NCAA Baseball Columbia Regional Breakdown

Columbia Regional Breakdown


This looks like one of the strongest regionals on the tournament docket, with three conference champions and the defending College World Series champion among the tournament participants. It is also an all-South Carolina regional… well, almost. Manhattan isn’t exactly in South Carolina, but it is about to get a taste of Carolina hospitality. With South Carolina, Clemson and Coastal Carolina in the field, Manhattan may look like a fish out of water. South Carolina (40-17) finished first in the SEC East and grabbed an at-large bid behind the hot bat of Christian Walker (.328-10-51) and strong pitching from both Michael Roth (6-1, 2.58 ERA, 75 strikeouts) and Tyler Webb (5-1, 1.96, 40 strikeouts). The Gamecocks have won the past two College World Series titles against Florida (last year) and UCLA (in 2010), but this might be a rough year for South Carolina to repeat. It doesn’t seem like South Carolina’s bats have come to play as much as the team’s coaching staff would like, so strong, consistent pitching will have to hold the team up for now. South Carolina comes into the tournament as the eighth seed among the top 16 teams.

Clemson (33-26) has the weakest record of the group, having come in third in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Atlantic Division. Richie Shaffer (.339-10-46) leads the way and Phil Pohl (.288-8-50) is also a pretty good hitter, but like South Carolina, the Tigers seem to have a power shortage where they need it most. The top pitchers have also struggled somewhat, with Kevin Pohle (6-4, 3.66), Daniel Gossett (6-3, 4.50) and Dominic Leone (6-4, 5.49) in various types of trouble on the mound. After a 2010 World Series appearance and an elimination by South Carolina, Clemson failed to make it out of its own regional last year. Coastal Carolina (41-17), the champions of the Big South, also has previous experience against the Gamecocks with a loss in the 2010 super regional. Last year, Coastal Carolina fell to Connecticut in regionals. As for Manhattan (33-25), the champions in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, made regionals and lost twice in 2011 but hadn’t been to postseason play since the 2006 season before that. This regional should be a safe one for South Carolina.


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