Friday, June 6, 2003
Updated: June 8, 11:23 PM ET
Columbus Super Regional notes
By Brad Edwards
Special to ESPN.com
Columbus Super Regional
Southwest Missouri State (40-24) at Ohio State (44-21)
Bill Davis Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Series history: SMS leads 3-0
Season history: SMS 3-0 (won 18-3 on March 2)
Columbus Super Regional schedule
Saturday, June 7
Game 1 - Southwest Missouri State 13, Ohio State 8
Sunday, June 8
Game 2 - Southwest Missouri State 13, Ohio State 7 (Southwest Missouri State advances to CWS)
Southwest Missouri State Bears
NCAA Tournament appearance: 7th
CWS appearances: 1 (2003)
Prominent MLB alumni: Bill Mueller, Kelly Robinson
Bear notes (entering Super Regional)
This was a very anticipated season for the Bears. They returned 6 of 8 position starters and five pitchers from a team that made the NCAA field last year.
After failing to win an automatic bid in the Missouri Valley tournament, SMS wasn't even sure it would make this year's tournament until selection day.
The Bears are led by pitchers Chad Mulholland and Brad Ziegler. The team hasn't lost one of their starts since April 26.
Coming out of the bullpen will be Bob Zimmermann, who pitched SMS into the Super Regional round with a complete game shutout of Nebraska in the Regional championship game.
SS Shaun Marcum doubles as the closer and has allowed one earned run in his last 11 innings pitched.
C Tony Piazza has 5 HR in his last 8 games, but he's not related to Mike; you can tell because he threw out 4 of 6 would-be basestealers in the Regional.
Ohio State Buckeyes
NCAA Tournament appearance: 16th
CWS appearances (last): 4 (1967)
2003 Home record: 22-5
Prominent MLB alumni: none (umpire Tim Timmons)
Buckeye notes (entering Super Regional)
In the five years of the Super Regional format, Ohio State is only the second team to host a Super Regional without hosting a Regional the previous week. This happens when both Regional hosts in the same grouping fail to advance. The previous occurrence was in 2000, when 3-seed Penn State and 2-seed Texas advanced from their Regional sites and played a Super Regional in Austin.
Ohio State has not only been good at home this season, but the Buckeyes have also lost just one home conference series in the seven years they have played at Bill Davis Stadium. That series was this season, though, at the hands of Michigan.
We'll never know for sure, but being a 3-seed after winning the Big Ten Tournament might suggest that the Buckeyes needed that automatic bid to be a part of this NCAA field.
Ohio State wants to make a statement about Big Ten and Northern baseball, which typically isn't given much respect in the NCAA seeding process. Nebraska was the only host site in this year's tournament that could even be remotely considered a Northern location.
Buckeye bats have come alive, producing 73 runs in the last 8 games, entering the Super Regional.
Scott Lewis ranks second in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (13.7) and ninth in ERA (1.62) but was injured on May 16, had Tommy John surgery last week and is out for the season. It's remarkable that the Buckeyes won the Big Ten Tournament and Regional without him.
Matt Davis had saves in all three games of the Regional, tying him for second in the nation with 14 total. His first appearance of the season came in mop-up duty against SMS, and he allowed seven runs without getting an out.
OF Christian Snavely has played almost every position on the field this season and leads the team in batting average (.335), HR (16), RBI (54) and runs scored (51).
Brad Edwards is a college sports researcher for ESPN.