finished in the top half of the Coastal Division. Redshirt junior Devin Burke was named a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Breakout Player of the Year Award.


2. Oklahoma Sooners

Notes: The Sooners return to the NCAA field for the sixth straight season, and will be back in Virginia - they'll play in Blacksburg after having played a Regional in Charlottesville in 2010 and a Super Regional there last year. OU reached this year's tourney after winning the Big 12 tournament championship. Coach Sunny Golloway has guided 12 of his teams at Oral Roberts and Oklahoma to 40-win seasons in 17 years (he took over OU in the middle of the season in 2005). Matt Oberste has been one of the best hitters in college baseball all season, including a 30-game hitting streak - he finished 26th in the country in hitting and 12th in total bases. Max White is a splendid center fielder who can change a game with his glove or bat. The Sooners have a tremendous 1-2 punch in starters Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton. Gray will be one of the first pitchers taken in this year's draft and ranks fourth in the country in strikeouts and seventh in hits allowed - hitters average .181 off him. Overton, a lefty, matched Gray with a 9-2 record. Closer Jacob Evans has been stellar, allowing a .182 average.

3. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Notes: Coastal Carolina finished first in the South Division of the Big South, second overall to North Division winner Campbell (19-5), and third in the conference tournament, snapping a streak of six straight conference titles. In that tournament, the Chanticleers beat seven-seed Longwood and sixth-seed Gardner-Webb before losing twice to tournament host and conference champion Liberty, including a score of 8-0 in a mutual elimination game. Coastal Carolina had the second-best overall record of the conference to Campbell (41-10), though, and a much better non-conference schedule, including a series win at Georgia Tech and a 15-3 onslaught against UNC Wilmington in its last home game of the year. Though Coastal Carolina has never played Oklahoma, it holds a 6-3 all-time record against Virginia Tech and a 2-1 all-time record against Connecticut, including a split in the teams' 2011 regional. Pitcher Seth Lamando was named Big South Freshman of the Year, while fellow pitcher Ben Smith made the All-Big South first team. Outfielder Jacob May, catcher Will Remillard, and closer Ryan Connolly made the second team. Senior second baseman Justin Creel was named Big South Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year with Presbyterian first baseman Brad Zebedis.


4. Connecticut Huskies

Notes: The Huskies, who finished eighth in the Big East, rolled through the conference tourney and will play in the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years – they became the first No. 8 seed to win the tourney. Head coach Jim Penders became the first in Big East history to win the conference tourney as both a player (1994) and head coach. In the finale, Anthony Marzi tossed his fourth complete game, but posted his first win in those games. Penders was a catcher for the Huskies and played in the NCAA tourney in his junior and senior seasons (1994 and 1995). His father and uncle both played on the UConn 1965 College World Series team. LJ Mazzilli, the son of former major leaguer and coach Lee Mazzilli, has a .339 career average and 279 career hits and was drafted in the ninth round of the 2012 Draft by Minnesota. Marzi and Carson Cross are the only two Huskies pitchers to top 60 innings this year. Cross topped 100 innings after going 3-1 in 37.1 innings last year.