[Before I begin, let me once again extend my most sincere thanks to Fit4LifeLLC for providing his insight and research in compiling these hitting previews. He's truly been a tremendous help this season.]
North Carolina State Wolfpack (OBLIGATORY):
As a team, The Wolfpack are hitting .280 on the season and are led at the plate by Trea Turner. Turner is hitting .376 on the season, leads the team in home runs (6 - tied with Tarran Senay) and stolen bases (24 on 30 attempts), and is second on the team with 40 runs batted in. Others to watch in the lineup are Bryan Adametz and Jake Fincher, who are hitting .320 and .317 on the season respectively. Tarran Senay has the numbers of a cleanup guy, leading the team with 6 homers and 49 RBI. NC State is definitely the most active team in this regional on the base paths stealing 100 bases out of 129 attempts (77.5 %).
If both teams are fortunate enough to win their opening round games, Rebel catcher Stuart Turner and the speed of NC State should be interesting matchup to watch, as Turner is throwing out just over 50% of runners attempting to steal this year. In addition to this matchup, as we learned Bianco is rolling the dice by holding Bobby Wahl for this potential matchup against the Pack and their ace Carlos Radon on Saturday by throwing Mike Mayers against W&M. This is no disrespect to Mike Mayers by any means as Mayers has pitched extremely well as of late, but it is exciting to see this strategy, and we hope it pays off.
Looking the Wolfpack's statistics within the ACC leaves one impressed with them. Many would view the ACC and SEC as very similar baseball conferences in terms of talent and level of competition, and looking at the number of bids and regional host this postseason helps demonstrate that parity, with the SEC getting nine overall bids to the ACC's eight. In addition, the ACC did earn five regional host sites compared to the SEC's four. Considering this conference parity, I think a statistical comparision between the Rebels' and Pack's conference stats is worth a look.
NC State - ACC record 19-10
Avg, HR, RBI, SLG%, OBP%, SB/ATT, SO/BB
.287, 9, 146, .372, .348, 45/63, 184/86
Ole Miss - SEC record 15-15
.258, 17, 123, .355, .348, 17/37, 152/110
NC State's RPI is currently at No. 9 overall. The Pack also boasts a ranking of 9th or 10th in the country depending upon the poll. This is also a very solid club, and one that perhaps feels a bit snubbed for a national seed by the NCAA selection committee. They won't be an easy out for sure.
William and Mary Tribe:
The Rebels first round opponent is the Tribe from William and Mary (Friday at 1pm Central on ESPN3). The Rebels will have a formidable foe in the Tribe, who should not be overlooked but any of the Ole Miss faithful. The Colonial Athletic Association member boasts the #37 RPI in the country and were chosen as an at large selection into the field of 64.
A deeper look at the Tribe statistically shows why they were chosen as an at large team. William and Mary hits for a team average of .296 and scores just over six runs a game (6.22, to be exact). A deeper look shows that this team has a penchant for small ball, with only 23 of the team's 602 hits coming from triples or home runs (3.8%). William and Mary steals at a 72.3 % success rate, but only has 65 attempts on the year. The Rebels are very similar to the Tribe statistically, albeit with admittedly weaker numbers, hitting .276, earning 33 triples and home runs, scoring 5.3 runs per game, and stealing bases at a somewhat embarrassing 55% success rate.
The Tribe from William and Mary are led at the plate by Michael Katz who hits for an average of .365, leads the team with five home runs and 47 RBI, and slugs at .563. Ryan Lindemuth is right behind Katz with an average at .363, four homers, 47 RBI and a .481 slugging percentage. Ryan Brown is also a solid stick in the Tribe lineup, hitting .329, as is William Shaw who is hitting .305.
It's a bear! It's a cat! No, it's a bearcat! Which is like a bearshark but non-amphibious and, therefore, not nearly as great. Binghamton is 30-23 with a 16-13 conference record in the America East. The Bearcats are making their second NCAA appearance ever, with the other coming after the 2009 season in the East Carolina regional, where they went 1-2, losing both games to the #1 seed ECU Pirates.
The 2013 edition of Binghamton Bearcats baseball has an RPI of 184 and they are unranked on the season. They won their conference tourney by beating the #1 seed Maine Black Bears in three games. The interesting story there is that the championship game for the America East tournament not only had to be moved to another day but also to another location 90 miles away in order to play on a field with suitable playing conditions. That right there shoes the disparity in college baseball programs nationwide - we in the SEC have the largest and most well equipped stadiums in college baseball, whereas the America East Conference tournament had to change locations due to poor field conditions.
Statistically, the Bearcats are led at the plate by Jake Thomas who is hitting .382. Thomas also leads the team with five home runs and 36 runs batted in. Others to watch are Daniel Nevares and David Schanz, who are hitting .314 and .307 respectfully.
As a team, the Bearcats are hitting .266 with 17 home runs and 228 RBI. The team has a SLG% of .353 and OBP% of .358. The Bearcats are not the most active on the base paths but are very successful when they are, stealing 40 bases in 57 attempts. If the Rebels do not have to face the Bearcats in this regional one would have to feel that the Rebels have successfully made it through the first 2 games unbeaten.