Stanford Regional BreakdownPostseason
4. Wright State
Most Exciting Player: Will Matthiessen, rhp/dh, Stanford. The most valuable assets in college baseball are two-way players and Matthiessen has been one of the best the last month. He’s launching a home run within every 10 at-bats and coming up with some dramatic hits, including a game-winning homer against Utah, a three-run double to beat Oregon State and a game-tying ninth inning homer against Washington to help lock up the Pac-12 title.
Best Hitter: Gabe Snyder, 1b, Wright State. The Horizon League Player of the Year enters the postseason hitting .363-15-72 and collects nearly as many walks as strikeouts.
Best Defensive Player: Shea Langeliers, c, Baylor. Langeliers’ average at the plate has slumped this year, but his defense has not. He’s thrown out 69.7 percent of runners and now has caught 49 runners in two seasons. He was even better in Big 12 conference play, throwing out 13 of the 16 (81.3%) would-be basestealers.
Best Pitcher: Colton Eastman, rhp, Cal State Fullerton. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthander has a low-90s fastball and two offspeed pitches that can strike hitters out. His curveball has improved and dives one way while his changeup goes the other. He was named the Big West Pitcher of the Year after a 7-0 mark in conference play.
X-Factor: Beck and Bubic bouncing back. Stanford’s frontline duo didn’t finish the season in exactly the fashion they hoped. Will they rebound and return to form after some late-season struggles?
Best Starting Rotation: Stanford. When on, the Cardinal’s rotation is one of the best in the country.
Best Bullpen: Stanford. Even better than its starting rotation, may be Stanford’s bullpen. Jack Little locks down the final outs, collecting 15 saves while striking out 54 in 41 innings, but the Cardinal have five reliable arms it can call upon.
Best Offensive Team: Baylor. Wright State has slightly better numbers, but the Bears have tons of young talent and the collection of Cunningham, Wendzel, Thomas, Langeliers together is an area of the lineup opponents are going to pray to avoid.
Best Defensive Team: Wright State. The Raiders enter the regional ranked No. 5 in the country with a .982 fielding percentage and feature a veteran middle infield and a 6-foot-5 target to throw to at first base.
No. 1 Seed Win Probability (1-10): 4. To be the No. 2 overall seed, the Cardinal did not get a favorable lineup of regional foes. This is no Gainesville Regional. The Cardinal will be tested mightily.