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College : : Story
Regional roundup: Friday edition
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Saturday, June 04, 2011

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REGIONAL COVERAGE: SCHEDULE/RESULTS | REGIONAL BREAKDOWN | PAIRINGS MESSAGE BOARDS

As part of our in-depth postseason coverage, Perfect Game will keep you updated with the latest analysis and news from each NCAA Regional.

NCAA REGIONALS: LOOKING BACK AT FRIDAY

REGIONALS: Atlanta | Austin | Chapel Hill | Charlottesville | Clemson | College Station | Columbia | Corvallis | Fort Worth | Fullerton | Gainesville | Houston | Los Angeles | Nashville | Tallahassee | Tempe

Back to top Atlanta Regional

Host: Georgia Tech
Where: Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta
Super regional pairing: Winner of Gainesville Regional

The skinny: Georgia Tech's postseason woes continued Friday night as Austin Peay starting pitcher Jack Snodgrass allowed just a run on seven hits in seven innings on the way to a 2-1 win over the Yellow Jackets. To add insult to injury, the Jackets lost starting pitcher Mark Pope because of a tweaked back after just 1 2/3 innings of work, but the injury isn't expected to be serious. Amazingly, Austin Peay beat the Yellow Jackets without using its staff ace ... Mississippi State starting pitcher Luis Pollorena was excellent in a 3-0 win over Southern Mississippi, but it's also worth noting that reliever Caleb Reed struck out four and allowed just three hits in three shutout frames. State outfielder Brent Brownlee led the offensive charge with a hit and two RBIs.

Player of the day: P Luis Pollorena, Mississippi State -- The Bulldogs had the tough chore of going against Southern Mississippi ace pitcher Todd McInnis. But starting pitcher Luis Pollorena made the Bulldogs forget about McInnis. Pollorena struck out three batters and allowed just five hits in six shutout innings in a 3-0 triumph. State couldn't have started the weekend in more impressive fashion.

What we learned: Georgia Tech has received plenty of criticism the past few years for not taking care of business in the postseason. And once again Friday, the Jackets' postseason struggles surfaced. Two years ago, the Jackets were bounced from the postseason at home by Southern Mississippi before Alabama did the same last season. While Tech is headed to the loser's backer, Mississippi State, which didn't look good in the SEC tournament last week, might just be in the driver's seat after beating Southern Miss on Friday. Overall, it'll be interesting to see how the Yellow Jackets respond the rest of the weekend.

Back to top Austin Regional

Host: Texas – No. 7 seed
Where: UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, Texas
Super regional pairing: Winner of Tempe Regional

The skinny: With Kent State's Kyle Hallock and Texas State's Carson Smith on the mound Friday, a pitcher's duel certainly was expected. Well, that's what fans got in a game that ended with a 4-2 win by Kent State. Kent State's Hallock allowed a run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings while Smith struck out five and allowed just two runs on eight hits in nine innings. Kent State's offense was led by George Roberts, who went a perfect 3-for-3 in the game ... While Sam Stafford led Texas on the mound, 'Horns leadoff hitter and first baseman Tant Shepherd went 1-for-2 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. Longhorns outfielder Mark Payton also had a productive night, going 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Player of the day: LHP Sam Stafford, Texas -- The Longhorns are in excellent shape from a pitching standpoint after Friday's contest. The 'Horns sent Stafford to the mound against Princeton and he didn't disappoint. He struck out six batters and allowed just a run on two hits in seven innings in the winning cause. Now the 'Horns still have Taylor Jungmann and Cole Green at their disposal.

What we learned: Some thought Kent State might've made a bad decision by not starting ace pitcher and left-hander Andrew Chafin against Texas State on Friday, but as coach Scott Stricklin noted earlier this week, Hallock actually has put together as impressive of a campaign as Chafin. The Flashes now have Chafin read to go against Texas pitcher Taylor Jungmann. For Texas State, it once again was a poor offensive performance against an elite pitcher. We're still not sure how the NCAA justified a No. 2 seed with this group.

Back to top Chapel Hill Regional

Host: North Carolina – No. 3 seed
Where: Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Fullerton Regional

The skinny: North Carolina played with a heavy heart with coach Mike Fox out of the game for personal reasons and didn't disappoint, claiming a 4-0 decision over Maine. UNC starting pitcher Kent Emanuel struck out five and allowed just seven hits in eight shutout innings ... James Madison and Florida International are two of the nation's better hitting teams, so it was absolutely no surprise the two teams played had a great offensive showdown on Friday with the Dukes claiming an 11-7 victory. Catcher Jake Lowery had a huge night at the plate, while reliever D.J. Brown was phenomenal in relief. Perhaps JMU can make some noise this weekend after all.

Player of the day: RP D.J. Brown -- Jake Lowery's 3-for-4 day at the plate was huge for the Dukes, but the most clutch performance came from reliever D.J. Brown, who silenced the Golden Panthers out of the bullpen, striking out five and allowing just two runs on three hits in 7 1/3 innings of work. His outing also saved the rest of the JMU bullpen.

What we learned: You never really know how young players will react to a postseason setting, but UNC starting pitcher Kent Emanuel was masterful in his postseason debut with the program. We also learned that no matter where they play, the Dukes have a solid offense. Much has been said about the size of ballpark the Dukes play in at home, but JMU did a tremendous job at the plate against FIU on Friday. Now we'll see if it can continue its hot ways against North Carolina.

Back to top Charlottesville Regional

Host: Virginia – No. 1 seed
Where: Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Va.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Los Angeles Regional

The skinny: Virginia two-way player Danny Hultzen might be known best for his prowess on the mound as one of the nation's elite pitchers, but he was an offensive contributor in Virginia's 6-0 win over Navy. Hultzen went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs in the winning cause ... St. John's gambled on Friday by saving ace pitcher Kyle Hansen for Game 2, and the gamble paid off in a 2-0 win over East Carolina. St. John's starting pitcher Sean Hagan tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings and reliever Matt Carasiti allowed just a hit in 1 2/3 shutout innings.

Player of the day: P Will Roberts, Virginia -- Roberts made a statement earlier this season by throwing a no-hitter against George Washington, and didn't disappoint in the tournament opener against Navy. Roberts struck out 14 and allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout. He has become an excellent starting pitcher for the Cavaliers.

What we learned: Navy was a weak opponent for Virginia in the NCAA Regional opener, but we still were very impressed with its composure and confidence. The Cavaliers showed signs of a championship club by being dialed in from start to finish. St. John's, though, was the most impressive team of the day. The Johnnies were a hotly contested inclusion to the field of 64, but made a statement with a solid win over East Carolina. They could accomplish even more with a win over Virginia.

Back to top Clemson Regional

Host: Clemson
Where: Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Columbia Regional

The skinny: With Coastal Carolina pitcher Anthony Meo and Connecticut pitcher Matt Barnes on the mound, we fully expected a pitcher's duel. However, only one team -- Coastal -- decided to pitch. Meo struck out seven and allowed just a run on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 13-1 triumph, while Barnes had a poor outing, allowing seven runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings ... Clemson wasted little time jumping all over Sacred Heart on Friday in an impressive 11-1 triumph. Clemson starting pitcher Scott Firth allowed just a run on six hits in six innings while leadoff hitter John Hinson went 3-for-3 with a double, home run, three runs scored and three RBIs.

Player of the day: OF Hayes Orton, Coastal Carolina -- The Chanticleers weren't deterred by Connecticut pitcher and top prospect Matt Barnes. Orton had a huge day at the plate for the Chants, going 5-for-5 with three doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs.

What we learned: Connecticut hosted an NCAA Regional last season, but didn't exactly make a statement at home. Well, the Huskies are in the same predicament this season facing elimination against Sacred Heart on Saturday. We'll find out what the Huskies are made of. As for the Clemson-Coastal Carolina bout, it should be a dandy. We said earlier this season not to give up on the Tigers. Now you're seeing why with their solid play the past few weeks. Coastal, meanwhile, finally is playing to its potential.

Back to top College Station Regional

Host: Texas A&M
Where: Olsen Field in College Station, Texas
Super regional pairing: Winner of Tallahassee Regional

The skinny: Seton Hall starting pitcher Jon Prosinski was brilliant and led the Pirates to an impressive 4-0 win over Arizona. The offense also was solid with Sean Gusrang and Giuseppe Papaccio each finishing the contest with two hits ... Texas A&M decided not to take a chance on Friday and started stud right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha against Wright State. Wacha allowed just five hits in six shutout innings in an 11-0 win over the Raiders. Kevin Gonzalez had a huge day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs.

Player of the day: P Jon Prosinski -- Seton Hall made a huge gamble on Friday by starting Jon Prosinski and not Joe DiRocco against a solid Arizona club. Well, the gamble paid off as Prosinski was brilliant. He struck out three batters and allowed just six hits in a complete game shutout.

What we learned: We learned that Seton Hall is no joke. A quick look at the Pirates' statistics show a team that is atrocious offensively, but they did a fantastic job against Arizona of scoring when needed. SHU's pitching, of course, also was fantastic. They put together an impressive performance. We also learned that Texas A&M was dialed in heading into the contest against Wright State. The Aggies felt snubbed out of a national seed earlier this week, so motivation was noticeable against the Raiders. It'll be interesting to see how SHU ace Joe DiRocco matches up with the Aggies.

Back to top Columbia Regional

Host: South Carolina – No. 4 seed
Where: Carolina Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Clemson Regional

The skinny: Stetson appeared to be in big trouble early in the game against N.C. State on Friday, but played well the final few innings and earned a solid 8-7 victory. Stetson reliever Jake Boyd threw three shutout innings out of the pen while shortstop Mark Jones went 2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and four RBIs ... South Carolina didn't do much offensively against Georgia Southern, but the pitching outside of Michael Roth also was solid in the 2-1 triumph. John Taylor came in and recorded a key out while stud closer Matt Price struck out three and allowed no hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief work.

Player of the day: P Michael Roth, South Carolina -- Considering the start Georgia Southern's Andy Moye put together, it's a good thing coach Ray Tanner decided to start Roth. Roth once again was impressive, striking out four and allowing just one run (none earned) on two hits in seven innings. What he has accomplished this season is remarkable.

What we learned:: It's safe to say Stetson is a team with a lot of heart. The Hatters were in trouble when Lindsey Caughel was knocked out earlier than expected. But instead of panicking, they regrouped and finished the day with a victory. Still, we're a little concerned about the Hatters' starting pitching the rest of the weekend. For South Carolina, everyone knew facing the Eagles was a tough chore. But instead of getting tight the final few innings, the Gamecocks showed why they're considered national title contenders with a business-like finish.

Back to top Corvallis Regional

Host: Oregon State
Where: Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Nashville Regional

The skinny: Creighton put together a very business-like performance in a 2-1 triumph over Georgia. Jonas Dufek was fantastic on the mound, while Scott Thornburg and Anthony Bemboom each finished the afternoon with a hit and an RBI ... Oregon State starting pitcher James Nygren allowed four runs in just 4 2/3 innings against Arkansas-Little Rock, but the bullpen rose to the occasion in a 7-4 comeback victory. Scott Schultz tossed 1 1/3 shutout innings, Matt Boyd tossed two shutout innings and Tony Bryant tossed one shutout frame. It's also worth noting OSU leadoff hitter Ryan Barnes went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

Player of the day: P Jonas Dufek, Creighton -- The Bluejays had the tough chore of slowing down a Georgia offense that has potential to be very productive. Dufek, though, had little trouble with the Bulldogs. Dufek struck out 10 batters and allowed just a run on five hits in a complete game performance.

What we learned: We said in our Corvallis Regional preview that Creighton could experience a wealth of success this weekend if it plays defense and pitches well as it has the entire season. The Bluejays did just that against Georgia and we'll see if that continues against Oregon State. We also learned the Beavers have a flare for the comeback. The Beavers were down 4-0 to UALR in the fifth inning, but responded with seven runs the final four at bats to take care of business. OSU put its hard-nosed attitude on display.

Back to top Fort Worth Regional

Host: TCU
Where: Lupton Baseball Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas
Super regional pairing: Winner of Houston Regional

The skinny: Dallas Baptist staged a late rally with a run in the ninth and another in the 10th to beat Oklahoma 3-2 and advance to the winner's bracket. DBU outfielder Jason Krizan, the nation's doubles leader, had another productive day with two hits (one double) and two RBIs. Landon Anderson and Austin Elkins also had two hits in the game ... TCU freshman starting pitcher Andrew Mitchell showed no signs of nervousness in a 10-2 win over upset-minded Oral Roberts. He struck out three batters and allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings. Offensively, third baseman Jantzen Witte led the way with three hits and three RBIs.

Player of the day: P Brandon Williamson, Dallas Baptist -- Oklahoma's offense was expected to make some noise this weekend, but the Patriots starting pitcher made sure that didn't happen Friday. Williamson was fantastic against the Sooners, striking out seven and allowing just two runs on seven hits in a complete game performance. It was his 10th win of the season.

What we learned: Though he doesn't quite get the fanfare of Kyle Winkler and Matt Purke, TCU freshman pitcher Andrew Mitchell has an extremely bright future ahead of him. He really has molded into an excellent starting pitcher. Dallas Baptist beating Oklahoma wasn't a huge surprise. The Patriots have a solid offense and a couple of solid pitchers. The big key for the Patriots is staying in the winner's bracket, as they don't quite have the pitching depth as other teams in this NCAA Regional.

Back to top Fullerton Regional

Host: Cal State Fullerton
Where: Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Chapel Hill Regional

The skinny: Stanford pitcher Mark Appel put together a solid performance in a 10-3 win over Kansas State, but the offense also took care of business. Freshmen Lonnie Kauppila and Brian Ragira had huge days at the plate. Kauppila went 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs, while Ragira went 2-for-5 with two RBIs ... Cal State Fullerton starting pitcher Tyler Pill put together a solid showing against Illinois, striking out 11 and allowing four runs on five hits in eight innings. Fullerton leadoff hitter Ivory Thomas also deserves credit for going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI in the 10-4 triumph over the Fighting Illini.

Player of the day: P Mark Appel, Stanford -- Kansas State entered Friday hoping to surprise some with a win, but Appel, one of the top prospects for the 2012 draft, made sure that didn't happen. He struck out eight and allowed just three runs on seven hits in a complete game performance. Appel threw 118 pitches.

What we learned: Kansas State played very sloppy at times against Stanford, leading us to believe it wasn't completely ready to play. As for Stanford, it was telling that Ragira and Kauppila had such great days. Another freshman, Austin Wilson, went 0-for-4 on the day, but the future is incredibly bright with those three back as sophomores next season. Cal State Fullerton played a solid brand of baseball in a hard-fought win over Illinois. Starting pitcher Tyler Pill was fantastic while Ivory Thomas had a productive night at the plate. The Titans seemed extremely focused in their NCAA Regional opener.

Back to top Gainesville Regional

Host: Florida – No. 2 seed
Where: Alfred A. McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Atlanta Regional

The skinny: Miami has had solid pitching the entire spring and that didn't change against Jacksonville. UM starting pitcher Steven Ewing allowed just a run and a hit in six innings, while relievers Travis Miller and Daniel Miranda also performed at a high level, combining for 2 1/3 shutout innings in the 7-2 triumph ... We talk more about Preston Tucker's performance below, but Florida also received solid offensive performances from Daniel Pigott and Mike Zunino. Pigott recorded four hits and knocked in three runs while Zunino recorded three hits, a double and a home run, and knocked in two runs in a dominant 17-3 win over Manhattan.

Player of the day: OF Preston Tucker, Florida -- The Gators had a huge day at the plate and Tucker led the charge. Tucker finished the contest 3-for-6 with a pair of home runs, three runs scored and five RBIs. They need him to emulate that performance against Miami.

What we learned: Florida is in phenomenal shape from a pitching standpoint the rest of the weekend. The Gators started freshman sensation Karsten Whitson against the Jaspers and the righty only had to go 3 1/3 innings before the game was out of hand. Therefore, the Gators will have his services again by Sunday. They couldn't be in better shape. We also learned Miami has more than just a pitching staff. Though the Hurricanes pitched at a high level throughout the game, the offense also took care of business in the latter innings. The 'Canes must hit against the Gators.

Back to top Houston Regional

Host: Rice – No. 8 seed
Where: Reckling Park in Houston
Super regional pairing: Winner of Fort Worth Regional

The skinny: The surprise of the day was California starting pitcher and ace Erik Johnson getting lifted from the Baylor game after allowing five runs in just 2 1/3 innings in a tough 6-4 loss. Meanwhile, BU starting pitcher Logan Verrett struck out four and allowed three runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings ... Rice got solid pitching from Abe Gonzales in a 14-2 win over Alcorn State, but the offense also did their job. Ryan Lewis finished the contest with four hits while Michael Ratterree, Shane Hoelscher and Michael Fuda each finished the contest with three hits.

Player of the day: P Abe Gonzales, Rice -- Owls coach Wayne Graham decided to start Gonzalez against Alcorn State and he didn't go home disappointed. Gonzales struck out four and allowed just two runs on seven hits in a complete game performance.

What we learned: The times California has made the NCAA tournament the past few years it simply hasn't played well. That trend continued Friday with Erik Johnson's poor performance. The Golden Bears will show us what they're made of Saturday against Alcorn State. Baylor showed focus by rebounding nicely from a poor showing in the Big 12 tournament, while Rice continues to play at an extremely high level.

Back to top Los Angeles Regional

Host: UCLA
Where: Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles
Super regional pairing: Winner of Charlotttesville Regional

The skinny: San Francisco received an amazing pitching performance from right-hander Kyle Zimmer, but others also took care of business in a shocking 3-0 win over UCLA. Offensively, first baseman Nik Balong went 4-for-4 with two RBIs while seven other Dons recorded hits in the game ... UC Irvine couldn't have made more of a statement than it did in a 12-6 win over Fresno State. Starting pitcher Matt Summers allowed just one earned run in six innings while Jordan Leyland led the offense with two hits, a home run, three runs scored and five RBIs. D.J. Crumlich and Tommy Reyes each had three hits in the game.

Player of the day: P Kyle Zimmer, San Francisco -- With Gerrit Cole on the mound for UCLA, the Dons desperately needed a solid start from Zimmer. They got exactly what they needed and more. Zimmer struck out 11 and allowed just four hits in a complete game shutout.

What we learned: UCLA still has issues at the plate. The Bruins hit well against Arizona State last weekend, but they've struggled at the plate for much of the season. That trend continued against San Francisco, where the Bruins offense only mustered four hits against Kyle Zimmer. UCLA must respond offensively to have a chance to win this NCAA Regional. Fresno State's pitching woes were a surprise, while UC Irvine made a bold statement with a solid all-around performance.

Back to top Nashville Regional

Host: Vanderbilt – No. 6 seed
Where: Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Corvallis Regional

The skinny: We thought Troy had a legitimate chance to beat Oklahoma State on Friday, but certainly didn't expect a 9-2 thrashing of the Cowboys. Troy starting pitcher Tyler Ray struck out five and allowed just two runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings, while second baseman T.J. Rivera led the way at the plate with three hits and three RBIs ... Vanderbilt starting pitcher Sonny Gray led the way to a 10-0 win over Belmont, but five Commodores contributed in a big way at the plate with two-hit performances, while outfielder Mike Yastrzemski recorded three hits and knocked in a run.

Player of the day: P Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt -- The Commodores took no chances against Belmont and decided to start Gray. That now seems like a smart decision. Gray struck out three and allowed just three hits in six shutout innings against the Bruins. With the win, Gray's record improved to 11-3 and he threw just 68 pitches, meaning he could come back Monday if needed.

What we learned: Vanderbilt has heard so much the past few weeks about its inability to win a home NCAA Regional. But as wasn't the case against Austin Peay in 2007, the Commodores were focused and played flawless against Belmont. Vandy's level of play is extremely impressive right now. Troy also made a bold statement with strong pitching by Tyler Ray and timely hitting. The Trojans have had consistency issues lately, but are very solid when they want to be. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has been bad the past few weeks and there's no explanation for its collapse.

Back to top Tallahassee Regional

Host: Florida State – No. 5 seed
Where: Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.
Super regional pairing: Winner of College Station Regional

The skinny: Alabama starting pitcher Nathan Kilcrease carried his team to a solid 5-3 victory over Central Florida, but the offense also rose to the occasion. Brett Booth recorded three hits in the game, while first baseman Austen Smith recorded two hits and knocked in two runs. Taylor Dugas and Jared Reaves also had two hits in the game ... Florida State starting pitcher Hunter Scantling didn't exactly pitch at a high level, but the offense picked him up down the stretch on the way to a 6-5 victory. Sherman Johnson had two hits and knocked in two runs, while Jayce Boyd added two hits and Rafael Lopez recorded three hits.

Player of the day: P Nathan Kilcrease, Alabama -- UCF can be highly productive at the plate, so it was important for the Crimson Tide ace to have a solid performance. He didn't disappoint. Kilcrease struck out 10 and allowed just two runs on four hits in seven innings. Now it's Adam Morgan and Jonathan Smart's turns to take care of business on the mound.

What we learned: Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised when Florida State's pitching staff outside of Sean Gilmartin struggles, but Hunter Scantling having issues against Bethune-Cookman was a surprise. The Seminoles will have a tough time reaching the College World Series with just one consistent starter. Someone needs to step up the rest of the weekend. Alabama's performance against UCF was impressive. Nathan Kilcrease was solid out of the gate, while the Tide opted to throw No. 3 starter Jonathan Smart in relief to close out the game. Alabama coach Mitch Gaspard once again has his team prepared for a postseason run, and that's impressive.

Back to top Tempe Regional

Host: Arizona State
Where: Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Super regional pairing: Winner of Austin Regional

The skinny: Charlotte starting pitcher Andrew Smith was great against Arkansas and guided his team to a 3-2 win over Arkansas. Offensively, Corbin Shive went 2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and two RBIs, while four-hole hitter Justin Wilson also had two hits in the game ... New Mexico starting pitcher Rudy Jaramillo allowed just two runs on four hits in eight innings, but the Lobos were unable to hold off Arizona State in a 4-2 loss. ASU starting pitcher Brady Rodgers struck out 10 and allowed two runs on five hits in eight innings.

Player of the day: P Andrew Smith, Charlotte -- The 49ers have had a solid season and Smith has been extremely consistent. He was that way again Friday against Arkansas. Smith struck out four and allowed just a run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings.

What we learned: New Mexico put together a solid performance against Arizona State on Friday, but you have to wonder about the Sun Devils moving forward. Though they fought back to beat the Lobos, they didn't show a lot of focus for much of the game. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn decided to start Randall Fant and he didn't last long, putting the Hogs in a bad pitching situation moving forward. In hindsight, the Hogs probably should've started ace D.J. Baxendale against Charlotte. Though Andrew Smith threw a gem for Charlotte on Friday, it'll be interesting to see how it performs the rest of the weekend.

Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at kendall@perfectgame.org



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