Super Regionals ready to roll

by BoCarter | Posted on Friday, June 7th, 2013


By Bo Carter, Correspondent

With 14 of the top-seeded teams and two No. 2 seeds advancing, this week’s NCAA Super Regionals should provide ample intrigue on the road to the 67th annual NCAA World Series June 15-25/26 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

Tropical Storm Andrea already forced Friday moves of the Chapel Hill Regional being pushed back one day until a Saturday start between Atlantic Coast Conference champ North Carolina (55-9) and 2012 NCAA runnerup (to 2013 non-qualifier Arizona) South Carolina (42-18). The Raleigh Super Regional also was moved from a day to night start Friday due to incessant rains between host NC State (47-14) and Conference USA champion Rice (44-18). All eight Super series are best-of-3 format.

Other Friday scheduled openers include Cal State Fullerton (51-8) of the Big West hosting Pac-12 powerhouse UCLA (42-17) in Fullerton, Calif., and SEC winner LSU (55-9, somehow a No. 4 NCAA seed nationally but a consensus No. 1 in national polls) facing Big 12 winner Oklahoma (43-19) in Baton Rouge, La.

Saturday starts besides NCAA No. 1 seed North Carolina vs. USC are No. 2 seed and SEC regular-season titlist Vanderbilt (54-10) meeting Big East (soon to be American Atlantic Conference) winner Louisville (49-12) inn Nashville, Tenn. Big Ten victor Indiana (46-14) treks to ACC powerhouse Florida State (47-15) while another ACC potentate Virginia (50-10) hosts SEC perennial contender Mississippi State (46-18). The MSU-UVa confrontation has been dubbed The John Grisham Classic in honor of the MSU graduate and Charlottesville, Va., area resident and world-read fiction writer who has suites and assists both baseball programs in generous ways.

Rounding out Saturday’s slate is Big 12 regular-campaign champion Kansas State (44-17, KSU’s first baseball conference crown since 1933) traveling to Pac-12 power Oregon State (48-10).

The inviting NCAA menu features such standouts as 2013 Dick Howser Trophy finalists P Tyler Beede (14-0 record to lead NCAA DI) and 2B Tony Kemp (.398 batting average) of Vanderbilt – the first two players from the same school to make it as Howser finalists – and All-America 3B Colin Moran (13 HR, NCAA-best 85 RBI) of North Carolina. The winner of the trophy will be announced Saturday, June 15, at a national news conference in Omaha at 10 a.m. prior to the first CWS encounter that afternoon.

Some others to watch are LSU’s Alex Bregman (second nationally with 102 hits in 64 contests), pitching aces Andrew Moore (13-1 record) of Oregon State, Justin Garza (12-0) of Cal State Fullerton, Ross Mitchell (12-0) of Mississippi State, Thomas Eshelman (12-2) of CSUF, Jimmy Sherfy (21 saves) of Oregon, and Michael Lorenzen (19 saves, also a standout designated hitter) of Cal State Fullerton.

NCAA World Series pairing will be tabulated Tuesday, and the CWS continues in its same format since 1989 with two brackets playing down to a championship series – in this case, the best-of-3 format since the 1998 season.

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