SDSU In Corvallis Regional
Well, so much for the Lubbock Regional as guessed by some. The Aztecs will travel north a bit and play in green Oregon. Nice place. The other teams are Oregon State, of course, Northwestern State, and LSU. This is tough competition but all games will be tough now, especially the first ones when all throw their best. The Aztecs will be playing LSU on Friday at 4 PM (PT I assume) and can be seen on ESPNU. The following is a little about LSU.
The Tigers were 37-25 overall and 15-15 in the hyper competitive SEC. The team’s RPI was a good 34 but would have been better if they had not been 4-14 on the road. As I’ve said in the past, teams like LSU get fat by playing most of their OOC games at home. Even with this mediocre conference record, they are loaded. The Aztecs must be careful since the Tigers are on a bit of a roll. In the SEC tournament the Tigers made it to the final game before losing to Ole Miss 9-1. LSU might be a bit tuckered as they had 6 games in 6 days during the tournament which might be to SDSU’s advantage. Anyway, on to stats.
They have five .300 hitters led by Antoine Duplantis at .337 and 2 in 255 ABs. He is followed closely by Daniel Cabrera (Freshman All-SEC) at .330 and 8 with 52 RBIs which leads the team. Four players off the bench have at least 60 ABs so they have depth. Pitching? Team ERA is not holy cow good but ok at 4.68. They have four starters who have plenty of starts so there’s depth there, too. That’s what separates the big boys from the mid major. Top starter is Zack Hess who is 7-5 and 4.43 in 89 IP (team leader) and 101 strike outs (by far the leader). I suspect he’ll be the guy the Aztecs face. But there’s more. Ma’Khail Hilliard (Freshman All-SEC) is 9-5 and 3.79 with 70 Ks in 76 IP, AJ Labas at 6-2 and 3.48 in 54 IP, and Caleb Gilbert at 3-5 and 5.37 in 11 starts. The closer is by a committee of two with Todd Peterson (1-3 and 4.60) with 5 saves in 22 appearances and 3 starts and Nick Bush with 4 saves in 23 appearances and 4 starts. Both have about the same stats overall including IP so either may be used.
Injuries to any of the above players mentioned or other regulars? I have no idea. More later. I think this game could be a close one as SDSU does just as well on the road as home but this time of year every team is on the road except the regional host team. Play ball!