Coral Gables Regional BreakdownFeatured
Coral Gables Regional Participants
|Miami||45-11||21-7 (1st ACC Coastal)||At-Large||Roster||Statistics|
|Florida Atlantic||38-17||21-8 (1st C-USA)||At-Large||Roster||Statistics|
|Long Beach State||36-20||15-9 (2nd Big West)||At-Large||Roster||Statistics|
|Stetson||29-29||9-12 (6th Atlantic Sun)||Automatic||Roster||Statistics|
Most Exciting Player: C.J. Chatham, ss, Florida Atlantic. The talented junior is hitting .367-8-50 at the dish and has a .435 on-base percentage. He was named the C-USA defensive player of the year from his shortstop position and is a Brooks Wallace Award candidate.
Best Hitter: Zack Collins, c, Miami. Zack the Lumberjack can bomb it out with anyone in the country. He *only* has 12 home runs this year, but his nation’s best 66 walks is a testament to the fact that he doesn’t see many good pitches.
Best Defensive Player: Garrett Hampson, ss, Long Beach State. Talk about a lead-by-example type, Hampson was so stellar in the field – making a grand total of three errors all year – he was named Big West Defensive Player of the Year. He also hit .305 and stole 21 bases on offense.
Best Pitcher: Darren McCaughan, rhp, Long Beach State. The Big West Pitcher of the Year was not expected to crack the weekend rotation before the season, but blossomed in that role from the get-go. He’s gone 10-1 with a 1.95 ERA this year and has electric stuff.
X-Factor: Low scoring. Keep an eye on the zeroes posted on the scoreboard here. None of these teams can afford to get into a slugfest with the Hurricanes. FAU has the second-best offense in the field at .292, but has had its bats go silent at times this season. The Beach hits just .269 as a team and the Hatters check in at .262, though they were hitting just .251 going into last week’s conference tournament.
Best Starting Rotation: Long Beach State. Behind McCaughan, Tanner Brown (7-4, 3.36) and Chris Mathewson have been steady as well. Mathewson is the one with the most potential. He went 6-6, 1.94 as a Freshman All American last year, but dropped to 7-5, 3.78 this year.
Best Bullpen: Florida Atlantic. The starting rotation has had some great efforts this season, but Cameron Ragsdale (15 saves), Colyn O’Connell (2-1, 1.80) and Devon Carr (4-1, 2.51) are the ones who can dominate a game.
Best Offensive Team: Miami. On potential alone, the Canes have one of the best offenses in the country. Five regulars hit .301 or better and that doesn’t include fencebuster Willie Abreu (.271, 11 HR, 12 doubles) and CWS veteran Jacob Hayward, who could awaken from his season-long slump (.226) at any time.
Best Defensive Team: Miami. The Hurricanes defense gets overshadowed for sure, but they are playing at a .983 pace in the field, which is tied for the best in the country. 2B Johnny Ruiz and SS Brandon Lopez have combined for just 12 errors this year.
Miami’s Win Probability (1-10): 7. Tough draw for the Canes. Getting a potent local rival that won’t be intimidated is tough, as is one of those underrated West Coast teams that is bent on making amends for their being snubbed.
The Hurricanes hope to make it to Omaha, just to make amends for their awful showing there a year ago, when they were blown out twice by rival Florida. They are certainly equipped for another run too, with an offense that hits .300 — 33rd nationally — but is capable of hitting better than that and going on a tear.
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