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NC State Baseball

BASEBALL: Previewing the Columbia Regional

June 2, 2023
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NC State and Campbell get the Columbia regional started Friday afternoon, let’s take a look at the teams before we get started.

South Carolina

The Gamecocks had an argument as the best team in the country the first half of the season. They did not lose a series until the last weekend of April, but have not won a series since then. Their resume is loaded, which is why they were able to grab a host spot despite ending the year 5-13.

Injuries have unquestionably been a big part of the story: Will McGillis, Will Sanders, Noah Hall are just some of the guys who have been out at various times. How healthy they are is going to go a long way towards determining how far South Carolina can go.

Ethan Petry is their best hitter: he hit .376 with a 1.216 OPS 22 home runs. Cole Messina is right behind him hitting .311 with a 1.068 OPS and 17 homers. Jack Mahoney threw 74 innings with a 4.01 ERA and 74 strikeouts. The Gamecocks appear to be saving Mahoney for Saturday. Eli Jones will likely get the start Friday against CCSU.

South Carolina wins the regional if: they get healthy and return to early season form.

South Carolina won’t win the regional because: they peaked six weeks ago.

Campbell

It starts with Cade Kuehler on the mound for the Camels. He’s a day 1 guy in the draft and dominated the Big South with a 2.82 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 67 innings. Hunter Loyd threw midweeks for Campbell and was solid in 66.1 innings and a 4.61 ERA. Ty Cummings and Aaron Rund are the Camels’ best relievers and get used heavily.

Campbell needs them to be excellent this weekend. Campbell had one of the best offenses in the country. They had a team OPS of over 1.000. Only two players on the team had more than 50 at bats and an OPS lower than 1.000. Lawson Harrill and Jarrod Belbin are the two headliners. The Camels also have 129 steals on the year.

Campbell wins the regional if: they stay in the winners bracket.

Campbell won’t win the regional because: their Big South production from their depth does not translate to the big stage.

NC State

The Wolfpack is on a short list of the most talented teams in the country and has the type of roster that can go to Omaha. Cannon Peebles, Gino Groover and Jacob Cozart form a potent middle of the order but depth is the name of the game. 12 guys on the roster have at least 50 at bats this year and all 12 have an OPS of over .800. There’s no easy outs at any point in the game.

On the mound, three experienced righties lead the charge in Logan Whitaker, Matt Willadsen and Sam Highfill. These guys have been through the battles and won plenty of big games. The Pack has a team ERA of 4.37.

NC State wins the regional if: the defense plays consistently sound baseball.

NC State won’t win the regional because: they continue struggling at the plate with RISP.

Central Connecticut State

Dominic Niman is the headliner. He went 12-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 97 innings this year. It looks like the Blue Devils will hold him to Saturday due to his heavy workload in the conference tournament. Jake Neuman likely gets the start Friday against South Carolina.

Offensively, Ramon Jimenez led the team with 11 home runs. They have a .395 team OBP but don’t run much or bunt often. CCSU went 0-5 in games played against teams in the top 150 of the RPI.

CCSU wins the regional if: they can find a steal Friday and have Niman ready to go Saturday.

CCSU won’t win the regional because: they don’t have the bats to keep up with the three other teams.

BASEBALL: Previewing the Columbia Regional

3,219 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by wilmwolf
castlewood107
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South Carolina as one of the final hosts (and most debated) got rewarded with the worst 4 seed in the bracket. That's BS. They should be seeing Army or someone.

CCSU's only good hitter is suspended for the opener, and their only good arm needs another day of rest because they rode him like Seattle Slew in the conference tourney.

Getting to 1-0 today is just massive for NCSU. We would have to burn Matt or Sam vs. CCSU ace if we lose today. Can't happen.
Packamylase
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What time is our game today?
DanielWilsonIPS
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castlewood107 said:

South Carolina as one of the final hosts (and most debated) got rewarded with the worst 4 seed in the bracket. That's BS. They should be seeing Army or someone.

CCSU's only good hitter is suspended for the opener, and their only good arm needs another day of rest because they rode him like Seattle Slew in the conference tourney.

Getting to 1-0 today is just massive for NCSU. We would have to burn Matt or Sam vs. CCSU ace if we lose today. Can't happen.
Bold take considering LSU is almost certainly going to pound the absolute s**t out of Tulane so badly that they're going to be renamed the Brown Wave.
Daniel Wilson
Staff Writer, IPS
Producer, Learfield
NCBWA Member
castlewood107
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DanielWilsonIPS said:

castlewood107 said:

South Carolina as one of the final hosts (and most debated) got rewarded with the worst 4 seed in the bracket. That's BS. They should be seeing Army or someone.

CCSU's only good hitter is suspended for the opener, and their only good arm needs another day of rest because they rode him like Seattle Slew in the conference tourney.

Getting to 1-0 today is just massive for NCSU. We would have to burn Matt or Sam vs. CCSU ace if we lose today. Can't happen.
Bold take considering LSU is almost certainly going to pound the absolute s**t out of Tulane so badly that they're going to be renamed the Brown Wave.
Tulane has won 15 games against the top 200, played well last week and won a tourney of a top 10 league. They can hit, dont do anything else but they can certainly hit.

CCSU? They have 1 top 200 win and won the 29th best league because they threw their ace 1/2 the time until his arm fell off.
Wolfman588
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1PM
Cotten
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I have seen conflicting reports as to whether or not Kuehler will pitch for Campbell against State today. Anyone know for certain?
metcalfmafia
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I've got a good feeling about today. IDK...just think we're gonna come out locked in.
wilmwolf
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Evan Budrovich says he will start in the interview in this thread. But other than that, I guess we'll know in an hour or two.

https://insidepacksports.com/forums/3/topics/29439

ETA- Cozart is expecting that's who we will see, per the interview with him just posted.
Just a guy on the sunshine squad.
The Gatekeeper.
wilmwolf
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Thanks to Ethan, James, Rob and Daniel for the coverage. I've been critical of the tone of some of the in season articles written here, but I'm very grateful that IPS is really getting after it with the interviews and previews and whatnot. I appreciate you guys.
Just a guy on the sunshine squad.
The Gatekeeper.
wilmwolf
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Cotten said:

I have seen conflicting reports as to whether or not Kuehler will pitch for Campbell against State today. Anyone know for certain?


Now officially confirmed as the starter.
Just a guy on the sunshine squad.
The Gatekeeper.
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