Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio St. all got the chance to extend their seasons when their names were called last week and sent out all across
the country the South. Regionals are four team double elimination tournaments where pitching and timely hitting are key. The Buckeyes were really the only one out of the three that were coming in hot since they won the B1G tournament whereas both the Gophers and Huskers went 0-2 in Omaha. Here is how each team did in their regional:
Nebraska was put into a tough situation going to the Clemson regional since there were some formidable opponents waiting in the Palmetto State. Out of the four team grouping (Nebraska, host Clemson, Oklahoma State, and Western Carolina) there are 34 CWS appearances and one CWS title (Okie Lite '59) so the Huskers had their hands full. In the opening game Nebraska faced off against All-American and Big XII player of the year Thomas Hatch who was lights out against the Huskers getting 10 strikeouts and helping shut out Nebraska 6-0. This put Nebraska in the elimination bracket to take on Western Carolina. In that game Nebraska's offensive woes continued as they only put up one run in a 4-1 loss to the Catamounts thus ending the Huskers season. Nebraska ended up going 0-4 in the postseason but on the plus side do return a lot of talent for next year.
Ohio State started things off against fellow Buckeye state representative Wright State and after some clutch hitting in the bottom of the 9th won 7-6. This put them in a Saturday night battle with regional host and #2 overall seed Louisville. There the Cardinals used an eight run 3rd inning to cruise past the Buckeyes 15-3. This forced Ohio State to play a rematch with Wright State where the Raiders got their vengeance winning 7-3 and knocking aOSU out of the tournament. Ohio State, who a mere two months ago might not have even been considered for the B1G tournament, certainly showed some talent in the later portions of the season and have the B1G tournament title to show for it making this a pretty good campaign for the Buckeyes.
College Station Regional
Minnesota lasted the longest out of the three B1G representatives but took the scenic route to do it. First, the Gophers lost the opening game 5-3 to Wake Forest. This put Minnesota in a do or die situation with Binghamton where they won 8-3. Using that momentum they continued on beating Wake Forest 8-3 which put them in the regional finals against Texas A&M. Minnesota fought valiantly but the Aggies offense proved too much as they went on to win 8-2. Minnesota closes out a memorable season in which they won the B1G regular season and will look to defend that crown next year.
Super Regionals Primer
Gainesville - Florida vs. Florida State
A rematch from last year's super regional in which the Gators hosted the Seminoles. Expect this finish to be the same as last year's where Florida will advance to Omaha.
Baton Rouge - LSU vs. Coastal Carolina
LSU was pushed to the brink by Rice in regional play but used the charms of the rally possum to continue on. The Bayou Bengals will face Coastal Carolina who came out of the Raleigh regional thus making myself feel good about picking upsets for once.
Lubbock - Texas Tech vs. East Carolina
Texas Tech will try to get back to the CWS after making their debut in 2014. In their way is East Carolina who upended regional host and defending champ Virginia so you know the Pirates won't be afraid of playing on the road.
College Station - Texas A&M vs. TCU
Much like the Florida-FSU matchup this is a repeat from last year. However, this time around the Aggies will be on home turf and will try to payback the Horned Frogs for beating them last June.
Louisville - Louisville vs. UC Santa Barbara
Louisville will try and make a return trip to the CWS after falling short last year when they hosted a super regional against Cal St. Fullerton. This year the Cardinals face off against a different West Coast team in the Gauchos of UCSB who won the Nashville regional.
Columbia - South Carolina vs. Oklahoma State
This should be an interesting blueblood matchup since the Cowboys faced off against a similar team from the same state last week in Clemson. There Okie Lite used stellar pitching to stifle an offensive machine in the Tigers and look to repeat that performance against the Gamecocks.
Starkville - Mississippi State vs. Arizona
Another old school blue blood matchup. Arizona will try to represent the West since they are one of two teams remaining from the Pacific Time Zone.
Coral Gables - Miami vs. Boston College
In a matchup that will guarantee an ACC team will be in Omaha the Hurricanes will try to keep things going and bring another title back to South Beach while the Eagles try and get to the CWS for the first time in 49 years.
B1G Softball Update
The Michigan Wolverines were the lone representative from the B1G that made the trip down to Oklahoma City for the WCWS. As the #2 seed they had a good chance at bringing home another title but would have to navigate a tough field full of talented teams from across the country.
Michigan won their first matchup with #10 LSU in a low scoring affair 2-0 last Friday which allowed them to take on #3 and obvious crowd favorite Oklahoma. There the Wolverines lost a tight one 7-5 bumping them to the elimination bracket and a date with #8 FSU. The Seminoles used excellent pitching to shutout Michigan 1-0 thus knocking the Wolverines from the competition. Michigan finished the year 51-5.
And with that the B1G athletic season comes to a close. Don't worry though as we only have...
...ugh, 79 days to go until kickoff. Oh well. We certainly will keep things entertaining around here at OTE til then...
/sees that it is Maryland week
/notices that PSU week follows that
Welp, nice knowing all of you.