By: CBN | 5/22/12
|Tyler Tewell and Appalachian State look|
to improve their strong resume in the
SoCon Tournament this week.
Regular Season Champion: Purdue (41-12, 17-7; RPI: 15)
Bubble Watch: Michigan State (RPI: 47)
Just three weeks ago, Purdue was on top of the college baseball world, and not just geographically. Bad jokes aside, The Boilermakers were all but a lock to be a national seed, but then dropped 2 of 3 at UCLA before finishing the season dropping a series at Iowa but held onto the Big Ten title despite a late push from Indiana. Now, Doug Schreiber's club limps into the conference tournament on the line with a postseason bid secured, but their hosting chances still in much doubt. While Purdue has a bye, Michigan State opens the tourney against a Nebraska ball club that is playing some of there best ball of the season and could be poised to steal an automatic bid. While it would probably be in the Spartans best interest to win the tournament title and not put their fate up to the selection committee, two or three wins may put their resume (which includes an early season win over Baylor) over the top. For the Spartans to get on that track, it will start with junior right-hander Andrew Wazak who has compiled 92 innings season and a team best 2.64 ERA.
Regular Season Champion: Louisville (38-18, 18-9; RPI: 42)
Bubble Watch: St. John's (RPI: 57)
For much of the season, Louisville and St. John's had been battling it out as the top two teams in the Big East and both teams finished with an identical 18-9 conference record. The difference: Louisville winning the series between the two a couple of weeks ago. That three game set right there (and two lopsided wins over Kentucky) is likely why The Cardinals should not have much to worry about in Clearwater, FL. this weekend. St. John's on the other hand where going 2-2 may or may not be enough, depending on how the rest of the bubble shakes out this week. To make matters worse The Red Storm, they have only won two of their last six games and regular Friday night starter Matt Carasiti has allowed 7 runs 11 hits in his previous two starts. The good news though is that they still have junior Jeremy Baltz who has been "Mr. Everything" for The Red Storm, leading the team with a .340 clip, 7 home runs, and 4 triples. He will need to continue that as well as get some help if they plan on playing into next week.
Regular Season Champion: Appalachian State (38-14, 21-9; RPI: 31)
Bubble Watch: College of Charleston (RPI: 40), Elon (RPI: 51), Samford (RPI: 58)
With a regular season title and a huge early series win at LSU, Appalachian State is assured a spot in a regional somewhere. The question now is whether they will be in the postseason as a two-seed or three-seed. Two wins and they will reach the 40-win plateau which should be enough to secure a two-seed. They open the tournament with Furman, a team the Mountaineers have swept earlier this season. Should they win that game, they would then have three chances to just win another game. College of Charleston should be fine as well even with a poor showing. But from there, it gets much more interesting as Elon and Samford have a lot at stake. As it stands right now, according to our latest projections, we have Elon as one of our last teams in and Samford is one of the first ones out. It should also be noted that when these teams met at Samford back in March, The Bulldogs swept Elon, but the Phoenix finished a game ahead in the final standings.
Regular Season Champion: Sam Houston State (36-18, 24-19; RPI: 49)
Bubble Watch: Southeastern Louisiana (RPI: 56), Texas State (RPI: 60), Texas Arlington (RPI: 63)
Southeastern Louisiana (RPI: 56), Texas State (RPI: 60), Texas Arlington (RPI: 63)
Quietly, the Southland Conference has fielded multiple solid baseball teams that no host team ever wants to see in a regional. This year is no different as Sam Houston State is playing some good baseball this season, led by Anthony Azar at the plate and Caleb Smith on the bump. Even with the RPI nearing the fifties, the regular season title should be enough of a resume booster to get them in the field of 64 regardless of their performance in San Marcos this weekend. The team that was nipping at the heels of the Bearkats for most of the season were the scrappy Southeastern Lions. For much of the season, Coach Jay Artigues' club was propelled by Brock Hebert who hit for a .388 average with 35 RBI and a .539 slugging percentage. All that was good enough to pick up Southland Conference Player of the Year honors. For the last two seasons the Lions have started out the season hot only to collapse late in the year and narrowly miss out of the regionals. The monumental meltdown hasn't happened yet, but if it does, you will hear no complaints from Texas State or UT-Arlington.
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