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***Long Beach Regional Official Weekend Thread***


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Happy Post-Season, Seamheads.


Here we go, what you've all been waiting for; Texas Baseball back to a Regional on the Road to Omaha.


Horn Sports will be on site, as I'll be there for the series.






Here are some series notes from a few different websites:




First up, the quick preview from Texas Sports


Baseball to open NCAA regional play in Long Beach vs. UCLA
The Longhorns enter the tournament as a No. 2 seed and will open at 6 p.m. Central on Friday against the Bruins.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— The NCAA announced the full field of 64 teams for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championships on Monday morning, with Texas Baseball earning a No. 2 seed in the Long Beach regional. This marks the 58th time the Longhorns have reached the NCAA Tournament. 

The Longhorns (37-22) are joined by their Friday opponent and No. 3 seed UCLA, No. 4 seed San Diego State and top-seeded host Long Beach State. 

Texas will open the Long Beach Regional on Friday at 6 p.m. CT (4 p.m. PT) against UCLA (30-25). this season, the Longhorns swept the Bruins in a three-game series at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Long Beach State (37-17-1) and San Diego State (41-19) will face off in the nightcap, with both opening night games scheduled to air on ESPN2.

Texas finished the season 37-22 after making a run to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship this past weekend. The Longhorns, who currently hold the No. 16 RPI in the nation, finished tops in the Big 12 in ERA (3.20) and boast the second-best fielding percentage in the country (.983). 

All-session tickets are currently available at LongBeachState.com/baseballregionals. or via the Long Beach State ticket office. Single-game tickets will be available Wednesday morning, starting at 9 a.m. online and 10 a.m. via the ticket office.




Here are some notes from D1Baseball:


  • The Long Beach Regional may be the toughest region in the tournament.
  • Long Beach State, while compiling a 19-4 record at home this season, has also gone 0-2 vs UCLA and 0-2 vs San Diego St.
  • UCLA was one of the last four teams in the tournament
  • UCLA has one of the best starters in the nation in Canning, but their bullpen has been a major weakness for them this season.
  • UCLA has a .226 avg vs non-conference opponents this year
  • San Diego State went 2-0 v both UCLA and Long Beach State this season
  • SDSU has 10 batters over .300
  • This is SDSU's 4th regional in 5 years, so they're experienced.
  • D1 Baseball's Kendall Rogers named Texas his Omaha Sleeper:


    "I wrote this a couple of weeks ago after the TCU series, but in terms of sheer talent, few teams actually best the Longhorns in the starting rotation with Nolan Kingham, Morgan Cooper and Kyle Johnston leading the charge. The Longhorns are good enough offensively, too, to make a run, while the bullpen is the one thing for me that remains a concern."


I personally don't think anything that Kendall stated is ground breaking; it's what we have been discussing all season long.  The bullpen has to perform at an elite level for this team to make any noise in the tournament.  That said, Kendall knows college baseball probably better than just about anyone I know, and his comments are high praise.



Additionally, Aaron Fitt from D1 Baseball had this to say about the Long Beach regional being the toughest regional: 

"Texas is one of the most dangerous 2-seeds in the tournament, UCLA is a young but talented No. 3 with a premier ace in Griffin Canning, and San Diego State gets my vote for most dangerous 4-seed in the tournament — the Aztecs should have been a 3."



"Texas is the non-No. 1 seed that has the best shot to get to Omaha thanks to its enviable collection of power arms and an offense that is clicking at the right time — the Longhorns are well suited to win on the pitcher-friendly West Coast."



As a matter of fact, D1 Baseball had six writers/contributors name their toughest regional, and half of them picked the Long Beach regional as the toughest. 




The Horns have their work cut out for them, but I have to say, it feels good to be back in the post season. 





Texas plays on Friday at 4 PM vs UCLA; Kingham vs Canning: Battle on the Bump







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Great info joey. Thanks for putting that here.

I'm going to be at Lake Fork with no cell phone service and no Wi-Fi. Fortunately my fishing motel has DirecTV. And if they're not subscribed to the ESPN channels they will be shortly after I arrive.

Edited by Bear19
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Here is the Long Beach Regional Preview from D1Baseball.com


The team previews are behind a paywall, and it's a worthy subscription if you're interested in College Baseball. Kendall and Aaron are some of the best in the business.



Long Beach Regional Breakdown


POSTSEASON Shotgun Spratling - June 2, 2017


Most Exciting Player: Darren McCaughan, rhp, Long Beach State. If you like watching a true pitcher work, McCaughan is a treat. Nothing about him looks imposing from the 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame (and that’s up 20-25 pounds from when he arrived on campus) to the goldilocks flow, yet he makes hitters look silly whether they are weakly grounding out or waving at a slider in the other batter’s box.

Best Hitter: Ty Adkison, of, San Diego State. Adkison was absolutely on fire during a stretch earlier in the season and has carried it to a stellar redshirt junior season. Adkison enters the regional hitting .349-15-62 and has more walks than he does strikeouts while also going 7 for 8 on stolen base attempts.

Best Defensive Player: David Banuelos, c, Long Beach State. The Dirtbags backstop threw out 61 percent of runners! He headlines the nation’s 13th best defense, per fielding percentage.

Best Pitcher: Griffin Canning, rhp, UCLA. A likely first-round pick, Canning boasts a fastball that he can run up to 95 with a power changeup at 87-88 and a pair of breaking balls that both can get strikeouts.

X-Factor: Bucking the trend. Can the lower seeds buck the trends this weekend? Long Beach State was really good at home. Texas’ top two starters weren’t great in the final month. UCLA’s offense was in the bottom third nationally. San Diego State always does things the hard way.

Best Starting Rotation: Texas. There aren’t a ton of pitching staffs that have multiple arms that can get into the mid-90s. The Longhorns have that in their top two starting pitchers. Nolan Kingham and Morgan Cooper are dynamic front-of-the-rotation righthanders.

Best Bullpen: Long Beach State. The Dirtbags have two guys that have closed games out this season and three other relievers with 20 or more appearances that each are striking out at least 7.4 batters per nine innings.

Best Offensive Team: San Diego State. All nine Aztec starters are hitting better than .300 and have at least three home runs. They are fifth in the nation in hits as a team and eighth with a .321 batting average.

Best Defensive Team: Texas. While the Dirtbags are 13th in the country in fielding percentage, Texas is second best in the nation. Catchers Michael McCann and Michael Cantu have just one error each while the pitching staff has just three. The right side infield duo of Bret Boswell and Kacy Clemens are both fielding above .990.

No. 1 Seed Win Probability (1-10): 4. Long Beach is this year’s Regional of Death with a 4-seed that should have been a 3 and a 3-seed that probably could have been a 2. And Texas wasn’t too far removed from hosting position.


Team Breakdowns


Texas (37-22, 11-12 Big 12)


After getting swept by TCU at the beginning of May, Texas finished the month 6-2 before falling in the Big 12 championship to Oklahoma State, allowing the Cowboys to steal a tournament bid. The Longhorns got a matter of revenge beating the Horned Frogs to advance to the championship game, but it was only their second win in 11 games against teams that earned national seeds. Good thing for them they were shipped to a non-national seed. Texas has to like their chances heading into the Long Beach Regional playing some of its better baseball this season and having swept UCLA, its opening game opponent, in a series earlier in the year.

The Longhorns feature a pair of frontline starters that no one else in this regional can match. Sophomore Nolan Kingham (9-4, 2.99) and redshirt junior Morgan Cooper (6-3, 2.32) are a formidable pair of righthanders that both can bring 96 mph heat, though Kingham topped out at 93 last week in the Big 12 tournament. Kingham gets the ball against UCLA, who he gave up just one run in six innings against earlier this season. That was in the midst of a seven-start streak where he allowed two or fewer earned runs. However, he has allowed four or more runs in three of his last five starts. Only once in the early-season streak did he allow more than six hits. He has allowed at least six in his last six starts. Kingham will have to be on his game going against Bruins’ ace Griffin Canning. Cooper also allowed just one earned run in his start against UCLA earlier this year, but he needed 117 pitches to get through five innings after striking out 10 and walking four. Cooper was potentially in line for some national honors after lowering his ERA to 1.45 and improving to 6-2 following a two-hit, 11-strikeout effort against Oklahoma State on April 28, but he has gone a month without another win. Funky lower-slot closer Beau Ridgeway (1-2, 1.90, 11 saves) will be looking for his first save in a month this weekend, which is partially indicative of how Texas’ last month has gone with close losses or big wins. Behind Kingham and Cooper is another quality righthander in Kyle Johnston, who hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in eight starts since returning from a short stint in the bullpen. He’s got a huge arm too, with a 92-95 fastball and a power slider at 84-87, but his command can come and go.

The Longhorn offense is predicated in part on the long ball with six different players having at least five round trippers. Kacy Clemens (.319, 11, 48) leads the way and is the only Longhorn hitting over .300. Texas needs some of its veteran hitters to step their game up like junior Michael Cantu did against TCU last week (3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) and redshirt junior Bret Boswell did throughout the Big 12 tournament when he had eight hits and four walks.

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