College : : Story
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Raleigh Regional preview

Kendall Rogers        


Team Conference Record Berth Last NCAA appearance
1. North Carolina State Atlantic Coast 44-14 At-large 2012
2. Ole Miss Southeastern 37-22 At-large 2012
3. William & Mary Colonial Athletic 37-22 At-large 2001
4. Binghamton America East 30-23 Automatic 2009
N.C. State
1. N.C. State
     2. Ole Miss       

3. William & Mary

4. Binghamton
North Carolina State will not be a fun team to face this weekend in the Raleigh Regional. The Wolfpack finished the regular season and conference tournament with a very impressive 18-10 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams, but were snubbed out of a national seed, with Oregon getting the nod for the No. 8 spot. N.C. State's starting rotation has been kind of a revolving door this season, but keep an eye on imposing left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon, who was up to 93 in the ninth inning last weekend against North Carolina, and had his usual devastating 83-85 slider working extremely well, particularly in on right-handed hitters. Left-handed pitcher Brad Stone is a tall lanky-framed guy who has shown flashes of greatness this season, making his 5.81 ERA rather deceptive, while Logan Jernigan was in the rotation last weekend and has a 1.07 ERA in 25 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, the strength of this team is the bullpen with quality arms such as Grant Sasser (1.18, 29 IP), Josh Easley (1.62), Andrew Woeck (2.86) and Ryan Wilkins (4.00) leading the charge. Also keep an eye on consistent closer Chris Overman, who doesn't have overpowering stuff, but is a bulldog who throws strikes. Meanwhile, from an offensive standpoint, the Wolfpack have the potential to put up some runs if they get on a roll. Third baseman Grant Clyde, who's hitting .291 with four homers and 24 RBIs has been solid lately, while shortstop Trea Turner leads the way with a .376 batting average, six homers, 40 RBIs, and of course, 24 stolen bases in 30 attempts. Bryan Adametz and Jake Fincher also are tough hitters, while imposing Tarran Senay, who's hitting .284 with six homers and 49 RBIs, has good power and is a run producer.
Ole Miss
As usually seems to be the case, the Rebels are a rather frustrating team this season. After losing several key cogs from last year's team at the plate, the Rebels appeared to be a team ready to move forward earlier in the season. However, they've been struggling at the plate and enter the postseason hitting .276. Catcher Stuart Tuner is a bright spot both offensively and defensively, hitting an impressive .381 with 15 doubles, five homers and 50 RBIs, while third baseman Andrew Mistone (.316/0/34) and Austin Anderson (.300/3/38) also have been impressive at times. Speedy outfielder Tanner Mathis must rise to the occasion this weekend, while the same can be said for sophomore Auston Bousfield, who's hitting just .262 with two homers and 24 RBIs. Pitching-wise, the Rebels have the ability to be outstanding with right-handed starting pitchers Bobby Wahl and Mike Mayers in charge. Both Wahl and Mayers will throw anywhere from 92-94, with Wahl touching some 95s on the radar gun. Mayers was impressive in the SEC tournament, perhaps serving a springboard to the postseason. Meanwhile, right-handed pitcher Sam Smith has been solid at times this season and gets up to 90 with his fastball, while in the bullpen, Brett Huber, Matt Denny, Tanner Bailey and Aaron Greenwood give the Rebels a reliable quartet.
William & Mary
William & Mary went on an offensive rampage last weekend in the CAA tournament and is an interesting team to watch this weekend in Raleigh, N.C. It's safe to say the Tribe won't overwhelm anyone from a pitching staff. William & Mary possesses a pair of solid starting pitchers in John Farrell and Jason Inghram. Farrell has a 2.80 ERA in 109 1/3 innings of work, along with 86 strikeouts and 13 walks, while Inghram has a 3.46 ERA in 96 1/3 innings along with 96 strikeouts and 23 walks. Depth is an issue for the Tribe, but keep an eye on reliever Matt Wainman, who has appeared in 24 games and has eight saves with a 3.90 ERA in 60 innings. Offensively, the Tribe can overwhelm teams with a .296 batting average entering the weekend. Michael Katz (.365/5/47) and Ryan Lindemuth (.363/4/47) are elite hitters to watch, while Ryan Brown is hitting .329 with two homers and 30 RBIs.
The Bearcats finished the regular season with just a 17-14 mark in the America East, but are playing a solid brand of baseball and have an upset on their minds. Binghamton isn't an overly impressive offensive club with a .266 team batting average, but keep an eye on leading hitters Jake Thomas, Daniel Nevares and Shaun McGraw. Thomas is hitting .382 with five homers and 36 RBIs, Nevares is hitting .314 with two homers and 34 RBIs and McGraw is hitting .295 with four homers and 15 RBIs. Pitching-wise, the Bearcats have a few very quality arms to watch, particularly in the way of starting pitchers Jack Rogalia, Jake Lambert and Jay Lynch. Rogalia has a 2.82 ERA in 83 innings of work, along with 51 strikeouts and 13 walks, Lambert has a 2.95 ERA in 94 2/3 innings, along with 76 strikeouts and 16 walks, while Lynch has a 2.98 ERA in 81 2/3 innings, along with 53 strikeouts and 14 walks. Binghamton's offense must step up to experience some success this weekend.
There's no doubt N.C. State will be on the warpath this weekend, but it must make sure it doesn't get overly emotional. The Wolfpack have an outstanding ace pitcher in Carlos Rodon, but the rest of the weekend rotation tends to be a bit inconsistent. That can't be the case this weekend against Ole Miss, which pitches well most of the time, and William & Mary, which hits the ball with authority. However, N.C. State's offense, in my opinion, is much better than people give it credit for. Trea Turner, Jake Fincher, Brett Williams, Blake Austin, Tarran Senay and Grant Clyde are all guys who can be dangerous. Ole Miss can win this NCAA Regional if the offense rises to the occasion, while William & Mary will need strong starts. The Tribe can ill afford to go deep into their bullpen if they want to pull off an upset this weekend. Though Ole Miss has a chance to surprise, we feel safe saying N.C. State will take care of business.


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