baseball-d1 flag staff | June 1, 2023

Every 2023 college baseball regional, previewed

College baseball bracket breakdown: Previewing the 2023 NCAA tournament

(Editor's note: The following previews were first published on Use code Save30 for a discount on an annual subscription.)

DI baseball regional tournaments run from June 2-5. Below you will find regional previews for each region, from  

Auburn Regional Preview

Southern Mississippi Athletics Dustin Dickerson of Southern Mississippi baseball

Auburn year after year seems to exceed outside expectations, and this season was no different. The Tigers, despite having some youth in the lineup, a key injury on the mound in Joseph Gonzalez and uncertainty in the weekend rotation for much of the year, is hosting for the second straight season. Their path isn’t easy, though. Penn is arguably the toughest four-seed in the entire field, Southern Miss is a team that was a handful of wins away from hosting a regional itself and Samford is a tough team that won a tripleheader in the SoCon Tournament to secure an automatic bid.

1. Auburn: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. Southern Miss: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Samford: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Penn: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Cole Foster, SS, Auburn

Foster does a lot of things well. At the plate, he’s having a great year, batting .336/.430/.579 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs. He also plays a very solid shortstop for the Tigers. He missed three games this season for Auburn, and even in that small of a sample size, you could tell something was missing when he was out of the lineup.

Best Hitter: Bryson Ware, 3B, Auburn

Ware quietly made one of the biggest leaps in college baseball this season. As a part-time player last season, he batted .234/.336/.394 with one home run. This season, he’s batting .356/.440/.750 with 24 home runs and 63 RBIs.

Best Defensive Player: Dustin Dickerson, SS, Southern Miss

It says something about Dickerson’s natural defensive ability that Southern Miss trusted him at the position the minute he stepped on campus. In the four years since, he’s never left shortstop and continues to be a rock-solid defender there.

Best Pitcher: Tanner Hall, RHP, Southern Miss

Hall backed up his breakout season in 2022 (which earned him a place on the Collegiate National Team last summer) with another outstanding season at the front of the Southern Miss rotation. He’s 12-3 with a 2.23 ERA, a .194 opponent batting average and 109 strikeouts compared to 30 walks in 97 innings.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Baton Rouge Regional Preview

LSU Athletics Paul Skenes of LSU baseball

LSU entered the season as the nation’s No. 1 team. And though the Tigers haven’t been great the past couple of weeks, they’ve been okay. Expectations are sky high for Jay Johnson’s club entering the postseason. Oregon State has been piecing things together from a pitching standpoint, while the offense certainly has star power with Gavin Turley, Travis Bazzana and Garrett Forrester leading the way. Sam Houston has hard-hitting sluggers Joe Redfield and Tyler Davis, while Tulane is riding a crazy wave (no pun intended) after winning the American tournament.

1. LSU: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. Oregon State: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Sam Houston: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Tulane: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

It’s hard not to go with someone like Dylan Crews here, but Skenes is one of those once in a decade type of players. Skenes entered the season with high expectations, and he hasn’t let off the gas pedal for a second with a fastball up to 101-102 mph to go with a 1.89 ERA in 90.1 innings, along with a ridiculous 167 strikeouts and just 17 walks. Skenes has had an incredible season, and we will see if that continues this weekend.

Best Hitter: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU

This man needs no introduction. It’s funny because people think he has cooled off over the past few weeks. Well, Crews is still hitting a ridiculous .420 with 13 doubles, 15 homers and 59 RBIs, along with 58 walks and 38 strikeouts. Crews also has a .567 OBP to go with a 1.277 OPS. Crews is an electric hitter, and he’s also a terrific defender in the outfielder. He’s the total package.

Best Defensive Player: Kyle Dernedde, UT, Oregon State

It’s hard not to go with LSU second baseman Gavin Dugas for this category considering he didn’t have an error the first three months of the season, but how about the experienced and talented Beavers shortstop? Dernedde has been a consistent force in the field with just three errors to give him a fantastic .981 fielding percentage.

Best Pitcher: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

Sorry, but this is probably going to be our shortest bit of analysis. Skenes is the obvious choice here with his electric fastball and outrageous numbers so far this season. He is the most valuable player in college baseball.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Charlottesville Regional Preview

East Carolina Athletics Trey Yesavage of ECU baseball

Virginia was nearly unbeaten at Disharoon this season going 32-4, but the Cavaliers will face much stiffer competition than they did at the park throughout the season. They’ll like match up with East Carolina at some point for the second year in a row. The Pirates are trying a different angle in their attempt to make it to Omaha, something Oklahoma did last year and hopes to follow up on. Army brings in an old, physical lineup that can do damage.

1. Virginia: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. East Carolina: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Oklahoma: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Army: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Kyle Teel, C, Virginia

The ACC Player of the Year is hitting .414 with 12 homers and 60 RBIs while catching pretty much every inning since he arrived on campus. He’s a lock to be an early-round draft pick and plays with the fire and zeal of someone always trying to prove himself.

Best Hitter: Jake Gelof, 3B, Virginia

The stalwart third baseman has hit 20 doubles, three triples and 22 home runs. He holds the single-season and career home run records at Virginia. He also has broke the school’s single-season RBI record each of the last two years, driving in 84 so far this season.

Best Defensive Player: Griff O’Ferrall, SS, Virginia

The All-ACC first-team selection is perhaps the overlooked piece of the Virginia puzzle, but he’s also the big connector piece in the middle of the diamond that holds everything together. He’s super smooth with everything he does when his left hand is in a baseball glove. He’s got good instincts and and strong, accurate arm.

Best Pitcher: Trey Yesavage, RHP, East Carolina

Somewhere along the line an “a,” was dropped out of Trey’s last name because when he’s rolling on the mound… “Yea, savage.” The 6-foot-4 sophomore righthander has been outstanding when healthy this season, going 6-1, 2.80 with 98 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. He’s holding hitters to a .193 average against. There was some debate about how he could be used this weekend, but Cliff Godwin has named Yesavage the Friday night starter.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Clemson Regional Preview

Charlotte's Cam Fisher preparing for an at bat

The Clemson regional is arguably the most talented regional top-to-bottom. Despite a slow start to the season, Clemson reeled off 16-straight wins to close the season, capped off by an ACC Tournament title. Tennessee had a legitimate argument to be the preseason number one team in the nation, and despite some struggles throughout the year, the Vols pitching is as good as any team in the nation. Cam Fisher is one of the nation's best pure hitters. Fisher alone makes Charlotte a threat to advance to the second weekend. Lipscomb is as battle-tested as any mid-major in the field, playing 14 games against SEC and ACC opponents this season. This regional could be won by any of the four teams, making it one of the most intriguing set-ups for opening weekend. 

1. Clemson: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. Tennessee: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Charlotte: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Lipscomb: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Cam Cannarella, CF, Clemson

This 6-foot, 175-pound true freshman ignites the Tigers with his high energy approach. The lefthanded hitting Cannarella will lead off and play center field, and he led Erik Bakich’s club in hitting (.386) and runs scored (70).

Best Hitter: Cam Fisher, RF, Charlotte

Fisher is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound lefthanded hitter who enters regional play as the national leader with 30 home runs. He is a fourth-year junior who redshirted at Ole Miss in 2019 and then cut his teeth at Walters State CC in Tennessee. Fisher ran away with C-USA Tournament MVP honors as he hit six round trippers and drove in 13 in six games.

Best Defensive Player: Jack Dragum, SS, Charlotte

Dragum has made 177 career starts for the Niners. He has committed just 15 errors in those three seasons, good for a career fielding percentage of .974. Dragum is also the toughest at-bat in this Charlotte lineup.

Best Pitcher: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee

We should all have “down years” like Dollander did in 2023. The 6-foot-2 righthander enters regional play with a 4.28 ERA over 14 starts and 73.2 innings. He punched out 107 hitters in 2023 and his fastball routinely runs into the upper-90s. He is a slam dunk top 10 pick for the MLB Draft in July and the arm talent is extraordinary.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Columbia Regional Preview

South Carolina baseball

South Carolina limped into a regional hosting spot with a 4-11 finish down the stretch, but the Gamecocks looked like one of college baseball’s best teams in the first half. Campbell had a strong hosting case of its own and looks like a very dangerous, balanced and hungry 2-seed. NC State has one of college baseball’s deepest lineups and is playing with house money after getting in off the bubble. And Central Connecticut was a dominant force in the NEC regular season and conference tournament.

  1. South Carolina: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  2. Campbell: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  3. NC State: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  4. Central Connecticut: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Jarrod Belbin, 2B, Campbell

We’ll give Belbin this honor over the two stars listed in the next category, because Belbin does it all — not only did he hit .325/.430/.658 with 15 doubles, 19 homers and 62 RBIs, but he stole 25 bases in 25 tries. Campbell’s exciting style of play relies upon the home run and the stolen base in equal measure, and nobody embodies that duality better than Belbin.

Best Hitter: Ethan Petry, RF, South Carolina

The SEC Freshman of the Year electrified Founders Park all year long, putting up huge numbers (.376/.468/.748, 22 HR, 72 RBI) and showing a flair for the dramatic hit. The numbers he put up as a true freshman against SEC competition give him the nod over Campbell’s Lawson Harrill, who had a slightly higher OPS (1.272) and earned the Big South Player of the Year award.

Best Defensive Player: Kalae Harrison, SS, NC State

An instinctive, quick-footed defender with steady hands, sound actions, excellent body control and enough arm strength, Harrison has been a rock in the middle infield for the Wolfpack, fielding .980. When he slid from second to short in the first half, it really stabilized the defense.

Best Pitcher: Cade Kuehler, RHP, Campbell

A third-team preseason All-American likely to be selected on Day One of the draft, Kuehler missed a couple starts late in the year but looked like his typical dominant self in the conference tournament last week, holding Gardner-Webb to 2 hits over seven shutout innings while striking out nine. He has true power stuff and has put up sterling numbers in this crazy offensive environment: 8-0, 2.82 with 87 strikeouts against 24 walks in 67 innings.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Conway Regional Preview

Coastal Carolina baseball

Coastal Carolina bashed its way to the Sun Belt regular season title and a home regional, drawing Duke, UNC Wilmington and Rider. This regional presents a contrast in styles, as Coastal stands out for its powerful offense (15th nationally in slugging, sixth in scoring) but ranks 176th in ERA, while Duke (10th in ERA) and Rider (18th) have standout pitching, and UNCW is a blend of both.

  1. Coastal Carolina: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  2. Duke: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  3. UNC Wilmington: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  4. Rider: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Payton Eeles, 2B, Coastal Carolina

A 5-foot-7 firebrand who transferred in from Division II Cedarville this year, Eeles is the most valuable player in this regional according to our wWAA metric (weighted wins above average). He is the engine that makes Coastal go, hitting .379 with 16 doubles and 40 stolen bases in 46 tries.

Best Hitter: Jay Beshears, 2B, Duke

You can make a case here for Eeles or Coastal’s Derek Bender, UNCW’s Jac Croom or a few others, but we’ll go with Beshears, a Northwestern transfer who has continued to produce at a high level after transferring to the ACC. Beshears is hitting .340/.452/.587 with 15 doubles, 12 homers, 52 RBIs and a solid 29-43 K-BB mark. His power production gives him the nod over Eeles and Croom, and his plate discipline gives him the edge over Bender.

Best Defensive Player: Alex Mooney, SS, Duke

Mooney has a slightly lower fielding percentage than UNCW shortstop Taber Mongero (another strong candidate for this spot), but we’ll give Mooney the edge because of his professional profile; he has the smooth actions, instincts and solid arm to play middle infield in the big leagues. He has been mostly steady this year and is capable of making the spectacular play.

Best Pitcher: James Tallon, LHP, Duke

An instant star as Duke’s freshman closer, Tallon was unhittable for most of the year, and even after getting hit a little bit in his last few outings, he still heads into this regional with a 1.69 ERA, 11 saves, and a sparkling 54-10 K-BB mark in 32 IP. His calling card is an invisible fastball that plays above its 91-93 mph velocity thanks to his vertical approach angle and deception.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Coral Gables Regional Preview

Louisiana-Lafayette Athletics Julian Brock of Louisiana baseball

Miami ran out of its top pitchers, losing to Clemson in the ACC title game and coming up just short of a top-eight seed. Texas, seeded second in this regional, has won six College World Series titles, most recently in 2005. Miami has won four CWS titles, most recently in 2001. Third-seeded Louisiana made it to the CWS in 2000, and fourth-seeded Maine has made seven CWS appearances, most recently in 1986.

1. MiamiRegular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. TexasRegular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. LouisianaRegular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Maine: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

Miami third baseman Yohandy “Yo-Yo” Morales consistently makes hard contact, knocking the ball out to all fields. If you need to buy a beverage during the game, it’s best to wait until after his at-bat is over.

Best Hitter: Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami

Morales, a projected first-round pick this July, does more than hit for power. He is hitting .405 with 13 doubles, 16 homers and a 1.157 OPS.

Best Defensive Player: Julian Brock, C, Louisiana

Louisiana catcher Julian Brock is a physical defender and a premium leader. Right fielder Dylan Campbell has been Texas’ best defensive player all season, totaling seven assists.

Best Pitcher: Lucas Gordon, LHP, Texas

Texas lefty Lucas Gordon is a legit draft prospect. Since starting his college career with the Longhorns in 2021, Gordon is 13-3 with a 2.85 ERA.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Fayetteville Regional Preview

Arizona Athletics Chase Davis of Arizona baseball

Arkansas puts its 30-4 home record on the line against three very potent offenses in the Fayetteville Regional. Big 12 Tournament champion TCU, Pac 12 Tournament finalist Arizona, and WCC Tournament Champion Santa Clara are poised for noise in an offensive regional.

1. Arkansas: Regular Season ResultsTeam Stats and Leaders
2. TCU: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Arizona: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Santa Clara: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Chase Davis, OF, Arizona

The junior Davis (.369/.496/.757) is having a monster year with 21 homers and 74 RBIs and forms a potent duo with first baseman Kiko Romero (.347/442/.711), who has 19 home runs and 86 RBI of his own. Davis has also carved a name for himself with highlight-reel catches in left field. He’s projected as a first-round selection in July.

Best Hitter: Brayden Taylor, 3B, TCU

Taylor is the all-time home run leader at TCU with 45 and has a chance to go in the first round in the draft. Taylor has been consistent throughout his TCU career, batting over .300 with an OPS of over 1.000 each year. He’s hit for more power this year with 19 home runs and is the centerpiece of a powerful, aggressive TCU lineup.

Best Defensive Player: Nik McClaughry, SS, Arizona

McClaughry won the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award. McClaughry paced the conference with 162 defensive assists and posted a dazzling .983 fielding percentage on 229 total chances.

Best Pitcher: Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

He’s a lefty with premium stuff, shown by the 102 strikeouts in 67 innings. He’s been the Friday starter and the shutdown stopper. He can fill any role, and his versatility adds to his value.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Gainesville Regional Preview

Jac Caglianone rounds the bases

Offense, offense and more offense. That is what to expect from the Gainesville regional. Florida earned the number two overall seed to earn a regional at Condon Ballpark for the third time in the three years that the stadium has been opened. Florida has everything, one of the nation's best pitching staffs, nearly unmatched lineup depth, and Jac Caglianone, who shines on the mound and at the plate. UConn and Texas Tech bring postseason experience to this regional, and the offense to go toe-to-toe with the Gators. While Florida A&M does not have the same experience as the other three teams in this regional, it does have the offense to compete. The Rattlers hit nearly .300 as a team this season.

1. Florida: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. Connecticut: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Texas Tech: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Florida A&M: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Jac Caglianone, LHP & 1B, Florida

Heading into this spring, we knew Caglianone was a talent, but it wasn’t fair to expect this.  This has been a two-way player performance (.349/409/.790/28 HRs/76 RBIs & 6-3, 4.14 as a weekend starter) that’s unlike anything we’ve seen in years. He led the nation in home runs for much of the season, and his last two regular season starts were his best. His start in Hoover wasn’t great, but with the proof of concept in the prior starts versus Vanderbilt and Kentucky, we all see what he’s capable of.

Best Hitter: Wyatt Langford, Florida

Langford is one of the top three college prospects in the draft, and he’s put production with projection batting .398/.521/.823 with 22 doubles, 17 home runs, and 43 RBIs despite missing some time with an injury. He’s also walked 45 times against only 36 strikeouts.

Best Defensive Player: Josh Rivera, SS, Florida

The Gators’ shortstop has taken the next step offensively and also kept his strong defense going with a .959 fielding percentage in 196 chances. He’s also turned 23 double plays at short.

Best Pitcher: Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida

You could go Brandon Sproat or Waldrep here, but I’m going with Waldrep, whose split-change is one of the best secondary pitches among this year’s draft class. He’ll pitch high-90s with his fastball as well. Waldrep, when he is on, can dominate. He’s a high-pitch count guy, which can limit his innings, but when he’s on, he’s a double-digit strikeout performer.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Lexington Regional Preview

Ben Hampton of WVU throws a pitch

After navigating the most difficult schedule in the country and sitting at #2 in the RPI, Kentucky is unquestionably deserving to host. That said, the Wildcats have dropped six of their last seven SEC series’ and made an early exit in Hoover last weekend. West Virginia looked like a likely regional host before dropping their final five games. Indiana is a balanced power five opponent, and Ball State is flying high after winning the MAC Tournament. 

1. Kentucky: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders
2. West Virginia: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders
3. Indiana: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders
4. Ball State: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: JJ Wetherholt, 2B, West Virginia. 

The Big-12 Player of the Year, Wetherholt has advanced bat-to-ball skills and is second in the country in batting average (.443). The athletic sophomore can beat you in a number of ways and is leading the conference in slugging (.778), OPS (1.290) and stolen bases (35). 

Best Hitter: Jackson Gray, CF, Kentucky.

Objectively, Wetherholt is deserving of the nod here too, but let’s spread the love shall we? A transfer from Western Kentucky, Gray stumbled with the Hilltoppers last season (.710 OPS) but is slashing .363/.514/.580 with 19 stolen bases and a SEC-leading six triples this spring. 

Indiana first baseman Brock Tibbitts deserves a mention here too. After a slow start, the sophomore got hot during conference play and now leads the Hoosiers in average (.372), OBP (.465) and RBIs (66).  

Best Defensive Player: Ryan Peltier, 3B, Ball State

The 2022 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, Peltier became the first ACBA/Rawlings Gold Glove award recipient Ball State’s history last spring. Peltier also fuels the Cardinals offense, leading the team in hitting (.351), doubles (18) home runs (15), while leading the conference in runs scored (68)  

Honorable mention here goes to Emilien Pitre. He earned a spot on the SEC All-Defensive team after making just five errors and fielding at a .979 clip this spring. No slouch at the plate, Pitre’s hitting .337/.469/.440 with 15 doubles and he’s swiped 18 bags in 21 attempts.

Best Pitcher: Ben Hampton, LHP, West Virginia

A rotational stalwart for the Mountaineers, Hampton led the Cape Cod League in strikeouts last summer and carried the momentum into the spring by going 5-3, 4.17 in route to All Big-12 honors. After working primarily in the mid-80s last season, his velocity has ticked up slightly this season (touching 90 mph) and he shows hitters two quality breaking pitches. 

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Nashville Regional Preview

Vanderbilt baseball

A unique regional in which all four teams won their respective conference tournaments, and the corresponding automatic bid, Vanderbilt is still the clear-cut team to beat after winning the SEC Tournament. The Commodores have won six of their last seven games, against five different SEC opponents, four of whom (Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and Florida) are hosting regionals of their own.

  1. Vanderbilt: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  2. Oregon: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  3. Xavier: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  4. Eastern Illinois: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Enrique Bradfield Jr., CF, Vanderbilt.

By his own lofty standards Vanderbilt star center fielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. is having a down year, slashing .286/.423/.441. He still gets on base at a high clip, walks more than he strikes out and is dangerous on the basepaths (37-for-44 in stolen base attempts).

Best Hitter: Drew Cowley, SS, Oregon.

There is no shortage of candidates for the best hitter in the Nashville Regional, and while Cowley isn’t even leading his own team in hitting, he’s slashing .336/.422/.632 with 141 total bases thanks to 19 doubles, a triple and 15 home runs. He and Oregon third baseman Sabin Ceballos (.342/.439/.637) are tied for the Oregon team lead in both homers and RBIs (61) and give the Ducks a lethal left side of the infield while batting 3-4 in the order.

Best Defensive Player: Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Vanderbilt.

Part of what makes Bradfield such an exciting player is his defensive profile. With game-changing speed he covers the gaps extremely well and has a cannon for an arm that opposing teams are well aware of.

Best Pitcher: Devin Futrell, LHP, Vanderbilt.

If the Vanderbilt weekend staff was healthy, Carter Holton and Hunter Owen would likely precede Futrell and any other pitcher for this honor. With Holton expected to be out, and Owen making his first appearance in the SEC Tournament since the beginning of May, Futrell gets the nod for his consistency as the team’s third starter. Now 7-3, 3.55 with a 65-to-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 78 2/3 innings this season, Futrell has quietly enjoyed a very productive sophomore season with a well-commanded three-pitch mix.

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Stanford Regional Preview

Tommy Troy fields a roundball

Having a Regional at Sunken Diamond has become a yearly event out West as the eighth-seeded Cardinal will play host to three other teams in one of my favorite settings in all of college baseball. Postseason regulars Texas A&M will be a formidable challenge with their experience of making it to Omaha last year and Fullerton returns to postseason play for the first time in five years. San Jose State is in the Big Dance for the first time since 2002, when the legendary Sam Piraro was still stalking the dugout.

1. Stanford: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders
2. Texas A&M: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders
3. Cal State Fullerton: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders
4. San Jose State: Regular Season Results Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Tommy Troy, 3B, Stanford

Talk about a dude who can do it all, and he has done it all in his long Stanford career (I mean, he seems like he’s been on the Farm for seven years). He’s got a .394 average with 14 dingers and is 17-for-18 in stolen bases. Another reason to keep an eye on him? He loves the postseason. During last year’s run to Omaha he hit .500 (21-for-42) and scored 12 runs to go along with five doubles and five home runs.

Best Hitter: Alberto Rios, LF, Stanford

The St. John Bosco product had a grand total of seven at bats in his first two seasons on the Farm. He started this season on the bench in their opening game of the season vs. Fullerton but soon was inserted into the lineup and finished the last two games of that series by going 4-for-9. From there he has caught lightning in a bottle, leading the Trees with a .403 average and 17 home runs. On top of that, with his 34 walks and 11 plunkings factored in Rios has a .506 on-base percentage.

Best Defensive Player: Tommy Troy, 3B, Stanford

Yep, that man Double-T again. But there is a reason why he is both the most exciting player and the best defensive player. And that is that he is ranked as the ninth-best MLB prospect in the country. That’s why he and Drew Bowser switched positions from second-base to third-base and vice-versa this season. As mentioned above, he has made just seven errors on the season and has acclimated to the position with aplomb.

Best Pitcher: Quinn Mathews, LHP, Stanford

This one is a little tricky because there aren’t exactly a bastion of cracker jack pitchers in this Regional. And Mathews hasn’t posted mind-blowing numbers (7-4, 3.87) but he’s the second highest rated pitcher in this Regional (No. 94 in the latest Top 150 prospects list, second to No. 75, A&M’s Nathan Dettmer) and he also has posted 124 strikeouts on the season.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Stillwater Regional Preview

Oral Roberts' Jonah Cox making a trip around the bases

Oklahoma State finished the spring in a three-way tie for the Big 12 Championship and possesses a potent offensive lineup, while No. 2 seed Dallas Baptist heads into the regional with something to prove after being left out of a regional host despite having a Top 15 RPI. Washington is in a regional in Jason Kelly’s first season as head coach, while Oral Roberts is one of the field’s most dangerous No. 4 seeds with Matt Hogan, Jonah Cox and others leading the way.

1. Oklahoma State: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. Dallas Baptist: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Washington: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. Oral Roberts: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Roc Riggio, IF, Oklahoma State

I mean, who else? Riggio is one of those dynamic players in our sport that when he steps to the plate, you pay attention. Riggio, a 5-foot-9, 179-pounder, shows a lot of emotion and is a key leader for the Pokes. But even more important, Riggio is a hard-nosed player who plays outstanding defense at second base to go with an elite offensive approach. Riggio can do it all, hitting .343 with 17 doubles, 17 homers and 60 RBIs, along with a 1.156 OPS.

Best Hitter: Jonah Cox, OF, Oral Roberts

There are several high-impact hitters in this regional. Nolan Schubart from Oklahoma State comes to mind, as does Dallas Baptist’s Grant Jay. However, we’re giving the nod here to do-it-all Oral Roberts outfielder Jonah Cox. Cox is having a sensational season for the Golden Eagles, hitting .422 with 16 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs and 58 RBIs. Additionally, he has stolen 26 bases for the Golden Eagles. 

Best Defensive Player: Jonah Cox, OF, Oral Roberts

It’s not every day that you see an outfielder as the premier defender in a regional, but I think I’ve counted three or four times this season that Cox’s defense has been on display in our top plays of the week package. For that reason alone, he’s our headliner in this department.

Best Pitcher: Ryan Johnson, RHP, Dallas Baptist.

Johnson is one of the more intriguing arms I’ve seen this season. Johnson is a 6-foot-6, 215-pounder, who attacks hitters from a funky angle and with incredibly quick arm action. Johnson will get up to 94-95 mph with his fastball, but he pitches with more command at 92-93 mph. The talented righty also has a solid 79-82 mph sweepy slider, along with a changeup at 87-88 mph. He’s an uncomfortable look for any team.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Terre Haute Regional Preview

Indiana State baseball

Indiana State earned the opportunity to host with the ninth-best RPI with most of their damage coming in the Missouri Valley Conference. They’ll need to continue to prove themselves with one of the more challenging quartets on any regional including an always-dangerous Wright State squad as the No. 4 seed.

  1. Indiana State: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  2. Iowa: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  3. North Carolina: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  4. Wright State: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Andrew Patrick CF, Wright State.

It’s hard not to mention Iowa’s triple digit hurler, Brody Brecht, here, but I’m giving Wright State’s Andrew Patrick the nod for his incredible statistical season. The Raiders leadoff hitter and center fielder, Patrick went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, a stolen base and six RBIs in the Horizon League championship game propelling Wright State to the postseason. That’s just a small taste of what he can do when he takes over a game, as he enters regional play with a .333/.439/.711 triple slash as well as 21 doubles, four triples, 19 homers and 29 stolen bases.

Best Hitter: Brennen Dorighi, 1B, Iowa.

Wofford’s lack of a graduate program is well documented and Iowa was the beneficiary of Dorighi’s intention to transfer during the offseason. He responded in a huge way this year, slashing .340/.459/.617 with 19 doubles, 13 homers and 61 RBIs. He gets pitched to differently than the rest of the entire Iowa offense with a steady dose of off-speed offerings.

Best Defensive Player: Grant Magill, C, Indiana State.

Named the Valley’s Defensive Player of the Year, Magill’s arm strength is his carrying tool and he uses it to effectively neutralize opposing team’s running games, which will certainly be a factor in Terre Haute considering Wright State (108 stolen bases) and Iowa (98) are especially aggressive on the basepaths. In MVC play, Magill gunned down six of 11 would-be basestealers, throwing out 18 total runners on the season.

Best Pitcher: Matt Jachec, RHP, Indiana State.

Connor Fenlong was the Missouri Valley’s Pitcher of the Year, but Jachec is ISU’s staff ace, and for good reason. After enjoying a dominant 2022 season Jachec returned to front the staff, going 7-3 with a 3.90 ERA mixing between a three-pitch mix that includes and upper-80s fastball that peaks at 91-92 mph. Jachec has impeccable command, as evidenced by his 93-to-14 strikeout to walk ratio in 92 1/3 innings of work.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Tuscaloosa Regional Preview 

Alabama baseball

Alabama’s late-season surge to earn a spot as a host is one of the best stories in the sport, but as the No. 16 overall seed, it got a very tough two-seed in Boston College, a team that feels like it should have hosted. The three-seed Troy has one of the best sluggers in the game in Shane Lewis and Nicholls boasts a standout ace in freshman righthander Jacob Mayers.

  1. Alabama: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  2. Boston College: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  3. Troy: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
  4. Nicholls: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Andrew Pinckney, OF, Alabama

We saw last week in the SEC Tournament how Pinckney can simply take over a game. Against Kentucky, he threw out a runner at the plate, made a diving catch in foul territory and hit a mammoth home run. If he’s playing well, he can really carry the Crimson Tide.

Best Hitter: Xane Washington, OF, Nicholls

Washington does a lot of the same things for Nicholls that Pinckney does for Alabama, and he’s the player who really makes the Colonels go offensively. He’s batting .379/.481/.551 with 17 doubles, 46 free passes (walks plus hit by pitches) compared to 40 strikeouts and 16 stolen bases.

Best Defensive Player: Barry Walsh, OF, Boston College

Walsh, a fourth-year junior, is a true center fielder who can really go and get it in the outfield. In fact, historically, his defense was why he was in the lineup everyday despite below-average offensive production, but this season, he also took a major step forward with his bat.

Best Pitcher: Jacob Mayers

There are certainly pitchers with more pedigree and better stuff, but it’s hard to argue against the stats of Nicholls freshman righthander Jacob Mayers, who was the Southland Conference’s freshman of the year. He’s 9-1 with a 1.93 ERA, a .176 opponent batting average and 97 strikeouts in 70 innings.

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

Winston-Salem Regional Preview

Wake Forest Athletics Rhett Lowder of Wake Forest baseball

The overall No. 1-seed Wake Forest is a giant with one of the nation's best pitching rotations, but it shouldn't be an easy journey through its home regional. Here's why.

1. Wake Forest: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
2. Maryland: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
3. Northeastern: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders
4. George Mason: Regular Season Results | Team Stats and Leaders

Most Exciting Player: Mike Sirota, CF, Northeastern.

The dynamic 6-foot-3 Sirota is such a vital piece for the Huskies, as became evident when he missed the final month+ of the season and the Northeastern bats struggled to put together anything close to being considered offense. Sirota has great athleticism for his size. He is a strong defender that tracks down everything, and he has the speed/power combination at the plate that scouts covet.

Best Hitter: Nick Lorusso, 3B, Maryland.

There are several high-end draft prospects that will play in this regional, but no one has been as productive as Lorusso. The former Villanova transfer has excelled in his two seasons with the Terrapins, setting the school RBI record with 169 thanks to a nation’s best 99 runs driven in this season. He leads Maryland with a .369 average and 1.164 OPS thanks to being tied (with teammate Matt Shaw) for a Big Ten-best 23 home runs

Best Defensive Player: Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland.

Shaw has good range and can make the spectacular play with above-average arm strength, which he showed off multiple times in the Big Ten Tournament, including making an iconic jump throw in the 5-6 hole.

Best Pitcher: Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest.

This one is easy…just use the same guy as last year’s College Park Regional preview when the Terps and Demon Deacons faced off. We’re going with the flowing locks of the two-time ACC Pitcher of the Year that is 13-0 on the season.  

Click or tap here for the full regional breakdown

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 14 - 24, 2024
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

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