NCAA Regionals Preview: Part II

In the second half of JJ's NCAA baseball regionals preview, we get a look at our old friends from Texas as well as our first Friday opponent, Marist. Also included is a statistical comparison of all four of the regional teams. A must read for Cardinalmaniacs!

3. TEXAS LONGHORNS (34-24, 19-11 in the Big 12)

It has been an up-and-down season for the Longhorns this year as they're coming off an appearance in the 2000 College World Series.  Texas and Stanford hooked up in a three-game series back in February in Austin with the Cardinal taking two-of-three.  Stanford won the first two games, 9-6 and 5-0, before dropping the finale, 2-1.  Texas went two-and-out in the Big 12 Tournament last weekend which left their tournament chances up in the air.  But like Long Beach State, the Longhorns played a tough non-conference schedule and are playing in one of the toughest conferences in the country.

Also like Long Beach State, Texas will play a lot of small ball.  The Longhorns are hitting just .290 as a team and have hit only 25 home runs in 56 games this season.  No player has hit more than six home runs on this team while they've also layed down 78 sacrifice bunts this year.  Pitching is the strength of this team as the Longhorns boast an outstanding 3.11 team ERA.  Two of their starters, Gerrit Simpson and Justin Simmons, sport ERA's below 3.00.  Offensively, second baseman/DH Ryan Hubele is one of the team leaders with a .341 average and six home runs.  DH Ben King has driven home a team-leading 43 runs while he also leads the team with 14 stolen bases.  Texas could be playing without two key players in this regional.  Omar Quintanilla suffered a concussion back on April 24th and hasn't played since.  Quintanilla was leading the team in batting at .367 before he went down.  Also, RHP Albert Montes, who shut down Stanford earlier this season, was suspended before the Big 12 Tournament and his status for this weekend is unknown.  Montes is one of the top pitchers on the Longhorns staff.

Probable Starting Lineup -
C - Sam Anderson (.276, 1 HR, 31 RBI, 1 SB)
1B - Jeff Ontiveros (.263, 6 HR, 34 RBI, 0 SB)
2B - Ryan Hubele (.341, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 11 SB)
3B - Ryan Brooks (.298, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 0 SB)
SS - Eddie Romprey (.264, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB)
LF - Eric Sultemeier (.233, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB)
CF - Kalani Napoleon (.320, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 3 SB)
RF - Matt Rosenberg (.302, 0 HR, 31 RBI, 11 SB)
DH - Ben King (.304, 4 HR, 43 RBI, 14 SB)

Starting Pitchers -
RHP - Gerrit Simpson (5-5, 2.83 ERA, 111 1/3 IP, 39 BB, 114 SO)
LHP - Justin Simmons (7-3, 2.97 ERA, 69 2/3 IP, 19 BB, 40 SO)
RHP - Ray Clark (3-3, 3.68 ERA, 66 IP, 18 BB, 55 SO)
RHP - Albert Montes (6-5, 2.51 ERA, 96 2/3 IP, 8 BB, 81 SO)



MARIST RED FOXES (32-19-1, 17-10 in the MAAC)

The 4th seeded Marist Red Foxes will be making their third-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament this weekend (1997 and 2000).  The Red Foxes finished in 3rd place in the MAAC this season but advanced to the regionals after they won their conference tournament.  They defeated Rider 11-3 in the MAAC championship game.

The strength of this team lies with its hitting and starting pitching.  Marist is hitting .330 as a team and are scoring over eight runs per game.  Rightfielder Anthony Bocchino is leading the MAAC in hitting with a .415 average and he also leads the team in home runs and RBI.  DH/LHP Tim Bittner and shortstop Steve O'Sullivan are also both hitting above .400.  On the mound, Marist will throw three starting pitchers with ERA's below 3.00.  The Red Foxes bullpen isn't very good as their team ERA is approaching 5.00.

* All statistics are as of May 9th
Probable Starting Lineup -
C - Ben Cueto (.321, 2 HR, 31 RBI, 4 SB)
1B - Jimmy Willis (.263, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 5 SB)
2B - Spike Ridgley (.265, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 6 SB)
3B - Tim Allen (.329, 3 HR, 35 RBI, 0 SB)
SS - Steve O'Sullivan (.400, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 7 SB)
LF - Jimmy Board (.282, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB)
CF - Ryan Brady (.365, 1 HR, 29 RBI, 5 SB)
RF - Anthony Bocchino (.415, 5 HR, 50 RBI, 3 SB)
DH - Tim Bittner (.401, 0 HR, 26 RBI, 3 SB)

Starting Pitchers -
LHP - Chris Tracz (8-0, 2.59 ERA, 66 IP, 11 BB, 64 SO)
LHP - Kevin Ool (3-4, 2.71 ERA, 73 IP, 15 BB, 68 SO)
LHP - Tim Bittner (6-2, 2.94 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 27 BB, 65 SO)
RHP - Ryan Kondratowicz (4-1, 4.75 ERA, 53 IP, 11 BB, 52 SO)



TEAM STATISTICS COMPARSION :

  Stanford LBS Texas Marist
Record 42-14 35-21 34-24 32-19-1
Team Batting Average .317 .300 .290 .330
Runs/Game 7.3 7.0 5.9 8.2
Home Runs/Game 1.0 0.5 0.4 0.5
Stolen Bases/Game 1.3 1.3 1.2 0.9
Team Earned Run Average 3.36 4.66 3.11 4.74
National Ranking 6 NR NR NR


- The winner of this sub-regional will play the winner of the Columbia sub-regional in a best-of-three game super-regional.  #7 Central Florida, #16 South Carolina, The Citadel, and Princeton are the participating teams in that regional.


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