NCAA Regional Preview

ASU will play host to the Mesa Regional this weekend as they will play the San Diego Toreros. The other matchup is a showdown between the 7th ranked Houston Cougars and the New Mexico State Aggies. Here's a preview of all four regional articipants.

Arizona State

ASU will make their 3rd straight post-season appearance, and 26th in the school's history. The Devils join 3 other Pac 10 teams (USC, Stanford, and Washington) as the conference representatives in the NCAA Tournament. ASU is 35-19 heading into this weekend, ranked 21st in the nation and are the 2nd seed in the region.

The Devils will be lead by All Conference players Andre Ethier, Jeremy West, and Dustin Pedroia. Ethier lead the team in batting average (.377), hit 14 doubles, and 3 triples. He also hit 4 home runs and drove in 46 runs. Jeremy West put together an amazing Sophomore season, leading the team in home runs (13) and RBI's (67). He played in all but 2 games on the season. Other key stats would be his .368 batting average, 18 doubles, 4 triples, 54 runs scored, and 136 total bases.

Dustin Pedroia had a great Freshman campaign as the only Devil to start every game (54). He hit .333 on the season, with a team leading 216 at bats. His key contribution to the team would be his stellar defense. He had a .985 fielding percentage, with just 3 errors for the year. 9 other Devils obtained Honorable Mention honors this year. They were Cesar Castillo, Mike Esposito, Sergio Garcia, Steve Garrabrants, Jeff Larish, Jered Liebeck, Robbie McClellan, Ryan Schroyer, and Jon Sheaffer.

Mike Esposito had a decent season, starting many of the Friday games for the Devils. One of his key highlights would be his 17 strike out performance. Heading into the post-season, he is 9-5 with a 3.47 ERA. He started 16 games, striking out 93 on the season. Ryan Schroyer was instrumental out of the bullpen. He went 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA. He appeared in 23 games, and lead the team in saves with 7.

University of San Diego

The Toreros (38-21) are making their 1st appearance in post-season play after 23 years in Division 1 and will play ASU on Friday. San Diego is lead by All Conference players Ricky Barrett, David Bagley, and Tom Caple. LHP Barrett had a 10-1 record and 3.38 ERA. He was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year. He started 17 games, with 2 complete games in 114 1/3 innings pitched. 3B David Bagley hit .401, with a team leading 13 home runs and 56 RBI's. Caple had a .324 average in 207 at bats.

University of Houston

The Cougars (44-15) are one of the hottest teams in the country right now, winning their past 11 of 12. They come in as the 7th ranked team in the country and the #1 seed in the region.

They are lead by OF Michael Bourn, who played in every game this season. He hit .325, while leading the team in runs with 60 runs. Catcher Chris Snyder hit .350 with 12 home runs and 63 RBI's. 1B Brett Cooley lead the team in home runs with 15 and 130 total bases. Pitcher Brad Sullivan went 10-1 this regular season with a solid 2.18 ERA. He started 15 games in 103 1/3 innings pitched with 134 strikeouts. Their save leader is Jesse Crain, who had a 0.00 ERA in 22 appearances with a 4-0 record and 9 saves.

New Mexico State

The Aggies are in their first ever appearance along with San Diego and are the 4th seed and face Houston in the first round. New Mexico State and ASU are the only teams to play each other in the regular season, with the Devils winning 2 of 3. They played 2 games at HoHoKam, with the Devils winning both of those games, and the Aggies won a game in Las Cruces earlier in the season.

NMSU are lead by All-Conference IF Gabe Veloz, who played in every game this season. He hit .412 with 15 home runs and 91 RBI's. OF Ryan Kenning lead the team with 24 home runs and 96 RBI'S. The starting pitcher for the Aggies on Friday will be Jason Williams, who has a streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings. He went 8-1 on the year with a 4.16 ERA. He struck out 73 and started 13 games.

The winner of Mesa Regional will play the winner of the Austin Regional in the Super Regionals. The Austin regional has Texas, Baylor, Lamar, and Central Connecticut State. The winner of both regionals will advance to the College World Series in Omaha.

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