Chapel Hill Regional Preview

Inside Carolina
Posted May 31, 2013

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina assistant coach Scott Jackson took time to analyze the opposition in the NCAA Tournament’s Chapel Hill Regional, which starts on Friday.

No. 2 seed Florida Atlantic

Record: 39-20, 19-11 in Sun Belt
Automatic Qualifier: Sun Belt tournament champion
RPI: 26th (9-11 vs. Top-50; 14-12 vs. Top-100)
SOS: 52nd
Best Wins: Series sweep vs. South Alabama (42-18; RPI No. 17)

Pitchers of Note:
LHP Austin Gomber (7-4, 2.97 ERA, 100 SO)
RHP Jeremy Strawn (5-2, 2.94 ERA, 2 CG)
RHP Jake Meiers (6-3, 4.69 ERA)
RHP Hugh Adams (2-0, 2.84 ERA, 17 saves)

Batters of Note:
Brendon Sanger (.373, .519 slugging %, 26 RBI)
Nathan Pittman (.332, .490 slugging %, 36 RBI, 13 SB)
Tyler Rocklein (.284, .509 slugging %, 9 HR, 43 RBI)

Jackson’s Take: “Florida Atlantic is always good. John (McCormack) does a great job with his program. They’ve got some physical guys. They’ve got some left-handed hitters. They’ve got some right-handed hitters. They’ve got some speed and power. They can beat you in a lot of different ways whether it’s getting on and stealing second and then getting a base hit to score a run. Or they’ve got guys in that lineup that certainly can hit the ball out of the ballpark. They’ve got a solid rotation. (Austin) Gomber’s struck out a hundred, which there’s not many guys in college baseball that have done that. You know he’s got an out pitch. He’s got a very live arm and deception. We have seen some video of him. They’ve got some different looks out of the bullpen with some arm strength so it’s one of those things where everyone here is for a reason and they’ve got good teams and solid teams. Florida Atlantic is no exception and they expect to be in a regional every year they tee it up so here they are.”

No. 3 seed Towson

Record: 29-28, 14-13 in CAA
Automatic Qualifier: CAA tournament champion
RPI: 90th (7-5 vs. Top-50; 10-11 vs. Top-100)
SOS: 93rd
Best Win: 13-11 CAA tournament upset over regular season champion UNC Wilmington (37-21; RPI No. 30)

Pitchers of Note:
RHP Mike Volpe (9-3, 3.86 ERA, 95.2 IP, 74 SO)
RHP Brandon Gonnella (4-4, 5.22 ERA, 56 SO)
RHP Nick Cioffi (1-1, 4.81 ERA, 2 saves, 24 app)

Batters of Note:
Dominic Fratantuono (.345, .573 slugging %, 51 RBI, 8 HR, 14 SB)
Kurt Wertz (.341, .659 slugging %, 63 RBI, 13 HR)
Peter Bowles (.332, .554 slugging %, 47 RBI, 8 HR)

Jackson’s Take: “I’ve got a little history with them just because I was in the CAA and was at UNC Wilmington and was used to playing them. They’ve always had their offense as kind of their calling card. If you look at it this year they’re the same way. They’ve got some veteran guys in there. They’ve got some guys that are capable of really getting hot and scoring a lot of runs. If you look at their conference tournament that’s what they did. They beat people by outscoring their opponent. It looks to me like it’s kind of contagious and they can score runs in bunches. I haven’t looked at their pitching a whole lot so I don’t know a ton about their arms. I’m just looking at their program and where they’ve been in the past and they got here. You’re going to have to pitch to beat them.”

No. 4 seed Canisius (pronounced cuh-NEE-shuss)

Record: 42-15, 15-9 in MAAC
Automatic Qualifier: MAAC tournament champion
RPI: 94th (0-0 vs. Top-50; 0-2 vs. Top-100)
SOS: 271
Best Win: 18-7 MAAC tournament upset over regular season champion Rider (35-22; RPI No. 136)

Pitchers of Note:
RHP Garrett Cortright (11-3, 2.24 ERA, 5 cg, 108.2 IP, 72 SO)
LHP Alex Godzak (8-3, 3.22 ERA, 66 SO)
RHP Jon Fitzsimmons (4-0, 1.19 ERA, 10 saves)

Batters of Note:
Jimmy Luppens (.368, .508 slugging %, 47 RBI)
Brooklyn Foster (.353, .517 slugging %, 30 RBI)
Jesse Kelso (.299, 38 RBI, 44 runs, 12 SB)

Jackson’s Take: “They’ve won 42 games so that kind of tells you all you need to know from that standpoint. If I had to guess, they have some veteran guys who know how to win. They’ve put together a heck of a year if you look at their offensive numbers. Their on-base percentage is .418 so they know how to get on. Up and down the order it doesn’t look like there’s anybody whose numbers are completely out of whack on the bad side. You know you’re going to go in there and have nine guys that’ll go to the plate and have great at-bats. Cortright is an innings guy. He’s up over a hundred innings, which means they trust him and they’re going to let him get them out of some situations and pitch deep in the game. If you look at his numbers, he’s done that all year. That’s whom we’ve locked in on just because we know that’s whom we’re facing. We’ve looked at their bullpen and it looks like they’ve got some different looks coming out of that bullpen and they’re going to throw strikes. It doesn’t look like they’re going to beat themselves and that’s something that gets you here. That’s what gets you into the postseason so that’s pretty obvious for us. It’s about our opponents and kind of knowing what they’re going to bring to the table but at the end it’s going to be more about us and how we play.”


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