2013 Baseball World Series Blacksburg Regional Breakdown

2013 Baseball World Series Blacksburg Regional Breakdown

Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Coastal Carolina, Connecticut

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The Virginia Tech Hokies are firing on all cylinders heading into the Blacksburg Regional. Last week in the ACC Tournament the Hokies pounded Virginia in the opener and took that momentum all the way to the ACC Championship game and gave number one overall national seed North Carolina all they wanted in a 4-1 loss. Junior outfielder Taylor Horan leads a powerful offensive Hokie squad with 11 homeruns and 50 runs batted in. Mark Zagunis is the senior leader behind the plate and has helped to solidify the Virginia Tech pitching staff. In addition, Zagunis has been a huge all-around threat at the plate with nine homeruns and 17 stolen bases.  Devin Burke has been workhorse on the mound for the Hokies winning 10 games.  In addition, he has a very solid 3.30 earned run average. Burke is not going to overpower hitters with strikeouts but he finds a way to keep the team in games allowing the offense enough time to take care of business. This Hokie squad, under the guidance of Head Coach Pete Hughes, is not going to be intimidated by anyone. That is what makes them a dangerous threat to make a deep run in this 2013 NCAA Tournament.

The number two seed in the Blacksburg Regional belongs to the Oklahoma Sooners out of the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners will be a team on a mission after the devastating tornado that wrecked so much havoc on Moore, Oklahoma last week.  They started their mission in grand fashion winning the Big 12 Conference Tournament championship in Oklahoma City.  Matt Oberste, a junior infielder, leads the way at the plate for the Sooners hitting nearly .400 and has a team leading ten homeruns and 54 runs batted in. The pitching staff will be led by the starting duo of Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton as both guys are 9-2 on the year. Gray has been especially dominant with 127 strikeouts in 110 innings and can save a bullpen as he has three complete games. Gray’s ability to go deep in games can be very vital in a double elimination situation like a Regional.

The number three seed is Coastal Carolina out of the Big South Conference. They received an at-large bid after losing to Liberty in a Big South Conference tournament elimination game. The Chanticleers are led by their pitching tandem of Ben Smith in the starting rotation and Ryan Connolly in the bullpen.  Smith has a 2.19 earned run average and Connolly has 11 saves and has been very stingy in giving up hits as the opposition is only hitting .200 against him this season.

The number four seed is Connecticut, which played their way into the postseason by winning the Big East Tournament after struggling to a 9-15 record in regular season conference play. Senior infielder L.J. Mazilli leads the way for the Huskies with a .364 batting average and also leads the team in homeruns and runs batted in with six and 49 respectively. The Huskies will also need Carson Cross to be big on the mound.  Their pitching ace compiled an 8-4 record with a 2.50 earned run average while allowing only 21 walks in 104.1 innings. 

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