A look at the super regionals
Baton Rouge Super RegionalStony Brook vs. LSU (ESPN2/ESPN3, noon ET)
Game 2: Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN3, noon ET)
Game 3: Sunday (ESPN3, 1 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
Stony Brook (50-12)
How they got here: The Seawolves won the America East regular-season and tournament titles, then beat host Miami, as the No. 4 seed, to open regional play. After a loss to UCF, Stony Brook twice avenged the defeat to win its first regional in four appearances.
Star player: Junior center fielder Travis Jankowski became the highest-drafted Stony Brook player ever as the Padres took him 44th overall in the supplemental portion of the first round Monday. Jankowski is hitting .417 with five homers and 46 RBIs.
Weapon: Lots of offense, led by Jankowski and third baseman William Carmona. Stony Brook ranks second nationally with a .336 batting average. It scored 10 runs or more in each of four regional wins and in six of seven postseason victories.
Weakness: It didn't matter much in Miami, but Baton Rouge is in a different league -- and Stony Brook has never played on this stage. The program had won one regional game in its history before last week. Experience matters with a trip to Omaha at stake.
How they got here: The Tigers won the SEC outright to earn the No. 7 national seed. They swept through the Baton Rouge Regional, winning two games over Oregon State -- including a 10-inning 6-5 victory in to earn a super regional berth for the ninth time.
Star player: Junior left fielder Raph Rhymes leads the nation in hitting at .452 after flirting with .500 for much of the year. Rhymes was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.
Weapon: The new Alex Box Stadium, opened in 2009, offers the most significant home-field advantage in the college game. LSU has led the nation in attendance for 14 straight seasons and has advanced to the CWS out of a home regional or super regional 13 times since 1986.
Weakness: The Tigers can score runs, ranking 28th nationally, but they're not a club that sits around and waits for the three-run homer to win. If LSU gets behind, Mason Katz, with 11 home runs, provides the only consistent source of power.
Tucson Super RegionalSt. John's vs. Arizona (ESPN2/ESPN3, 3 p.m. ET)
Game 2: Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 3 p.m. ET)
Game 3: Sunday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 4 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
St. John's (40-21)
How they got here: The Red Storm shared the Big East regular-season crown and swept the league tournament to earn the third seed at the Chapel Hill Regional. St. John's beat East Carolina, then twice upset host North Carolina to advance to the super regional round for the first time.
Star player: Senior Matt Wessinger is hitting.353 with six homers, 47 RBIs and 34 stolen bases, the most for a St. John's player since 1988.
Weapon: Junior left fielder Jeremy Baltz forms an impressive 1-2 punch with Wessinger. A recent second-round draft pick of the Padres and MVP of the Chapel Hill Regional, Baltz is hitting .345 with a team-high eight homers and 51 RBIs. He's also stolen 18 bases.
Weakness: The Red Storm's team earned-run average of 3.82 ranks 78th nationally. St. John's features solid starters in junior right-hander Sean Hagan and junior lefty Kyle Hansen, but it has not shown consistency on the mound.Arizona (41-17)
How they got here: The Wildcats matched UCLA with a 20-10 mark in Pac-12 play, then exploded for 47 runs in three games to cruise to a sweep of the Tucson Regional.
Star player: Sophomore left fielder Johnny Field collected four hits and seven RBIs in Arizona's regional-clinching romp over Louisville. Field is hitting a team-best .389 with three homers, 41 RBIs and a .500 on-base percentage.
Weapon: Arizona has speed to burn, with a Pac-12-best 80 stolen bases and 58 triples to rank third nationally. Four Wildcats have posted 10 or more steals, led by center fielder Joey Rickard with 17.
Weakness: Though you'd never know from the blowout final scores, Arizona actually fell behind in two of its three regional wins and has trailed in 33 of its past 45 games. It has come back to win 18 of those 33.
Tallahassee Super RegionalStanford vs. Florida State (ESPN2/ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET)
Game 2: Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 6 p.m. ET)
Game 3: Sunday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
How they got here: The Cardinal finished two games behind Arizona and UCLA and in the Pac-12 race to earn a home regional. It then beat Fresno State and edged Pepperdine in a pair of one-run decisions to make its ninth super regional appearance since 1999.
Star player: Junior pitcher Mark Appel, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, gives the Cardinal a true ace. Appel is 10-1 with a 2.27 ERA , striking out 127 in 119 innings. He is one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top amateur player.
Weapon: Junior utility man and right-handed pitcher Stephen Piscotty has played in all 170 games of his Stanford career. He's hitting .318 with five homers and a team-best 55 RBIs while going 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 41 1/3 innings as a starter and reliever.
Weakness: Stanford has struggled at times since the start of the Pac-12 season against good competition, losing three-game series to Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State and even Cal. It takes two wins in three super regional games, of course, to advance this weekend.Florida State (46-15)
How they got here: The Seminoles, seeded third overall in the field, got hot and stayed hot until May, finishing atop the ACC standings at 24-6. FSU snuck past Alabama-Birmingham 2-1 to open regional play at home and beat Samford twice to punch its ticket to a fifth straight super regional.
Star player: Senior center fielder James Ramsey provides a complete set of offensive skills, hitting .385 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs.
Weapon: Freshman starting pitchers Brandon Leibrandt and Mike Compton pitched gems against Samford in regional play. Leibrandt struck out 10 in eight innings, and Compton earned his 11th win in the regional championship game. Neither issued a walk.
Weakness: FSU lost four of five games late in the season, then dropped three straight at the ACC tournament. It's an ominous sign, considering the Seminoles' super regional history. Coach Mike Martin's team has won only 11 of 28 super regional games since 1999 and three of 11 super regional openers.
Los Angeles Super RegionalTCU vs. UCLA (ESPN/ESPN3, 9 p.m. ET)
Game 2: Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 9 p.m. ET)
Game 3: Sunday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 10 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
How they got here: The Horned Frogs shared the Mountain West regular-season title and bounced back from a regional-opening loss to Ole Miss to win four straight at the College Station Regional. TCU hammered Dayton 28-12, then took out Texas A&M 10-2 before back-to-back wins over the Rebels to earn the trip to Los Angeles.
Star player: Just like in 2010, when TCU advanced to Omaha behind the left arm of freshman Matt Purke, frosh Preston Morrison helps lead the way on the mound. The right-hander is 9-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 10 starts and 11 relief appearances.
Weapon: Jim Schlossnagle's work in Fort Worth over the past decade is nothing short of spectacular. With just two regional berths before 2004, TCU has made the postseason nine straight years and qualified for three super regionals in the past four years, including a trip to Omaha in 2010.
Weakness: Inconsistency has hurt the Horned Frogs. While TCU was often up to the task against top competition, beating Cal State Fullerton, Baylor and Oklahoma before the regional run, it also lost to the likes of San Diego State and UNLV.UCLA (45-14)
How they got here: The Bruins earned the No. 2 national seed on the strength of a 20-10 Pac-12 mark, then dispatched Creighton twice and New Mexico to win the Los Angeles Regional and advance to super regionals for the second time in three years.
Star player: Junior right fielder Jeff Gelalich, a veteran of UCLA's CWS runner-up squad from 2010, was named MVP of the regional last weekend for hitting .455 with two homers and seven RBIs. For the year, he's hitting .372 with 11 homers and 46 RBIs.
Weapon: Youth has been served on the UCLA pitching staff. Reliever David Berg and starter Grant Watson earned freshman All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball this week. Berg, a right-hander, is 5-3 with a 1.71 ERA and has set the Pac-12 record for single-season appearances. Watson, a lefty, is 9-2 while starting 15 games.
Weakness: Go ahead and try to get into a high-scoring battle with the Bruins; it's your best shot. After cleanup hitter Gelalich, the remainder of the UCLA offense has managed 12 home runs in 59 games.
Gainesville Super RegionalNC State vs. Florida (ESPNU/ESPN3, 2 p.m. ET)
Game 2: Sunday (ESPNU/ESPN3, 1 p.m. ET)
Game 3: Monday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 1 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
NC State (43-18)
How they got here: The Wolfpack trailed only Florida State and North Carolina in the ACC and earned a top regional seed. After a loss to Vanderbilt, NC State beat UNC Wilmington and topped Vandy twice, including a 9-7 comeback in the final game that featured three-run eighth and ninth innings.
Star player: Left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon was named national freshman of the year by Collegiate Baseball. He's 9-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 132 strikeouts in 111 2/3 innings.
Weapon: Senior designated hitter Ryan Matthews mashes with the best of the power hitters in college baseball. His 17 homers led the ACC. Matthews added a .336 batting average and 62 RBIs.
Weakness: Get past Rodon on the mound and it gets easier. The freshman led NC State in every important category among starting pitchers. No one else registered more than five wins.Florida (45-18)
How they got here: The Gators finished third in the SEC but landed the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Then they made the committee look bright by flattening thee regional foes, including Georgia Tech 15-3 in the final.
Star player: Junior catcher Mike Zunino, drafted No. 3 overall Monday by the Mariners -- the first college player selected -- is also a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy. His 18 home runs rank as the most of any player on a super regional team.
Weapon: How about the entire pitching staff? The Gators' 2.85 ERA is the lowest of any team still alive. They're strong at the top with Jonathon Crawford -- who threw a no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman in the regional -- Hudson Randall and Brian Johnson; feature a top closer in Austin Maddox; and depth throughout.
Weakness: The Gators are just 14-8 this season against left-handed starters. Four of their top six hitters are left-handed. And guess who awaits on the mound for North Carolina State? Carlos Rodon, one of the nation's top southpaws.
Waco Super RegionalArkansas vs. Baylor (ESPNU/ESPN3, 5 p.m. ET)
Game 2: Sunday (ESPNU/ESPN3, 4 p.m. ET)
Game 3: Monday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 4 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
How they got here: The Razorbacks finished 16-14 in the treacherous SEC and won the Houston Regional as a No. 2 seed. Arkansas beat host Rice 1-0 in the key game behind sophomore pitcher Ryan Stanek and topped Sam Houston State in the final.
Star player: Junior third baseman Matt Reynolds leads the Hogs in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.343), home runs (7), RBIs and (42). He's even stolen 15 bases, another team high.
Weapon: The bullpen doesn't lose many leads behind a trio of sophomore right-handers: Brandon Moore, 5-2 with a 2.63 ERA; Colby Suggs, 6-0 with a 1.29 ERA; and Barrett Astin, who has a team-best 10 saves.
Weakness: Offensively, coach Dave Van Horn's club has struggled to find a rhythm at times. The Razorbacks hit .277 as a team, 138th nationally. Just two regulars are hitting better than .300.Baylor (48-15)
How they got here: The Bears, seeded fourth in the tournament, won the Big 12 at 20-4 after starting league play with 18 straight wins. In the Waco Regional, Baylor lost its opener to Oral Roberts but came back to win four straight, capped by a pair of victories over Dallas Baptist, 9-2 and 8-2.
Star player: Senior catcher Josh Ludy drives a productive offense. He's hitting .368 with a team-best 15 home runs and 69 RBIs.
Weapon: What a luxury for coach Steve Smith to count two ace pitchers. Junior lefty Josh Turley is 9-1 with a 1.83 ERA, and senior right-hander Trent Blank is 10-1 with a 2.32 ERA. Together, they've thrown 200 innings.
Weakness: It remains to be seen whether the Bears' four-game run in regional play signals the start of another hot streak. After losing one game between March 16 and May 9, Baylor then lost seven of 12 until last Saturday.
Columbia Super RegionalOklahoma vs. South Carolina (ESPNU/ESPN3, 8 p.m. ET)
Game 2: Sunday (ESPNU/ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET)
Game 3: Monday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
How they got here: The Sooners swept Baylor late and reached final of the Big 12 tournament to secure an at-large regional berth, then lost in the first round to Appalachian State and needed 10 innings to stave off elimination against Army. But OU beat host Virginia and twice got past the Mountaineers to advance.
Star player: Junior center fielder Max White has started 64 of 65 games. He's batting .339 with 55 RBIs.
Weapon: Sophomore Dillon Overton has surged of late to help stabilize an OU pitching staff that has allowed the Sooners to win 24 of 33 games. Overton struck out 11 against Virginia in the Charlottesville Regional and fanned 15 in two appearances at the Big 12 tournament.
Weakness: Behind White and freshman Hunter Lockwood, with 11 home runs, there's not much firepower in the lineup. The Sooners hit .265 as a team and utilize 13 players who have started 10 games or more.South Carolina (43-17)
How they got here: The two-time defending national champion Gamecocks finished behind only LSU in the SEC standings at 18-11. South Carolina then dispatched Manhattan and beat rival Clemson twice in the Columbia regional to advance.
Star player: Junior first baseman Christian Walker anchors the Carolina lineup. He's hitting .319 with 11 homers and 53 RBIs.
Weapon: Nobody who's playing this weekend has enjoyed postseason success like the Gamecocks. Veterans Walker, Evan Marzilli, Adam Matthews and Michael Roth have played key roles over three years in South Carolina's streak of 19 consecutive wins in NCAA postseason play.
Weakness: Perhaps it's Florida, which fell in two games to South Carolina last year in the CWS finals. Since then, the Gators have defeated the Gamecocks in three of four meetings, including a series win in Columbia in March. Incidentally, South Carolina, seeded No. 8, would meet Florida in an opening-round CWS game if both teams advance to Omaha.
Eugene Super RegionalKent State vs. Oregon (ESPNU/ESPN3, 11 p.m. ET)
Game 2: Sunday (ESPNU/ESPN3, 10 p.m. ET)
Game 3: Monday (ESPN2/ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET) (if necessary)
Kent State (44-17)
How they got here: The Golden Flashes won the Mid-American Conference regular-season title at 24-3 and swept through the MAC tourney. As the a No. 3 regional seed, Kent State outlasted Kentucky 7-6 in 21 innings, beat host Purdue and topped Kentucky again in the final.
Star player: Senior shortstop Jimmy Rider, hitting .367 with five homers and 53 RBIs, has more career at-bats (1,031) and doubles (75) than any player who was active in Division I this season.
Weapon: You don't find a way to win a 21-inning game in the postseason without confidence. And 20 straight wins provide a lot of good feelings. The Golden Flashes haven't lost since April 25, the longest streak in the nation.
Weakness: This year marks a fourth consecutive season of regional play for the Golden Flashes, but the super regional is a first for Kent State. And in 11 previous postseason appearances, it has never advanced to the CWS.Oregon (45-17)
How they got here: This is probably the most fascinating story of any team left, but let's focus on this year. Oregon finished 19-11 in the Pac-12 and mowed through the Eugene Regional with two wins against Austin Peay and one over perennial power Cal State Fullerton.
Star player: Senior right-handed pitcher Alex Keudell is 11-4 with a 2.38 ERA, holding opponents to a .226 batting average in 117 1/3 innings.
Weapon: Look no further than the dugout and George Horton, a savvy coaching mind who led Cal State Fullerton to six CWS berths and the 2004 national title. Oregon hired Horton to restart its discontinued program in 2009. The Ducks won two regional games in 2010 and this year earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament.
Weakness: The Ducks don't do anything especially well at the plate -- even score. Their 293 runs rank 158th nationally. Oregon is hitting just .268 as a team with 29 home runs.
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