D1Baseball Weekly Chat: May 13


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PirateFan: Does ECU get that top 8 seed now the Louisville dropped a series with Virginia?
Kendall Rogers: I do think ECU has once again bolstered its top 8 seed case. We will see how things pan out in the NerdCast tomorrow night, but I love the fact that ECU has absolutely dominated a top five RPI conference. It has been the model of consistency, and frankly, the UCLA series could have gone either way as well despite having a few losses out in California. This has the makings of a special postseason run.

Mike: Illinois started the conference games slow with 1-5, but since then they have gone 12-3. What are their chances of hosting the regional?
Kendall Rogers: Mike — Illinois is squarely in the hosting picture. The fact they are not top two in the league could be a turn off to the committee, but the Illini are 21 in the RPI with an 11-5 mark vs. RPI Top 50 along with a solid conference record. Those are all quality marks. I would say Illinois is just shy of a Top 16, but we will see how the deliberations go tomorrow night.

Boxcar Billy: Hey guys, a serious question this time. In the past few years, the committee seems to like to award at least one “non-traditional” host, whether a “Northern team” or a team from outside the usual suspects. Are there any teams out there that might fit this bill?
Kendall Rogers: Boxcar — Illinois or Creighton would fit this mold, but honestly, the committee, with the new format of seeding 1-16, is supposed to ignore geography when it comes to selecting those Top 16 seeds. That doesn’t mean manipulation can’t happen in the committee room, but it’s not supposed to happen.

Reece: It seem like every time you tweet some Arkansas fan is all upset they are not ranked #1. That being said are Arkansas and Mississippi State the favorites to win in Hoover? It seems the 2 times Vandy has played a top half SEC teams outside of Hawkins Field, they have lost the series.
Kendall Rogers: Reece — Predicting the SEC tournament is like taking a lottery ball out of the vault. Who knows? I think UGA/MSU/Vandy/Arkansas could all win the tourney and potentially the national title. Even though LSU hasn’t played well at all lately, the Tigers historically play well in Hoover. So don’t sleep on those guys.

Mike: Does LSU still have a chance to host regional is they win tomorrow and take the series from Auburn?
Kendall Rogers: Mike — Absolutely. If LSU won the midweek game, wins the Auburn series — it would head into Hoover with a 17-13 SEC mark. That would be very loud. I would say win the series against AU and 2 or 3 in Hoover, and LSU would be in pretty solid shape I’d think.

BeaverSteve: With Adley getting intentionally walked 3 times a game harm his chances at getting the Golden Spikes Award or does it help him?  Obviously, most clubs are afraid of his bat.  His season reminds me of when Bonds hit 70+ HR’s.
Kendall Rogers: Beaver — Adley is the slam-dunk GSA winner for me, though Navy’s Noah Song deserves strong consideration as well. No player means more to his team than Adley and he’s having a terrific season despite teams trying to pitch around him at times

Adam: With Miami winning the series at Wake, what do they need to do in the Duke series & the ACC Tournament to ensure that they will get a host regional? Also are they are already locked in as one of the 64 teams?
Aaron Fitt: The Hurricanes are in great shape to host right now, at 16-10 in the ACC with a No. 12 RPI. I think winning 3 of their last 4 ACC games would make it a no-brainer, and 2 out of those last 4 would still probably be enough to host, with an 18-12 ACC record and a strong RPI. If they finish really strong, maybe they can even make a run at a top-8 seed, but that would require a nice run in the ACC tournament to offset that 10-12 mark against the top 50 right now.

Michael: Is WVU’s dream scenario of hosting a regional completely dead even if they sweep the remaining four games on their regular season schedule?
Kendall Rogers: Not even close. WVU is up to 17 in the RPI after the weekend. If it swept the series this weekend and played well in Oklahoma City, the possibility of hosting is absolutely still there, maybe even likely. We’ll see how things pan out.

Corey S.: Assume worst case scenario for Arkansas is they get swept at A&M (although I don’t think this happens) and go one and done at the SEC Tournament (possible), where do you see them ending up seeding wise? Would they still be a top 8 national seed, or would that dip them into the 9-16 range?
Kendall Rogers: Corey — Might be a lower seed, but not sure how you could leave a team with Arkansas’ metrics outside the top eight at this point — no matter what happens.

Hooper: With Mike Martin’s career winding down, I’m interested in your thoughts about the next head coach. I’d be shocked if Mike Martin Jr. is not the next head coach at FSU, however if for some reason he is passed on, then who would you like to see take over?
Aaron Fitt: Yeah, I still think Mike Martin Jr. will ultimately be the choice, though there has been some support around the program also for former Seminoles Doug Mientkiewicz and Pedro Grifol, both of whom are in pro ball. But I think it really matters having experience recruiting and knowing the ins and outs of how a college program works, so I think Junior is the answer.

Jimbo11 : Does the staff at D1 BB believe Mike Martin, Jr. deserves to be named head coach at Florida State given his 20+ years as an assistant or should being a head coach be a requirement?
Kendall Rogers: Jimbo — If I was Florida State, I would strongly consider Jr., but also do an exhaustive national search. There are a couple of big names who would have interest in FSU from what I am told. I would cast a pretty wide net if I was FSU instead of just merely “hiring a Seminole”. They might be surprised with what they get.

Spear15: Will 1-2 at Louisville do it for FSU, or will that leave them with work to do next week?
Aaron Fitt: I think a 1-2 week against FSU probably still gets Louisville a top 8 seed, with a 20-10 ACC record, top 10 RPI and 16-10 mark against the top 50. But losing two straight series to end the year could wind up costing them one of those top eight spots if somebody else jumps up and takes it from them. So you’d like to see Louisville win that last series to shore it up.

@SECbaseball: Tennessee had a big time series win at Florida this weekend, but they aren’t out of the woods yet. The Vols currently have an RPI of 10. What’s the highest RPI you can recall being left out, or would this take the cake due to the increase of importance placed on conference record?
Kendall Rogers: The last high RPI team I can remember was when North Carolina missed the tournament with an RPI of 23-24 a few years ago. UNC missed the ACC tournament that year, and that was the difference, per the committee. UT will obviously be in the SEC tournament.

Jonny : Even as a 30 win team do the Oklahoma Sooners have to win the big 12 tournament to make a regional ?
Kendall Rogers: Jonny — with an RPI in the mid 40s, a losing league record and a 4-11 mark vs. RPI Top 50, the Sooners need to win the Texas series and make some noise in the conference tournament. I don’t think they need to win it, but they def need to make some noise.

Chele: How do you see the Stanford, Oregon State series playing out this weekend? Oregon State has clearly waffled with out of conference play and has taken some hits to the bullpen, but seem to show up for conference play.
Aaron Fitt: Oregon State is obviously really good, with that excellent pitching and Adley Rutschman… but I think Stanford is clearly the more balanced team, and I like the Cardinal at home in that series.

Albert: Florida sweeps Missouri: do they make regionals at 13-17?
Kendall Rogers: Albert — Nope. Not without going on an A&M-like run in the SEC tournament. The Aggies won three-straight games in Hoover last year to solidify their postseason bid. I’m not sure I see UF A) sweeping Missouri or B) going on a roll in Hoover. But we will see.

Tracy: Between UCLA and Vanderbilt, will the final RPI be most likely to determine the overall #1 national seed if both teams take care or business, or will the fact that UCLA hasn’t dropped a series carry the day?
Aaron Fitt: I think even if Vandy finishes ahead of UCLA in the RPI, the Bruins have the better case for No. 1 based on their high-end series wins (at Stanford, at Georgia Tech, vs. Oregon State, sweep vs. ECU, at Arizona State), and the fact that they haven’t lost a weekend series or a midweek game. If UCLA wins the Pac-12 (and it’s currently in a three-way tie with OSU and Stanford), I think it’s a slam dunk, RPI be damned.

Tyler: Where do you see Nebraska at? Will they get in?
Kendall Rogers: With a 13-8 league record, 38 RPI and a series win over ASU, I like where NU sits right now. I don’t want to speak for Aaron and Mark, but I’d have them in as of right now. We’ll see how that Michigan series goes. Win that series and I think it’s a slam dunk barring a shocking meltdown in the conference tournament.

Christian: This past week Miami lost a game to UCF. Miami was down two starting pitchers and their 4th and 5th pitchers had to go on the weekend, which forced them to use their bullpen only. UCF, meanwhile, used their Friday AND Saturday starters along with their closer since they had no games this weekend and won only 8-7. How do the committee, as well as you guys, weigh strange losses like this? Not to take anything from a quality UCF team, but it seems like UCF was focused on making the tournament and Miami was focused on conference play which meant Miami had to prioritize its games. Thanks!
Aaron Fitt: I don’t think it’s really a factor, honestly. Lots of teams do this when they have an upcoming weekend off. Sure, it put Miami at a disadvantage in this case, but everybody comes across a situation like that now and then. Ultimately the committee will just look at the final outcome and really won’t dive into the specifics of who pitched and who didn’t pitch in a particular midweek game.

Corey – Raleigh: Georgia Tech is really swinging the bat well and has been looking like a team that can play with anyone in the country. Obviously losing Brant Hurter will cause people to have to step up. I’m hoping we get Xzavion Curry back by ACC tournament play. With everything considered for GT, and what they have left on the schedule, is a top-8 seed looking realistic? Or do they still need to make some noise in the conference tourney to impress the committee enough?
Aaron Fitt: Yeah, I think winning that series on the road against a quality Duke team pretty much wrapped up a national seed for Tech, assuming it takes care of business vs. Pitt at home. The Jackets are 17-10 in the ACC with a No. 7 RPI, an 11-7 record against the top 25 and a 17-10 mark against the top 50. That’s an easy top-eight resumé, regardless of the conference tournament.

Eric Simmons : If Arizona wins out do they have any chance at making the NCAA Tournament?
Kendall Rogers: Eric — No. Even if Arizona swept its final home series, it’s still just one game over .500 in the league with a 3-16 mark vs. RPI Top 50 teams. That’s an awful, awful mark against that tier of teams. With Penn State/WSU accounting for six of the final seven games, I’m not seeing a legitimate pathway for the Wildcats.

josh: What happens if FSU loses the Louisville series and doesn’t win a game in the ACC tourney. Do they get left out?
Kendall Rogers: Josh — If FSU loses that series and doesn’t win a game in Durham, its season is over, IMO.
Aaron Fitt: Agreed. No question about it.

Randy D: As I hear about pitchers going down every week I have to ask the question.. Are we playing too many games in college baseball? Couldn’t we learn just as much about the teams in a 40 game schedule? I am seeing a lot more two mid week non league games on schedules. In a non profit sport where northern teams already have to start by traveling south does more games make sense? 75% of mid week games are just used to pad records anyway (95% in the SEC, lol). With only 12 scholarships are we doing the players a disservice? Would give ya’ll some more time off too!
Aaron Fitt: I don’t think the number of games has anything to do with the injuries. It’s baseball — pitchers get injured. You see guys handled with kid gloves still go down with TJ, it’s just the nature of pitching, an unnatural movement that puts inherent strain on the arm. That said, I have heard some coaches say they think going down to 52 games would be a good thing for the sport because it’s so hard to build pitching depth with 11.7 scholarships, which makes those 5-game weeks really difficult. Going down to 52 games would basically remove the need to play five games in a week. I’d be fine with 52 games, personally, but 56 games has been a sacred cow for so long that I can’t see the majority of coaches supporting that idea.

BC: What does Arkansas need to do in the final series/ conf. tournament to lock up a top 8 seed? Or have they already done that and are now just jockeying for seed placement?
Kendall Rogers: BC — I think it’s all about seed placement for the Hogs right now with such strong metrics across the board. They’ve put themselves in terrific shape.

Reece: Mississippi State is HOT right now since being swept at Arkansas. 3 series wins, with 1 home and away sweep, and a road series win at Texas A&M. They look to have a a complete #3 Starter in Plumlee and the relief staff looks to be dialed in. They will only play at home or at a neutral site for the rest of the season. Is their any team that can pose a real threat to beating them come NCAA tournament time?
Aaron Fitt: First off, you’re absolutely right, Mississippi State is really hot and really good, and very few teams have had three straight weeks better than MSU’s last three weeks this year. I still think the Bulldogs are one of the most complete teams in the country, right there with UCLA. But yes, plenty of teams could pose threats to them in the postseason — it’s baseball! And there’s not much separation between any of the teams in the top five when it comes to talent, balance, experience and resumé.

Bawlmer Beav: With the pitching this weekend of Mundt and Pfennigs, and the hope that Abel will be back, I’m thinking maybe next year is when the Beavs make another deep run in Omaha. Rutschmann will be a hugh loss, of course, but . . .  Thoughts?
Kendall Rogers: Beaver — Not so sure about that. OSU has some serious firepower to replace with Rutschman and Beau Philip more than likely gone. Philip should be a pretty solid draft pick as well. I’m going to need to see more offense from the Beavers going into next season to expect a deep Omaha run. Long way until then!

DAW: Thoughts on Southern miss? Got to think they have to win the tournament to get in at this point?
Aaron Fitt: Not necessarily — I still think USM is right on the bubble, with a No. 41 RPI and a 19-8 C-USA record. But I’d feel better about their at-large chances if they can win the regular-season title; currently they’re tied with FAU, and the Owls have the head-to-head tie-breaker.

Milo, New Orleans: LSU hasn’t been doing themselves too many favors the past few weeks. They had a nice win on Saturday against Arkansas and potentially have a path to host a regional. What does LSU have to do against Auburn and in the SEC tournament to be considered as a regional host?
Aaron Fitt: I said heading into the weekend that LSU didn’t have to win that series at Arkansas to keep its hosting chances alive, it just had to avoid getting swept, and it did that. Now LSU gets Auburn at home — you’d certainly have to favor LSU in that matchup, and if they win the series they’ll be 17-13 in the SEC with a 19-14 record against the top 50. That’s still pretty darn good, and I think that would keep LSU squarely in the mix for a hosting spot, especially if it wins a game or two in Hoover.

Brad: What will it take for A&M to host?
Kendall Rogers: Brad — Win the Arkansas series and a couple of games in the SEC tournament, at the least. Lose the Arkansas series and I think the Aggies need to go on a run like they did last year in Hoover to be able to host.

Eric Simmons : Is it auto bid or bust for Florida after losing 2 out of 3 to Tennessee at home this past weekend?
Kendall Rogers: Starting to look like it, Eric, unless it sweeps Tennessee on the road.

Jake: Thoughts on Oklahoma State what do they need to do the rest of the way to make sure they can stay at home through super regionals and does it seem like they are a team that is getting hot at the right time.
Aaron Fitt: Yeah, the Cowboys are hot at the right time — it’s a Josh Holliday team playing its best down the stretch, what else is new? His teams always seem to peak this time of year. I think if Oklahoma State wins this last series against Baylor to finish 14-10 in the Big 12, they’ve got a real chance to sneak into the top eight, especially with two or three more wins in the conference tournament. An emerging top-eight darkhorse, for sure.

WCC: Will the WCC only have Representative? any chance of another team getting a bid…or is it Tournament Champion only
Kendall Rogers: WCC will only be a one-bid league unless BYU gets upset in the conference tournament. Even with that, if BYU drops into the 40s from an RPI standpoint, it’s definitely not a given.

Corbin believer: With E. Fisher throwing 95-96 with command and a freeze ’em in their shoes 82 slider for an out pitch it appears Vandy Boys now have premier closers from both sides to go along with their solid starting pitching.  I think Corbs has done it again and has this team ready for the postseason.  What do you think is their achilles heel at this point?  Please don’t rank them #1 before the postseason begins!
Aaron Fitt: It really has all come together on the mound for Vandy — that was our one lingering question mark about the Commodores in the first half, but I really like how that pitching staff has shaped up, and I think Corbs and Brownie have done a great job figuring out which roles all of those talented pieces fit best in. I’m still not in LOVE with the rotation, but I think it’s certainly good enough to win it all, particularly given the strength of the lineup and the power arms in the bullpen.

Devin: Thoughts on the Asa Lacy suspension and does it affect the Arkansas series?
Kendall Rogers: I think a four-game suspension is a little harsh. It looked like Lacy barked at the umpire, but it was nothing overboard and drawn out, IMO. Terrible timing for the Aggies, and I thought it was a situation of the umpire jumping the gun a little.

Moose: After a 1-2 weekend and RPI falling to 31, is UConn drifting towards the bubble?
Kendall Rogers: Moose – if UConn loses that Tulane series this coming weekend, it will definitely need to do some work in the American tourney to get in. That’d put Jim Penders’ club at 11-13 in the league. Work would need to be done, IMO.

Duncan: Is Tennessee in with one more conference win, totaling 13?  If not, should the RPI be scrapped completely since conference record is then the only thing that matters?  The Vols could be left out with a top 15 RPI.  I don’t think that has ever happened before.  You guys keep referencing UK from last year, but they had an RPI of 31 and did not stack up using other metrics to the 2019 Vols.
Aaron Fitt: Right, I think one more SEC win for Tennessee will get them in. 13-17 in the SEC should be good enough with a top 10-15 RPI; it is indeed different than UK’s case last year and UNC’s case from a few years ago, because the RPI is just better.

Steven Poltrax: Thoughts on TCU’s at large chances?
Kendall Rogers: Poltrax — Better than they were two weeks ago. TCU would need to win the Texas Tech series and play well in OKC to get in. Lose the Tech series this weekend and the Frogs will likely need to win the whole thing or at least get to Sunday to have a shot.

John: If LSU gets Jaden Hill and Cole Henry back for Hoover and they’re healthy, how big is that for the TIgers in the postseason?
Kendall Rogers: John — Even though I loved Jaden Hill in the fall, he hasn’t done enough this spring to sit there and say for sure that would be a huge addition. I do think having Cole Henry changes the dynamic up quite a bit for LSU. Henry is really, really good and he would provide a much needed shot in the arm for that team.

Barry P in MS: Aaron and Kendall, while I do not take exception to your top 8 rankings this week, if State goes 4-0 again this week and is not a top 3 national seed come Selection Monday, I will take exception.  Can you see a scenario in which this is not the case?
Aaron Fitt: Well, if UCLA, Vanderbilt and Arkansas keep on winning, I don’t see how a 4-0 week against La Tech and South Carolina really changes anything for MSU to allow those guys to jump one of the top three. That head-to-head sweep for Arkansas still keeps the Hogs ahead of the Bulldogs in the pecking order, and Arkansas and Vandy are also ahead of MSU in the standings. And UCLA’s resumé is simply impeccable, as I outlined earlier. These are four teams with amazing resumés… somebody’s got to be fourth. It’s not a knock on that team, but Mississippi State’s seeding does not exist in a vacuum. I feel like MSU has built a resumé that would be worthy of a No. 1 national seed in some years, but this year there are three teams that I’d still put ahead of them. Now, if one of those other teams falters, that could change.

Bo: With 5 teams within 2.5 games in the Big ten who do you see coming out on top with one weekend left?
Aaron Fitt: I think Michigan’s 1.5-game edge over Indiana will be too much to overcome, particularly because I still believe the Wolverines can go to Nebraska and win that final series. Though that’s obviously no gimme, especially after the Huskers showed some real character by fighting back to win that ASU series after losing the opener.

BadCane: If Stanford only wins one against OSU but wins 2 against ASU, can they still swing a national seed? (Just a curious Miss State fan)
Aaron Fitt: I’m thinking probably not. We haven’t had Stanford as a projected top 8 seed the last two weeks, just because of the RPI and the lack of top 50 wins. They did move back up to 16th in the RPI and improved the top 50 record to 4-3 this weekend, but they still have work to do. If they win the Pac-12, I think they get a top-8 regardless of the RPI, but under the scenario you present they likely wouldn’t win the Pac.

Braxton: Louisiana Tech destroys LSU and takes 2 of 3 from Western Kentucky. Despite that, their RPI falls a few places to 51. Is there anyway they can get back in the at-large discussion or is it win the tourney or you’re out?
Kendall Rogers: Braxton — Yeah, I just think La Tech is on the outside looking in right now with an RPI in the 50s and sitting so far behind the leaders in the C-USA standings. Tech needs to win the FIU series and go on a pretty hefty run in the conference tournament to get in as an ATL, IMO.

Clint: Hey guys.  Could a team from the Valley end up being a host somehow?
Aaron Fitt: Probably not, but DBU has put itself in the discussion now by moving into a tie for first place, with a 25 RPI and a solid 9-7 record against the top 50. Ultimately I still don’t think a Valley team outside the top 20 has a realistic shot to host, and I don’t expect DBU’s RPI to get where it needs to be, but if they make a deep run in the conference tournament, you never know. I think the Patriots are the only Valley team with the metrics to have a shot.

Lloyd: Still a chance for UCSB to host a regional?
Kendall Rogers: UCSB — Absolutely. Despite folks thinking UCSB’s RPI would plummet at some point, the Gauchos went 4-0 and are still 15 in the RPI. If they win 7 of their last 8, as of now, they’d stay in the Top 20. 47-8 with a Top 20 RPI would get UCSB a host — probably in San Bernardino.

Michael: In your humble opinions, if Oregon State takes two of three games from Stanford, in Palo Alto, will the Beavs vault back into the rated top eight?  Also, Washington is obviously fighting for a tournament spot. Would two victories against UCLA lock that down? How about one win and finishing about .500 in the PAC 12? And…how closely does this Washington team that has finally hit .500 resemble the team that went to Omaha last year? Thanks.
Kendall Rogers: Michael — If the Beavers win their final two series, it would certainly be hard to think OSU won’t be a top eight, but let’s see what happens. How about the three-way tie in the Pac 12 right now? Pretty awesome finish here these final two weekends.

Bill: Can Georgia Tech get far with their pitching situation?  Losing Brant Hurter and (temporarily) Xzavion Curry makes their starting pitching far less deep and the bullpen is so erratic.  Can they win enough 13-10 games?
Aaron Fitt: They could bash their way to Omaha, sure… but yeah, I’m a little concerned about their chances if Curry doesn’t come back strong, quickly.

Chris: This may be a question for Mark. Have any school outsides the power-5 received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament with a sub-500 conference record?
Aaron Fitt: This is indeed a question for Mark, so I asked him. He doesn’t have his data with him at the office today, but he says he cannot remember an example like this. Neither can I…

Matt: Are Iowa’s at-large chances shot at this point, even with a 4-0 week and some work in Omaha? Or would that be enough to get the RPI back to a reasonable number?
Kendall Rogers: Matt — Yeah, losing that Michigan State series at home was an absolute killer. Iowa will now have to win the Maryland series on the road and also do some serious damage in the conference tournament to get into the field. Iowa’s RPI is down to 79 this week. Absolutely brutal.

Kevin: Kendall/Aaron — sell me on East Carolina. They’re RPI #5 and top 10 ranked, but I look at their schedule, and I just don’t see too many marquee wins outside of a few midweek games (which I think we all know how we feel about midweek games). Are we really going to hang our hats on weekend wins vs Houston, UConn, and Maryland? What have they done to deserve such acclaim?
Aaron Fitt: Such is life for a mid-major — the metrics are never going to compare to the top teams in the SEC or ACC, but all those teams can do is dominate their leagues and get some other quality nonconference wins wherever they can get them. ECU has thoroughly dominated the American and managed to put together an 11-6 record against the top 50, pretty good for an AAC team. Ultimately, the metrics don’t tell the whole story for teams like this, just as they didn’t for Coastal Carolina a few years ago when the Chanticleers won it all, or Stony Brook in 2012. Those were all really good, talented, experienced teams, they were not flukes. They just didn’t get a chance to prove to everybody else how good they were until the postseason. ECU is in that same mold. Ultimately I don’t think they’re as good as Coastal was the year the Chants won it all, but I do think ECU is a legitimate Omaha-caliber team.

BeaverDon: Oregon State, UCLA and Stanford look to be Regional Hosts. Do ASU, Cal and Washington get in to the tournament?
Kendall Rogers: Arizona State and California will. Not liking Washington’s chances right now with an RPI of 71 and a poor 4-12 mark vs. RPI Top 50. There’s nothing about UW’s resume that screams at-large team at this point.

Heel: The bottom of the hosting race appears to be wide open. Even with the Pitt loss this weekend, do you see UNC hosting if they hold serve against NCSU and have a decent ACC Tourney showing?
Aaron Fitt: I do. I think whichever team wins that UNC/NC State series probably ends up hosting, and the other one does not.

Billy G.: With Hancock and Schunk back, Georgia is mostly healthy, have they locked up a national seed?
Kendall Rogers: Billy — Take care of business against Alabama as expected and I would say Georgia has solidified a Top 8 seed. It will certainly have deserved it.

Adam: How much does a Coastal Division title enhance Georgia Tech or Miami’s resume? Could it be a difference-maker for Georgia Tech’s national seed case?
Aaron Fitt: That would be a nice boost for either of them, certainly. But I don’t think it’s essential for Tech to get a top 8 or for Miami to host. They’re both in pretty good shape as it is.

Darrell: What’s likelyhood that Miss State lose Jake Gautreau as an assistant at end of season. He’s going to be a rockstar HC and I’m not ready to see him go.
Kendall Rogers: Darrell — Jake is not going to leave for anything but a premier job, so I actually think they hold on to him. Perhaps if Tulane opened up, I could see Jake going there. But even then — Tulane’s administration would have to change some things to get that deal done, and I also think Jew is coming back for another season. We’ll see. Right now, I think Jake is a Dog at least another season.

WVU alum: Chances of WVU to still host a regional?  Obviously need to go 4-0 in non-conference games this week, plus they can still finish 3d in the Big 12 ahead of Oklahoma St.  I have to think the latter would help.  Your thoughts?
Aaron Fitt: The Mountaineers are indeed still in the race after a nice 3-1 week on the road this past week. I think if they win those last four games against Pitt and GW, they’ll have at least a shot to host even if OSU finishes ahead of them in the standings. The tricky thing here is if Baylor wins its final series against Oklahoma State, WVU could move ahead of the Cowboys in the standings, but then Baylor would likely win the Big 12 regular season title, which would probably earn it a hosting spot, even with a lower RPI ranking. So that would make WVU the fourth host in the Big 12, which only figures to send four or maybe five teams to regionals. Not sure I see that happening.

Joe LeCates: Hey guys, thanks for the chat. Too soon, but a 2020 Draft question: thoughts on Hancock and Wilcox and where they lineup as prospects? Hancock has performed amazingly, but it seems like Wilcox might have the more electric stuff. Maybe hyperbole, but do they almost lineup as Bauer/Cole type 1-2 punch for Georgia next year?
Aaron Fitt: Maybe not hyperbole, Joe — I think Hancock and Wilcox are indeed Cole/Bauer caliber talents. Wilcox does have ridiculous stuff, and if he harnesses it all as a sophomore… wow, that’s scary to think about how good that duo could be. Both guys have 1-1 kind of upside, and Hancock also is building a 1-1 kind of track record of performance.

PackFan: Thoughts on the pitching developments for NC State the last 2 weeks?  I know the schedule hasn’t been against any elite teams but team ERA is now back under 4 after being up near 4.4 after the Wake series.  Klyman & Feeney appear back in their closing roles which seriously can shorten games again.  Nick Swiney has been outstanding of late as a moment of truth swing guy and Cotter, Nelson, Justice have been solid in middle relief.  Can this current formula of 5+ inning solid starts + this pen carry this team to a super regional?
Aaron Fitt: Yeah I think that formula can work, especially if the offense gets hot at the right time, because we’ve seen how tough that offense is to stop when it’s rolling. I did notice Feeney and Klyman have been much better lately; I’m looking forward to getting looks at both of them this weekend. Last time I saw them both, their stuff was way down. So I’ll be curious to see what it looks like now. Stay tuned.

Matt: June 1 is right around the corner so the Pat Casey questions are inevitability heating up. In the event Pat Casey doesn’t come back, how do you see Oregon State moving forward? Obviously Pat Bailey has been great. Long-term, though, isn’t Nate Yeskie a great option? Yeskie’s role in all of this seems to be overlooked. Your thoughts?
Kendall Rogers: Matt — Great question. I think Pat Casey comes back next month. but let’s say he decides not to hang it up. I do think OSU would just hire Pat Bailey. Yeskie being overlooked in this whole deal has been a little odd, and should the Beavers decide to move forward without him (and without Casey), it wouldn’t shock me if he entertained some other offers. Ultimately, I do think Case returns and Nate stays put.

ATX Dawg: Clearly Texas got bitten hard by the injury bug, but what else needs to happen for David Pierce to turn it around next season?
Kendall Rogers: ATX — The thing that concerns me about Texas next year is once again the offense is going to look very very lean on paper. I do think Phil Haig will figure out the bullpen woes in the offseason and they’ll have a Preseason All-American in Bryce Elder on Friday nights. Ultimately, the Longhorns have to get much much better on the offensive side of things.

Theo: Who are your Regional and Super Regional “dark horses” this year? Meaning which mid-major, under the radar, 3-4 seeded teams making it to a regional championship or even a super regional?
Aaron Fitt: I’m sticking with Sam Houston State for one of my picks here, I’ve been on that train pretty much all season. I think Elon could be a 4-seed that can win a regional and a super because its weekend pitching is so good; Brnovich and Kirby and Wetherbee is a really, really good rotation, and Adcock is a flame-thrower who has been lights-out at the back end. And I think Bryant is another 4-seed that could win a regional, really like the talent and overall balance of that roster.

Aaron Fitt: Great chat today guys, thanks for all the awesome questions. See you next week!
Kendall Rogers: All right guys — that’s all the time we have — be sure to use the coupon code 2019Promo to get 25% off an annual subscription!

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