Monday Super Regional Notes

June 11, 2012

Thoughts On Stony Brook & More…

Stony Brook players celebrate their historic win over LSU for a College World Series berth.

Are you down with Stony Brook yet? It’s time to get to know “The Brook”, or “Stony”…whichever moniker you want to give them.

Matt Senk’s Seawolves (cool actual nickname) are ready to take Omaha by storm after taking two of three games from No. 7 national seed LSU in Baton Rouge over the weekend. Those are wins number 51 and 52 if you’re counting.

If you watched any of those games on TV over the weekend this will all sound redundant, but that Stony Brook lineup really does just grind at-bats. The ‘Wolves made LSU game one starter Austin Nola throw 109 pitches in just 6.0 innings in the Friday/Saturday 12-inning opener (their lone loss of the Super Regional) and the next four relievers (yes, including ace Kevin Gausman) needed 91 more pitches over the next six frames.

Gausman also needed 98 pitches to get through 7.0 innings on the mound in Saturday’s game two (which started roughly 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one, which was halted by rain after 11 dramatic innings Friday), and his 8.0 total innings and 110 total pitches drew the ire of ESPN studio analyst Keith Law and sparked a mini controversy in the process…but that’s a Wolve’s tale for another day.

Six LSU pitchers then combined to fire 180 pitches in Sunday’s 7-2 Stony Brook Super Regional clinching victory. All told, LSU pitchers needed 484 pitches to work 29 innings for an average of just over 161 pitches a game.

That’s grinding.

At least as impressive, if not more so, than what Stony Brook batters did was what Senk’s own pitching staff was able to do against the LSU line-up.

CB360 co-editor Pete LaFleur cranked out some quick numbers on the ol’ Twitter machine Sunday night and Stony’s starting pitching machine of Brandon McNitt, Tyler Johnson and Frankie Vanderka looked like this in their three games against the Tigers:

25.0 innings pitched, 0.72 ERA, .113 opponent batting average (9-for-80), and just 10 BB, 2 HB, and nine strikeouts.

Forget about grinding and pitch counts and ERA though. What it all comes down to is in a span of two weekends Stony Brook picked-up three wins over two teams – Miami and LSU – who have combined for 38 trips to the College World Series and 10 national championships and they did it on the home fields of the two powers.

The Seawolves have now won 28 of their last 31 games to become just the second No. 4 Regional seed to ever make it to the CWS. The only other was Fresno State in 2008. Those Bulldogs are the last non SEC team to win the national championship.

So, here’s how Omaha is shaping up. One side of the bracket is set with Stony Brook to play UCLA in the first round and Florida State and Arizona going head-to-head in that same pool of four.

The other bracket is all but completely up in the air, with four Super Regionals to be decided Monday.

Number one national seed Florida has advanced and will play the winner of the South Carolina/Oklahoma Super Regional (a potential rematch of last year’s CWS finals if the two-time champion Gamecocks advance).

The other first round match-up in Omaha will pit the Baylor/Arkansas winner against the Oregon/Kent State winner, meaning if Kent State pulls out its own first Super Regional win (in its own first ever Super Regional) there will be a Cinderella in each of the four-team CWS brackets.

2012 CWS shirts & more are now at The Dugout!

They’re HERE!!  The Dugout in Omaha has official College World Series gear for each of the eight teams, including those Stony Brook Seawolves. If you want to be the first kid (no matter what age) on your block to have this year’s official CWS shirts, hats and more (both for individual teams or generic) click the red link and get to The Dugout’s web site!

If you’re going to Omaha for the CWS you can also visit The Dugout. It’s right across the street from the home plate entrance to TD Ameritrade Park.

Today’s Super Regional schedule goes like this (All times ET):

4 PMSouth Carolina hosts Oklahoma in the resumption of game two of their series with the score tied 0-0 in the bottom of the 6th. The Gamecocks would advance to Omaha for the third straight year with a win.

7 PMOregon hosts Kent State in game three of their Super Regional. The Golden Flashes are the designated home team.

7 PMBaylor hosts Arkansas in game three of their series. Baylor is the home team.

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