Sorenson: Saturday Regional WrapAnalysis
Well, today we said goodbye to 15 teams in this year’s field of 64, 11 of which were four seeds and no big surprise. Three of the field’s three-seeds were sent home today in San Diego State, Ohio State and Northeastern.
The most stunning of the 15 teams to pack their bags was, of course, Florida State, the No. 7 national seed who got run out of its own stadium in two straight to Samford and Mississippi State. And don’t worry, we’ll get to that stunning exit as well.
As for the No. 1 seeds in this year’s NCAA Tournament, here are your teams’ odds of making it out of this weekend. In case you guys didn’t know, here are the statistics for winning/losing first games of the Regionals since the field expanded in 1999.
Regional Winners By Start:
Started 2-0: 81%
Lost 1-0 game: 12%
Lost First Game: 7%
Here is a quick-hit look at what happened on day two of the 2018 Regionals.
WHO IS SITTING PRETTY:
– All the 2-0 teams.
As mentioned above, 81% of the teams that begin the Regionals unbeaten after two games go on to win the Regional. But of those 2-0 teams, who is in the best shape?
The Hog bats are going batty, scoring 20 runs in two games, and they won’t have to face Southern Miss All American Nick Sandlin. That makes for a breezy rest of the Regional round for the Razorbacks. On top of that, South Carolina is in the driver’s seat in the Greenville Regional, and that’s a team they beat two-of-three back in April and held the Gamecock offense to three runs in 27 innings.
WHO IS BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL:
Getting routed by Oregon State tonight up in the Pacific Northwest, the Tigers now will have to win three games in two days, knowing they are going to be without Ma’Khail Hilliard, their normal Saturday starter. The cupboard isn’t deep enough for the Tigers to come back and win three more games. Or is it?
TOUR DE FORCE:
– Kody Clemens, Texas
The Rocket’s son sent a few rockets over the outfield wall tonight in helping the Longhorns down Texas A&M 8-3 in an emotionally-charged atmosphere in Austin. K.C.’s three-run dong early on put the Horns on the board in the first inning and gave the Burnt Orange a lead they’d never relinquish. He also cranked a solo shot in the sixth inning as part of his four RBI game.
– Elijah MacNamee, Mississippi State
The biggest no-brainer of the day. MacNamee was a guy who lost his starting job earlier in the season, but made up for it today. Say what you want about the FSU decision to keep starting pitcher Drew Parrish in the game after the two-hour-plus rain delay, MacNamee still had to go out there and swing the bat. And swing he did. That was a no-doubter to the scoreboard at Mike Martin Field.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 2, 2018
– Mike Martin, Florida State.
Just like Mark Etheridge pointed out earlier today, I hate to do this to the winningest coach in our sport, but c’mon. Your starter had thrown 108 pitches and sat through a two and a half hour rain delay. Just pull him. You’ve got plenty of weapons in the bullpen that can get you the final three outs.
NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME PLAYERS:
– The New Mexico State offense.
The Aggies came into the Lubbock Regional with the No. 5-ranked offense, hitting .312 and the No. 4-ranked club in on-base percentage at .412. But in the two losses to Texas Tech and Kent State, they hit just .227 and scored just three runs in 18 innings.
MOST INTERESTING DAY 3 MATCHUP:
– Georgia vs. Troy, Athens Regional.
This winner’s bracket game was supposed to be played as game three today in Athens but the game was pushed to Sunday due to the curfew rule the NCAA imposes on games starting too late at night. But I’ve got a word of warning to the Bulldogs, these Troy boys, they can pile up the runs. So if the game does ever get played…
BEST CONFERENCE PERFORMANCE:
– Big 12
The Big 12 went 4-1 on the day including having Texas rout old rival Texas A&M and No. 1 seed Texas Tech routing two-seed Louisville 10-4. Those two teams are joined by Oklahoma for having three Big 12 teams start the Regional 2-0. The only loss on the day was Oklahoma State dropping a 10-3 decision at Stetson.
WORST CONFERENCE PERFORMANCE:
For the second straight day the Atlantic Coast Conference went 3-3, although this one was MUCH more painful, as you’d imagine. Florida State’s jog-off loss to Mississippi State just amps up the pain meter all that much more.
– 9:03am Pacific Time
Ohio State-UNC Wilmington at the Greenville Regional. Thirty-two seconds earlier than the FSU-Mississippi State game tossed out its first pitch.
– 2:31am Eastern Time
That was when “Jumbo” Jace Chamberlain belly-bumped a solo home run to right-center field in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Stanford. Here it is…
– Austin Regional
At 8pm Central time it was still 99º with a heat index of 105º. At first pitch it was 100º and 107º respectively. It was steamy all day in the capital city. Just gross.
– Minneapolis Regional
At 12:25am Central time it was 59 º at Seibert Field.
Some of the hearty fans in the stands wearing maroon were still wearing t-shirts at the end of the game. Especially Bud Grant, who looked at the temperatures in the 50s and said, “Pffft. Sissy weather.”
– North Carolina State-Northeastern game: 2-hours, 26-minutes
It helps that the Pack’s Brian Brown went the distance and is a fast worker on the mound. NC State salvaged its season with the win over the Huskies.
– Duke-Campbell game: 4-hours, 21-minutes
The Blue Devils’ 11-run ninth inning lasted 54 minutes all by itself.
LONGEST GAME IN REAL TIME:
– Florida State-Mississippi State, 5-hours, 9-minutes.
But it was the final minute that had the earth-shattering repercussions
THE DREADED RAIN DELAY AWARD
– Athens Regional
In total, we have now had eight Regionals being affected by rain and lightning delays so far this weekend. But the Troy-Georgia game was deemed to start too late for the NCAA Tournament curfew, so they moved it to a Sunday morning game. Also, the Oxford Regional has still played just two of its games.
Other things of note about today.
– Attendance Records.
Both Ole Miss and Oregon State set stadium attendance records today. There were 11,304 at today’s 9-2 win over St. Louis. Up in Corvallis a Goss Stadium crowd of 4,009 were in attendance to see the Beavers take down LSU 14-1.
– No. 1 Seeds
Here is how the No. 1 seeds have fared after two days of Regional play…
… 2-0 teams
3- Oregon State
6- North Carolina
9- Texas Tech
… 1-0 teams
4- Ole Miss
… 1-1 teams
12- East Carolina
15- Coastal Carolina
16- North Carolina State
7- Florida State
– Strange Jockeying of ESPN announcer assignments
A lot of you might not have noticed, but the announcer/color commentator assignments for the Regionals has been a little strange. A couple weeks ago when I saw Clay Matvick at the Georgia-Florida series he was excited over the prospect of possibly staying at home in Minneapolis to work a Regional hosted by Minnesota. But he also told me, “You know how things go, I’ll probably be sent to Stanford.”
Well Mr. Matvick got to stay at home and work the Minneapolis Regional. But Oxford, Mississippi native Richard Cross was sent to Conway to work Coastal Carolina’s home Regional, while Sam Ravech and Ben McDonald are working the Oxford Regional. Also, Lowell Galindo and Greg Moreland, who work all the Texas games on the Longhorn Network, were sent to the Lubbock Regional, while Tom Hart and our Papa Bear, Kyle Peterson, were sent to Austin. Go figure.