WRAL: NC State pitcher Carlos Rodon was named USA Baseball’s Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Tuesday, joining the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman. The award is given annually to USA Baseball’s top player while honoring the memory of the organization’s founding executive director and CEO. Rodon, a Holly Springs native, […]
Foreword, just because I can…
I’m putting this preview up early in the hopes that it will stimulate some meaningful conversation BEFORE the regional games get underway on Friday.Â Despite some “blips” this season, not to mention the recent snubbing by the NCAA selection committee, this Wolfpack team has had an outstanding year and deserves some positive chatter (despite what a few posters seem to think on the matter).
Some of you were ready to write them off when they dropped the first game of the season vs App.Â Most of you probably don’t have memories that go that far back when it comes to baseball, but trust me, some of the comments were asinine at best.Â Just saying.
There’s still a lot of ball to be played and a helluva lot still to play for.
So hopefully we can get away a bit from the negativity surrounding the snubbing given us by the NCAA’s selection committee.Â Yeah, it sucks we didn’t get a national seed.Â But it’s done now…plus there’s a thread (two actually…and there’s a link to both of them just below) where that conversation can continue for those who wish.
OK, off the soapbox.
The Pack is hosting a regional at The Doak for the second consecutive year.Â State won the Raleigh Regional in 2012, then advanced to Gainesville to face the University of Florida, dropping two straight to the Gators in a series marred significantly by weather.Â Including losing the services of starter Carlos Rodon in Game Two after a 2 1/2 hour rain delay in the 3rd inning.
Even without Rodon, the Pack fought hard and still almost prevailed to force a Game Three, but ultimately fell 9-8 in 10 innings in a hostile environment.
Wolfpack Nation had hoped (expected?) that the Pack could avoid a similar scenario this year and secure a top 8 national seed, ensuring home field advantage throughout the first two rounds of the 2013 NCAA Tournament on the way to Omaha.Â The selection committee had other ideas on the matter however, and should the Pack emerge from Raleigh again in 2013 they will likely have to become road warriors once again, this time to Eugene, Oregon.
Maybe weather won’t be an issue this year however.Â Word is that Phil Knight has in his possession a weather ray that can divert all impending precipitation.Â Bowerman built it in his garage before he died.Â Nike money….Just Do It.
OK, enough of that stupidity.
44-14 (19-10 ACC, 2nd ACC Atlantic, RPI: 7)
After the return of Trea Turner from injury on March 27, the Pack finished the season winning 28 of their last 33 contests.Â Of those five losses, two were to UNC (#1 RPI) and two were to FSU (#8 RPI).
18-10 vs Top 50 RPI on the season.
Top Offensive Performers:
Batting Avg. – Turner (.376), Adametz (.320), Fincher (.317), Clyde (.291)
HRs – Turner (6), Senay (6), Clyde (4), Williams (3), Morgan (3)
RBI – Senay (46), Turner (40), Austin (36), Adametz (31), Williams (31)
Runs Scored – Turner (59), Fincher (46), Clyde (38), Austin (36), Williams (32)
Doubles – Austin (19), Clyde (16), Senay (14), Adametz (13), Turner (11)
Triples – Turner (4), Senay (2), Armstrong (2), Ratledge (2)
Slugging% – Turner (.567), Clyde (.461), Senay (.446), Adametz (.396), Austin (.391)
OnBase% – Turner (.460), Armstrong (.432), Fincher (.409), Clyde (.372), Adametz (.369)
Stolen Bases – Turner (24), Williams (17), Fincher (14), Austin (13), Ratledge (10)
After a shaky early season, the Pack’s undisputed ace, sophomore lefty Carlos Rodon, has bounced back into form down the stretch, most recently going 10 innings while yielding only 1 hit, 1 run (0 earned) with 14 Ks against the most prolific offense in the country.
State has also gotten some serviceable outings of late from Freshman lefty Brad Stone, and the re-emergence of Logan Jernigan could be huge for the Pack if he can just keep the ball down in the zone.
The Wolfpack’s WHIP rating of 1.22 puts them at #21 in the nation in that category, largely on the strength of bullpen that’s second to none.Â Both good omens for the Pack in the post-season.
The Pack is 3rd in the nation in Ks per 9 innings (8.8) and 8th in hits allowed per 9 innings (7.17).Â Get those free passes under control and this staff could become downright nasty.Â Currently, the Pack is 164th in the nation in BBs per 9 innings (3.71).Â We also seemingly have a tendency to plunk batters at the wrong times too.
Defensively, the Pack is serviceable (.968) but not spectacular.Â Mr. Armstrong in LF has his adventures at times (.869).Â And if I’m being honest, for an All-American at SS, Trea Turner needs to tighten up a bit as well (.933).
30-23 (16-13, 2nd America East) RPI:171
Bid: Automatic (America East Tourney Champs)
The Bearcats found their way to Raleigh on the strength of their run in the America East Tourney where they first dispatched the Albany Great Danes, then out of the winner’s bracket took 2 of 3 from the top seeded Maine Black Bears to take the title.
At the plate: Binghamton bats .261 as a team, with 17 HRs on the season.Â Some of their big sticks are:
Jake Thomas (#44, Soph, CF/C) – .382 avg, 5HR, 36 RBI, 42 runs, .541 slg%, .528 ob%
Daniel Navares (#15, Jr, 2B) – .314 avg, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 24 runs, .447 slg%
Shawn McGraw (#1, JR, LF/DH) – .295 avg, 4 HR, .447 slg%
Zach Blanden (#9, Soph, RF) – .268 avg, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 37 runs, 11/13 sb
In the field: As a staff, the Bearcats carry an ERA of 3.67.Â They’ve given up only 17 HRs on the season, and have an against average of .259.
The Pack will likely be facing one of two guys in their Friday matchup with the Bearcats (probably Lambert)…
Jake Lambert (#14, Sr, RHP) – 7-2, ERA 2.95, 94.2 IP, 1 HR, .263 against avg., 76 Ks, 16 BBs.
Jack Rogalla (#27, Jr, RHP) – 5-4, ERA 2.82, 83.0 IP, 3 HR, .252 against avg., 51 Ks, 13 BBs.
The Bearcats are strong defensively with a team fld pct of .975.
Binghamton Bearcats Baseball Home (BUBearcats.com)
Located: Vestal, New York
Total Enrollment: 14,000+
Athletics Mascot: Baxter The Bearcat
Colors: Green, Black and White
Almost Claim to Fame: Basketball team came within 1 point of upsetting Carolina (in Chapel Hill no less) in its first season of D1 competition (12/16/2001).
Famous Alumni:Â Billy Baldwin (OK, alumnUS..singular)
37-22 (15-15, 4th SEC West) RPI: 20
Bid: At Large
The Rebels are out of the SEC, have an RPI of 20, and managed to break even in conference.Â If that doesn’t tell you they’re good, then you might as well stop reading and mail the rest in.
At the plate:Â Ole Miss bats .276 as a team, with 23 HRs on the year.Â Their big hitters are:
Stuart Turner (#25, Jr, C) – .381 avg, 5 HR, 50 RBI, 44 runs, .533 slg%, .452 ob%
Austin Anderson (#8, Jr, SS/3B) – .300 avg, 3 HR, 38 RBI, 39 runs, .405 slg%
Andrew Mistone (#25, Sr, 3B) – .316 avg, 0 HR, 34 RBI, 33 runs, .381 slg%, .386 ob%
Preston Overbey (#1, Jr, LF/3B) – .280 avg, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 23 runs, .423 slg%
In the field: The Rebels’ pitching staff posted a 3.11 ERA in 2013, yielding 27 HRs, with an against avg. of .244.Â Their three most reliable starters on the season were:
Bobby Wahl (#19, Jr, RHP) – 9-0, 1.99 ERA, 90.2 IP, 3 HRs, .189 against avg., 76 Ks, 42 BBs
Mike Mayers (#28, JR, RHP) – 5-5, 2.98 ERA, 87.2 IP, 6 HRs, .231 against avg., 70 Ks, 31 BBs
Sam Smith (#29, Soph, RHP) – 3-0, 3.11 ERA, 63.2 IP, 3 HRs, .279 against avg., 33 Ks, 19 BBs.
A tad bit above avg. defensively at .970 fld pct as a team.
Ole Miss Rebels Baseball Home (OleMissSports.com)
Located: Oxford, Mississippi
Total Enrollment: 20,000+
Athletics Mascot: Rebels
Colors: Crimson & Blue (Yale Blue, that is)
Famous alumni include: Eli “Don’t Call Me Peyton” Manning, Kate Jackson, Gerald McRaney (“Jericho” producers cut their own throats when they killed him off in the first season finale, btw..I still miss that show), William Faulkner and John Grisham (read a book you heathens).
Recent Pussy Move: Changing their mascot from Col. Reb:
37-22 (17-10, 2nd Colonial Athl. Assoc.) RPI: 44
Bid: At Large
Out of the CAA, the Tribe is a pretty good team.Â With an RPI of 44, they managed to earn an at large bid out of the CAA (one of two actually, regular season Champ UNC-W got the other) so they can’t suck too badly.
At the Plate: The Tribe bats .296 as a team, with 17 HRs on the season.Â The guys they rely on are:
Ryan Lindemuth (#5, Jr, 2B) – .363 avg, 4 HR, 47 RBI, 58 runs, .481 slg%, .442 ob%
Michael Katz (#25, soph, 1B) – .365 avg, 5 HR, 47 RBI, 47 runs, .563 slg%, .452 ob%
Ryan Brown (#6, Sr, CF) – .329 avg, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 61 runs .419 slg%, .458 ob%, 21/26 sb
William Shaw (#10, Jr, 3B) – .305 avg, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 42 runs, .399 slg%, .422 ob%
In the Field: William & Mary’s pitching staff has had some adventures at times.Â They carry a staff ERA of 4.16, have given up 34 HRs on the season, and opponents are batting .279 agains them.Â But they do have a couple of guys that can get it done:
John Farrell (#34, Sr, RHP) – 11-2, 2.80 ERA, 109.1 IP, 6 HR, .259 against avg, 86 Ks, 13 BBs
Jason Inghram (#17, Soph, LHP) – 8-6, 3.46 ERA, 96.1 IP, 4 HR, .242 against avg, 96 Ks, 23 BBs
The Tribe falls on the bottom side of average with a suspect fld pct of .966.
William & Mary Tribe Baseball Home (TribeAthletics.com)
Founded: 1693 (In the US, only Harvard is older)
Located: Williamsburg, Virginia
Total Enrollment: 8,000+
Athletics Mascot: Tribe, as now represented by a Griffin of all things
Colors: Green, Gold and Silver
Famous Alumni: Our 3rd, 5th and 10th US presidents (Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler respectively), Actors Scott Glenn and Glenn Close, and comedy greats Jon Stewart and Patton Oswalt (OK, maybe Patton Oswalt is just a personal favorite).
Recent Pussy Move: Changing their logo and using this Griffin:
…..when they could have used this one:
Friday, May 31st
Game One â€“ #2 Ole Miss vs #3 William and Mary â€“ 2pm
Game Two â€“ #1 NC State vs #4 Binghamton â€“ 7pm
Saturday, June 1st
Game Three â€“ (Loser Game One vs Loser Game Two) â€“ 2pm (Loser eliminated)
Game Four â€“ (Winner Game One vs Winner Game Two) â€“ 7pm
Sunday, June 2nd
Game Five â€“ (Winner Game Three vs Loser Game Four) â€“ 1pm (Loser eliminated)
Game Six â€“ (Winner Game Four vs Winner Game Five) â€“ 6pm
Monday, June 3rd – if necessary
Game Seven â€“ (Winner Game Six vs Loser Game Six) â€“ 7pm
TV Coverage – The Pack’s Friday game vs Binghamton will be on ESPN3.Â Other TV info is not yet announced.
Some Miscellaneous Links [Added 5/30]
Road To Omaha 2013: NCAA Regional Schedule (BaseballAmerica.com)
Road to Omaha begins for UNC, NC State, UNCW and Elon (NewsObserver.com)
N.C. State baseball: Avent succeeds under high expectations (NewsObserver.com)
NC State baseball: Hosting doesn’t guarantee trip to Omaha (NewsObserver.com)
And Trea Turner is among the 30 national semi-finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, so be sure to go HERE and vote for him.Â A lot.
Raleigh Regional Preview (BaseballAmerica.com)
NC State baseball: Relievers have been saving grace (NewsObserver.com)
Let’s Go Pack!! Omaha (probably by way of Eugene) Awaits!!!