We’ve known the participants since Monday, we might as well meet them and look for things to watch for in the first regional hosted by the Wolfpack since 2003 (and the first in Raleigh, as the 2003 regional was in Wilson). Let’s take a look at some team stats first. RPIs are from warrennolan.com. State’s matchup with James Madison is slated for 7:00 tonight. Charlotte tackles South Carolina in the 2:00 opener.
|Team||RPI||Runs Scored||Runs Allowed||HR||SB/Att||ERA||Errors|
All of these teams can score runs. Anyone who’s read what I write knows I have a thing for homeruns, and South Carolina is a team that can certainly tear the cover off the ball, with 103 of them. Of the participants in the regional, only Charlotte has fewer homeruns as a team than State. South Carolina doesn’t run very much, but then again if I had a team full of bombers I probably wouldn’t want to burn too many outs on the basepaths. State has the fewest runs scored of the participants in the regional, but has also allowed the fewest runs. The Wolfpack’s staff ERA is nearly a run lower than the closest team (Charlotte). A glance at the error column shows that defense may play a factor, as only SC has fewer errors than games played on the season (State, while it’s ERA is nice, gave up 42 unearned runs on the season- which is getting close to a run a game! Not good.) State also has an unsettled closer situation (I would guess McConnell will “settle” it, but I’ve been wrong once or twice) as Gillheeney won’t be around for the regional.
As far as individuals are concerned, hear are some names to pay attention to as the weekend unfolds. GASP! For the most part the hitters are the guys that knock the something-or-other out of the ball. (Like you’ve ever seen Juan Pierre highlighted in a preview…)
- OFFENSIVE LEADERS
A note on the USC leaders is that these players represent the 1B, SS, 3B and C positions- that’s a heck of an offensive infield. (What, they couldn’t get Chase Utley for 2B??)
Here’s a quick glance at some pitchers to watch for this weekend. Beneficial to the Wolfpack is the fact that there don’t appear to be any real strikeout artists out there, and you can work a walk out of a lot of the opposing pitchers. (As a sidenote, check out Shunick’s K/BB numbers. That’s pretty solid.
- PITCHING LEADERS
This should be a fun regional to watch, or track on GameCast as those stuck in Florida, like yours truly, will do. I’ll leave you with a quote from James Madison head coach Spanky McFarland. JMU, or at least the head coach, is clearly not intimidated by their first round matchup. I hope Avent is paying attention and has the boys ready to play.
I know we have a good alumni base down in Raleigh too so thatâ€™s good for everybody. That way we should have a nice crowd down there. The other thing I thought about immediately is that itâ€™s an ACC school. Weâ€™ve played them before and weâ€™ve beaten them before. So itâ€™s not like weâ€™re going to an SEC school or Pac 10 school with that element of not knowing anything about them.