The Nebraska baseball team’s officially a part of the postseason. If the Huskers are going to get very far, they have to get through a fairly difficult regional only to barge into an even more potentially dangerous super regional.
Let’s review everything you need to know about the Stillwater regional with an interactive and printable bracket for your convenience.
|(1) Oklahoma State||45-16||Big 12|
|(4) Binghamton||25-25||America East|
|(3) Cal State-Fullerton||32-22||Big West|
|(2) Nebraska||40-19||Big Ten|
(RPI in parenthesis)
Oklahoma State (18)
The Big 12 regular season champion Cowboys went 18-6 in conference including a series win over eventual Big 12 tournament champion and No. 7 national seed TCU (11). They went on a tear later in the year sweeping a series against both Arizona State (38) and Kansas State (104). They took the series against Texas (12) two games to one, but lost two during their trip to Baylor (70).
Appropriately, a thrilling win over Oklahoma (85) clinched their conference title.
In the Big 12 tournament, the Cowboys and Sooners would meet again. Oklahoma State knocked off Oklahoma before falling to Texas.
The Cowboys would best the Sooners again before beating the Longhorns in back-to-back games. While they overcame bracket adversity to make an appearance in the tourney title game, they would fall to the Horned Frogs.
Outfielder Zach Fish was named Big 12′s Player of the Year and skipper Josh Holliday was named Coach of the Year.
Catcher Gage Green, infielder Donnie Walton garnered All-Big 12 first team honors as did pitchers Brendan McCurry and Vince Wheeland and Fish.
Originally picked as the America East favorites, the Bearcats claimed a 9-15 overall record six weeks ago, floundering in the conference standings. Following two wins against No. 1 tournament seed Stony Brook, Binghamton now finds themselves in one of the toughest regionals of the entire tournament.
The Bearcats won their series against Maine (237) two games to one and took two out of three against Cornell (207). They would find themselves swept by Georgia (58), lost their series against VMI (121) and split games against Boston College (154)
Outfielders Bill Bereszniewicz and Jake Thomas were named to the All-America East first team squad while pitcher Jack Rogalla and second baseman Daniel Nevares were named to the second team. Catcher Ed Posavec and Jextin Pugh showed the program’s potential being named to the All-Rookie team.
Cal State-Fullerton (54)
After being picked to win the Big West, things went…south. The Titans were picked as the nation’s preseason No. 1 by the Collegiate Baseball, USA Today and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Things looked rosy for CS-F…until head coach Rick Vanderhook was suspended for 16 games. The university was conduction an investigation about “acting improperly in communicating with his team”.
Vanderhook had some inspirational words about the leadership on this year’s CS-F squad when speaking to ESPN.com:
“There is none. That is the problem. There is no leadership.”
Unfortunately, it’s that kind of infighting that can lead to a fall from the highest of mountains and here we are.
Would it be a college baseball season without the Titans in the postseason? That’s a legitimate question as this squad may have been the first from CS-F to not be involved in it in two decades.
The Titans swept the Oregon Ducks (23) in Eugene, but went 14-10 in Big West action including series wins over UC-Irvine (44) and UC-Davis (188). They also split six games against Long Beach State (29).
Unfortunately, CS-F could only claim one game out of three against UC-Santa Barbara (50) and were swept during a trip to Cal Poly (16). The Titans find themselves coming into the NCAA tournament on a hot streak as they’ve notched seven straight wins.
Sophomore Justin Garza stepped up this past week throwing the fourth no-hitter in program history. One of the other three is Nebraska’s own Ted Silva. On the offensive side of the ball, right fielder J.D. Davis batted .562 with five extra base hits over the past week. It’s been a wild season for the Titans, but it would be wise not to let their record fool you.
They’ve caught fire at the perfect point to make a lot of noise in a hurry.
A number that keeps hovering around this year’s Nebraska baseball team is 2008. That was the last year its record was this good, its home attendance was this high and before the skid that brought Darin Erstad to Lincoln started. If the Huskers want to make it out of Stillwater, it’ll take all of the grit and determination this team has to do it.
After knocking off Illinois (55) for second place in the Big Ten standings, the Huskers tore through the winner’s bracket of the conference tourney shoving aside Ohio State (128), Michigan State (101) and Michigan (105). The Huskers fell eventual national No. 4 seed Indiana (2), but have the firepower and pitching to do damage in this regional. However, they absolutely cannot afford to make mistakes.
The Huskers split two games with overall No. 1 national seed Oregon State (6) early in the season before winning their series against UC-Irvine (44) later in the year. Conference play was a roller coaster as they swept Ohio State and Minnesota (115), but lost their series at Iowa (120) and at home against Northwestern (226).
Nebraska baseball found its old form winning its series against Michigan before sweeping Penn State (230) and Michigan State.
Second baseman Pat Kelly, outfielder Michael Pritchard and pitcher Chance Sinclair garnered All-Big Ten first team honors while outfielder Ryan Boldt was named to the All-Freshman team.
Nebraska and Cal State-Fullerton meet at 12:00 p.m. CST this Friday on ESPNU while Oklahoma State clashes with Binghamton at 6:00 pm CST on ESPN3.
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