Coral Gables Regional Breakdown
The Miami Hurricanes come into the Coral Gables Regional as a surprise host school. It was speculated that Kentucky would get the host bid over the Hurricanes but the non-conference schedule and RPI of Miami was too hard to ignore. Veteran coach Jim Morris led his team to the ACC Tournament title and has registered some big wins this season against North Carolina as they beat them four times overall. The pitching is the strength of this team as they are led by AJ Salcines who has 7 saves and a 1.43 E.R.A. In addition, Eric Whaley and Eric Erickson both have excellent control as they have only walked only 30 batters combined in almost 180 innings between the two.
The #2 seed in the Coral Gables Regional is the University of Central Florida Knights out of Conference USA. The Knights split two games with Miami this season. Travis Shreve leads the team in batting average at .353 and has 15 stolen bases. D.J. Hicks is the best all-around power hitter as he has 11 homeruns and 68 RBI’s to anchor the Knight offense. On the mound, Ben Lively leads the starting rotation with 9 wins and Joe Rogers has been clutch in the closer role as he has 12 saves. The Knights are battled tested out of conference as well as they lost two close one-run games to national seed Florida State earlier in the season.
The 3 and 4 seeds are Missouri State and Stony Brook. The Bears of Missouri State are an at-large bid recipient out of the Missouri Valley Conference. Nick Petree is the ace of the pitching rotation and has a 10-3 record with only a 0.92 earned run average and also 109 strikeouts in 107.1 innings. Petree is the type of bracket buster pitcher necessary for a mid-major to pull off an upset in a Regional setting. Offensively Kevin Medrano and Keenen Maddox lead the way for the Bears. Medrano is hitting .328, with 11 stolen bases and Maddox has seven homeruns. Stony Brook is arguably the toughest number four seed in this year’s tourney. The Sea Wolves are the America East Champions with 46 wins. They battled NCAA Tourney team East Carolina tough losing three one one-run contests. They also registered wins over Kansas and Minnesota during the regular season. Travis Jankowski leads the way with a .411 batting average, 34 stolen bases and has been lights out defensively with a .993 fielding percentage. William Carmona leads the team in homeruns with 10 and has driven in 60 runs to lead in that category as well. On the mound Tyler Johnson anchors a strong pitching staff as he is 9-1 with a 1.78 E.R.A. The Sea Wolves have held teams to a .240 batting average and have gotten an impressive 10 complete games out of its pitching rotation.