2013 Louisville Regional

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


1. Louisville Cardinals

Louisville, Kentucky

At-large bid from Big East

Notes: The Cardinals were the regular-season champs in the Big East but dropped two straight in the conference tourney. They’ll host for the fourth time in seven years. Coach Dan McDonnell (CBI Feature) has led Louisville to six NCAAs in seven years and averaged 43 wins a season under his guidance. He played with ETSU coach Tony Skole on The Citadel’s 1990 College World Series team. The Cardinals are loaded with arms and ranked fifth in the country in ERA (2.52) and first in Ks per nine innings (9.7). Opponents hit only .214 off the Cardinals, including .174 off starter Jeff Thompson (10-1) and .200 off closer Nick Burdi (0.88 ERA). Ty Young and Coco Johnson provide the most pop, and Louisville loves to run: Adam Engel finished third in the nation in stolen bases, and as a team, the Cardinals ranked third. For the most part, Louisville puts the ball in play (only 4 Ks per game) and ranks fourth in the nation with 113 hit-by-pitches.


2. Miami Hurricanes

Coral Gables, Florida

At-large bid from ACC

2013 record: 14-16, 36-23 (fifth in Coastal Division)

Head coach: Jim Morris (Elon, 1973)

Record at school: 886-369-3, 20 years

Overall record: 1,521-652-4, 34 years

Assistant coaches: Gino DiMare, J.D. Arteaga, Lou Palmisano

Team offense: .260 BA, 266 R, 13 HR, .332 SLG%, .356 OBP%, 78-111 SB

Team pitching: 3.33 ERA, 526.2 IP, 501 H, 171 BB, 418 K

Top hitters: Chantz Mack (.297/0/27/14-17 SB), Brad Fieger (.287/0/32/13 2B), David Thompson (.285/6/43/14 2B), Alexander Hernandez (.277/1/31/16 2B)

Top pitchers: Bryan Radziewski (9-2, 1.49 ERA, 84.2 IP, 49 H, 29 BB, 101 K), Chris Diaz (6-5, 1.75 ERA, 102.2 IP, 98 H, 22 BB, 68 K), Javi Salas (5-5, 3.10 ERA, 69.2 IP, 66 H, 17 BB, 43 K), Eric Nedeljkovic (2-2, 13 SV, 1.37 ERA, 26.1 IP, 18 H, 4 BB, 30 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2012 (0-2 at Coral Gables Regional)

Notes: The Hurricanes have now made 41 straight NCAA tourney appearances, the most in NCAA history. The Hurricanes have gone to the College World Series 11 times under head coach Jim Morris, who set an NCAA record by reaching Omaha in each of his first six years at Miami. The Hurricanes have four national championships (1982, 1985, 1999 and 2001) and are tied for the fifth-most in Division I. Pitcher Alexander Fernandez is the son of former University of Miami star and MLB pitcher Alex Fernandez. Staff ace Bryan Radziewski was the only Hurricane to receive All-ACC honors, named to the first team in part for his batting average against, .175, which was the best in the conference.


3. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Notes: After a year away from the tournament, Oklahoma State, under first-year coach Josh Holliday, returns to the field as an at-large from the Big 12. It marks the 39th appearance, fourth all-time in NCAA history. Holliday, 35, played at Oklahoma State and most recently spent three years as an assistant under Tim Corbin at Vanderbilt - he reached Omaha as a player twice and has reached the CWS as an assistant at Vandy, Arizona State and Georgia Tech. Joining Holliday as assistants are Marty Lees, the former associate head coach at Oregon State who was a part of the Beavers' back-to-back national champion teams, and Rob Walton, the highly successful former head coach at Oral Roberts. The strength of the Cowboys is their pitching, which ranks 21st in the country in ERA (2.93); they also rank sixth in strikeout/walk ratio. Jason Hursh has thrown three complete games and leads the rotation in innings with 102, 24 more than the next highest total. The offense doesn't feature any standout stats, but beware: the main starters all hit between .270 and .321 as there's not a weak link in the lineup.

4. Bowling Green Falcons

Notes: The Falcons return to the field for the first time since 1999 and will be looking for their first tourney win since 1972. Bowling Green, at 24-29, is the only team in the tournament with sub-.500 record. The Falcons were two outs away from missing the MAC tournament before rallying to beat Buffalo to qualify. They went on to win the MAC title behind Nick Bruns' complete-game shutout in the final. Coach Danny Schmitz played eight years in the minor leagues, reaching Triple-A and being coached by the likes of Gene Michael and Stump Merrill. Bruns had 48 innings before throwing 12 in the MAC tourney, improving to 6-2 on the year. Twenty-two of leading hitter Jeremy Shay's 60 hits have gone for extra bases, and he's tied for the team lead in RBI.