Four Big 12 Teams Start NCAA Baseball Regional Action
Courtesy: Big12Sports.com
          Release: 05/31/2012
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By Wendell Barnhouse | wendell@big12sports.com
Big12Sports.com Correspondent

NCAA baseball regional capsules for the four Big 12 Conference teams participating in the 64-team bracket.

Waco Regional
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 4 Oral Roberts, 6 p.m. Friday
No. 2 Dallas Baptist vs. No. 3 UT-Arlington, 1 p.m. Friday

Baylor update: The Bears, Big 12 Conference regular-season champions, hope to regain some momentum. After a record-setting 24-game winning streak set them apart, the Bears have lost five of their last 11. Baylor opens against Oral Roberts, a team it swept in a season-opening series at Baylor Ballpark, winning the first two games by the same 3-2 score. Should Baylor, the No. 4 overall seed in the bracket, win the Waco Regional, it would host the Houston Regional winner in the best-of-three Super Regional round the following weekend.

Oral Roberts (37-23) won the Summit League tournament and the NCAA automatic bid. The Golden Eagles played five games with Big 12 teams (three against Baylor, two against Oklahoma) and lost all five. Senior first baseman Jared Schlahuber and freshman third baseman Jose Trevino provided double-barreled offense for Oral Roberts. They each have 15 homers and 55 RBI. Junior right hander Drew Bowen (6-2, 1.87 ERA) and sophomore right hander Alex Gonzalez (6-2, 2.04) head the pitching staff.

The opponents: Dallas Baptist (39-17) plays as an independent and last year reached the super regionals after winning the Fort Worth Regional. The Patriots earned an at-large invitation. Junior outfielder Boomer Collins lives up to his first name; he's hitting .376 with 22 doubles, 12 homers and 55 RBI. Senior shortstop Joel Hutter is hitting .338 and leads the team with 66 RBI. Senior left hander Taylor Massey (8-4, 3.46 ERA) and freshman right hander Cy Sneed (8-4, 3.98 ERA) are the top starters.

UT-Arlington (36-23) gained the NCAA automatic bid by winning the Southland Conference tournament. The Mavericks last made the NCAA tournament in 2006. UTA had nonconference victories over Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas A&M. Junior outfielder Preston Beck is the big gun in the lineup, but the Mavericks are hitting just .278 as a team. Bech is hitting .335 with 13 home runs and 70 RBI. Senior right hander Lance Day has a 12-3 record with a 2.98 ERA.

What's next: The winner of the Waco Regional will face the winner of the Houston Regional in the super regionals. The four teams in Houston are Rice, Arkansas, Sam Houston State and Prairie View.

College Station Regional
No. 1 Texas A&M vs. No. 4 Dayton, 6:35 p.m. Friday
No. 2 TCU vs. No. 3 Ole Miss, 12:35 p.m. Friday

Texas A&M update: The Aggies (42-16) hope to rebound from a disappointing Big 12 Championship that saw them go 1-2, with the losses coming to Missouri and Kansas.

The opponents:
Dayton (31-28) is making its first NCAA tournament appearance. The Flyers won the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament to gain the automatic bid. Dayton has won nine of its last 10. Dayton leads the nation in stolen bases (162), featuring eight players with 10 or more steals. Senior shortstop Brian Blasik has stolen 35 this season; that's a single-season school record. He also has 64 career steels, another school record.
TCU (36-19) will become an official member of the Big 12 on July 1. The Frogs will be without senior outfielder Jason Coats, who will undergo surgery for a knee injury suffered two weeks ago. TCU is making its 11th NCAA appearance and ninth in a row. TCU reached the College World Series in 2010.

Ole Miss (35-24) split a season-opening series with TCU in Fort Worth. The Rebels have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 17 times including nine of the last 10 years and have advanced to the College World Series four times. First baseman Matt Snyder is hitting .333 with 12 home runs and 57 RBI while outfielder Zach Kirksey is hitting .287 with 13 homers and 45 RBI. Sophomore right-hander Bobby Wahl is 6-3 with a 2.26 ERA and has posted 90 strikeouts with 31 walks in his 87.2 innings.

What's next: The winner of the College Station Regional will play the winner of the Los Angeles (UCLA) Regional in the super regionals. The four teams in that region include, the host school, UCLA, San Diego, New Mexico and Creighton. The Bruins are the No. 2 national seed.

Tucson (Ariz.) Regional
No. 4 Missouri vs. No. 1 Arizona, 10 p.m. Friday
No. 2 New Mexico State vs. No. 3 Louisville, 6 p.m. Friday

Missouri update: The Tigers (32-26) have momentum, having won their first Big 12 Championship. That earned them the automatic bid; otherwise, Missouri wouldn't be in the field. During the Big 12 Championship, Missouri hit .359 as a team. Six Missouri position players hit .333 or better while every Tiger had an RBI in the tournament. Coach Tim Jamieson won his 600th career game with a 5-0 victory over Texas in the opening game of the Big 12 Championship.

The opponents: Arizona (38-17) is making its 37th all-time NCAA postseason appearance. The Wildcats are hosting an NCAA regional for the first time since 1992. Shortstop Alex Mejia was named the Pac-12 player of the year while coach Andy Lopez was named Pac-12 coach of the year. Mejia is hitting .357 with 46 RBI. The Wildcats lead the nation with a .325 batting average during the regular season and is seventh in scoring with 7.1 runs per game. Arizona pitchers have combined to throw 11 complete games this season.

New Mexico State (35-22) was an at-large selection out of the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies split a two-game series with Arizona, lost to Texas Tech and also lost two games to Baylor. Junior catcher Zac Fisher leads the attack with a .363 average, 18 doubles, 58 RBI while senior shortstop Zac Fisher has 54 RBI. Junior right hand pitcher Michael Orsmeth has an 8-2 record with a 5.33 ERA.

Louisville (39-20) is making its sixth NCAA appearance and it appeared in the College World Series in 2007. Senior outfielder Stewart Ijames leads the attack with 12 home runs and 60 RBI while sophomore Adam Engel has 35 stolen bases. The pitching staff is solid with an ERA of 3.36. Junior right hander Justin Amlung leads the way with an 8-4 record and an ERA of 2.36.

What's next: The winner of the Tucson Regional will face the winner of the Chapel Hill Regional in the super regionals. North Carolina, East Carolina, St. John's and Cornell are the teams assigned to Chapel Hill. North Carolina is the No. 6 overall seed.

Charlottesville (Va.) Regional
No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Appalachian State, 7 p.m. Friday
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Army, 3 p.m. Friday

Oklahoma update: The Sooners are 38-22 and reached the title game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship for the first time since 1997. Oklahoma defeated Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor five times. The Bears are a No. 4 national seed. In their last 10 games, the Sooners are 7-3. Center fielder Max White leads the team in hitting (.356), doubles (17) and RBI (54). ... Matt Oberste has five homers, with three coming in the Big 12 Championship. The pitching staff has a 3.35 ERA and is led by starters Jordan John, Dillon Overton and Jonathan Gray. Oklahoma reached the CWS in 2010 by defeating Virginia two out of three in the Charlottesville Super Regional.

The opponents: Appalachian State, Oklahoma's opening foe, is making its first NCAA appearance since 1986 and fourth overall. The Mountaineers (39-16) won the Southern Conference regular-season title. Senior designated hitter Daniel Kassouf is the team's top hitter with a .345 average, 17 home runs and 60 RBI. The pitching staff has a 4.16 ERA. Appalachian State is 5-5 in its last 10 games.

Top-seed Virginia (38-17-1) is making its ninth straight NCAA appearance and last season reached the College World Series for the second time in school history. This season the pitching staff has an ERA of 3.48 while the team's leading hitter is sophomore third baseman Stephen Bruno, who is hitting .362 with 20 doubles, six homers and 48 RBI. The Cavaliers are 2-2 all-time against Oklahoma. In 2010, the Sooners advanced to the CWS by defeating Virginia in the Charlottesville Super Regional. Virginia is 7-3 in its last 10 games.

Army, the No. 4 seed, is making its first NCAA appearance since 2009 when it played in the Austin Regional. The Cadets have hit just 16 home runs. Their leading hitter is senior first baseman Kevin McKague, who is hitting .389 with 16 doubles, five homers and 44 RBI. He also has a 1.46 ERA in 11 appearances as a pitcher. The pitching staff is above average, with a collective ERA of 3.20. The Cadets (41-13) earned an NCAA automatic bid by winning the Patriot League tournament. Army is 7-3 in its last 10 games.

What's next: The winner of the Charlottesville Regional will face the winner of the Columbia (S.C.) Regional. The Columbia Regional has two-time defending champion South Carolina, a No. 8 national seed, along with Coastal Carolina, Clemson and Manhattan. The sites of the next round will be announced on June 4 on NCAA.com.

 

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