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Regional Predictions

Posted by cuorange on May 28, 2009

Pretty much chalk here (predicted winners in green below), with 13 of 16 number 1 seeds projected to move on to the Supers.

Cal State – Fullerton is my #1 overall seed and at this point I am projecting the Titans to win the national title. Louisiana State is not far behind and could sneak into the picture with some solid defense in their regional.

Texas can’t easily be dismissed due to their #5 ranked defense and #1 ranked pitching, which we view as the two most important stats in the pursuit of a national championship. However, with a batting average ranked at 198 and a slugging percentage that comes in at 226, the Horns will be at a distinct disadvantage when they eventually come up against a very good pitching team. As the #1 over all seed the Horns path to Omaha is almost assured with weak opponents in the regional and probably the Super, but Omaha is where we think they will struggle once pitted against another top pitching team (reference this years struggles against Kansas and Kansas State).

On to Clemson. The Tigers have had issues in the field this year and you certainly aren’t going to win the title with the 83rd ranked defense. Critical defensive lapses have cost Clemson this year, most recently in the opening game of the ACC Tournament.

Secondly, I think Clemson’s #6 ranking in the pitching department is over rated. Really, I have no idea how they achieved this ranking without a dominant starter (or two) and no closer of note. Jack Leggett and Kyle Bunn deserve credit for piecing together a staff and using the strengths of each pitcher to achieve maximum results.

Besides defense my biggest concern is how Leggett uses his starters. A few years back in the CWS Clemson had an undefeated pitcher that never saw the field because Leggett was waiting for the “big game” to start him. In the ACC Tourney last week Leggett started the struggling Chris Dwyer in the game 2 loss to Duke, when Dwyer has been either the Friday (1st game) or Sunday (third game) starter all year. The loss to Duke meant Sunday’s game was irrelevant. Perhaps Leggett was setting his staff up for this week, who knows.

Alabama has better numbers in three of four categories (so does Oklahoma State by the way) by a long shot and the Tigers haven’t proven they can consistently play defense and hit in the clutch.

The other upsets: (1) Coastal Carolina over UNC in Chapel Hill. The Chants have already won there once this year and won’t be intimidated. I think UNC is a bit over rated. (2) Kansas State over Rice. This could go either way and the safe bet would be to pick Rice in Houston. Kansas State has faced better competition in the Big 12 and has played in Houston (U of Houston) this year and also sports a 2-0-1 record against #1 seed Texas in Austin. Out on the limb we go.

Almost, but no. Tempted to take Virginia, but UC-Irvine is a long way from Charlottesville. The Cavs swept through the ACC Tourney, beating #1 seeds Clemson, Florida State and UNC along the way, but that wasn’t all the way across the country. Also, Virginia is probably going to face Stephen Strasberg (13-0, 1.24 ERA) in game 1 so the chances are they are going through the loser’s bracket. Not impossible, but not great odds either.

Clemson, South Carolina

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Clemson 40-19 83 6 141 148
Alabama 37-19 35 79 25 7
Oklahoma State 32-22 9 42 129 47
Tennessee Tech 30-22-1 163 122 178 166

Austin, Texas

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Texas 41-13-1 5 1 198 226
Texas State 41-15 44 63 17 35
Boston College 33-24 48 60 101 88
Army 34-19 58 75 19 43

Fort Worth, Texas

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
TCU 36-16 85 23 103 49
Texas A&M 36-22 31 27 154 70
Oregon State 35-17 11 7 257 272
Wright State 33-28 66 74 57 110

Atlanta, Georgia

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Georgia Tech 35-17-1 82 53 64 12
Elon 40-16 112 163 38 2
Southern Miss 35-23 114 55 115 134
Georgia State 39-20 155 111 105 98

Gainesville, Florida

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Florida 39-20 113 16 127 145
Miami, FL 36-20 117 40 171 116
Jacksonville 36-20 243 95 135 127
Bethune-Cookman 32-26 148 41 116 136

Tempe, Arizona

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Arizona State 44-12 53 2 130 48
Oral Roberts 31-13 152 5 128 33
Cal Poly 37-19 84 146 40 57
Kent State 42-15 22 112 51 38

Greeneville, NC

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
East Carolina 42-17 47 14 14 11
South Carolina 38-21 20 80 124 31
George Mason 42-12 25 24 50 28
Binghamton 29-20 246 68 63 102

Chapel Hill, NC

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
North Carolina 42-16 51 8 138 100
Coastal Carolina 46-14 69 9 20 19
Kansas 37-22 109 32 143 139
Dartmouth 27-16 146 154 100 78

Fullerton, California

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Cal State-Fullerton 42-14 10 4 68 107
Georgia Southern 42-15 15 71 36 44
Gonzaga 35-16 49 20 159 198
Utah 26-29 95 142 140 143

Louisville, Kentucky

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Louisville 44-15 55 19 94 52
Middle Tennessee State 43-16 65 98 8 6
Vanderbilt 34-25 32 65 114 150
Indiana 32-25 158 84 31 63

Tallahassee, Florida

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Florida State 42-16 150 51 96 30
Georgia 37-22 87 59/td> 197 51
Ohio State 40-17 137 137 32 54
Marist 31-26 188 58 182 222

Norman, Oklahoma

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Oaklahoma 41-18 23 69 49 23
Arkansas 34-22 79 49 274 183
Washington State 31-23 34 29 248 203
Wichita State 30-25 126 25 254 261

Irvine, California

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
UC-Irvine 43-13 8 36 65 133
Virginia 43-12-1 41 3 21 58
San Diego State 40-21 17 10 184 221
Fresno State 32-28 144 133 206 87

Oxford, Mississippi

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Mississippi 40-17 28 15 82 129
Missouri 34-25 130 72 268 245
Western Kentucky 39-18 4 110 27 22
Monmouth 32-23 156 104 43 67

Houston, Texas

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
Rice 39-15 46 17 69 77
Kansas State 41-16-1 24 21 55 89
Xavier 38-19 42 123 108 173
Sam Houston State 36-22 28 87 26 95

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Team Record Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
LSU 46-16 18 13 91 39
Minnesota 38-17 36 52 78 123
Baylor 29-24 142 105 139 84
Southern University 30-15 267 54 93 42
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