Longhorns advance to super regionals

Updated: June 6, 2005, 6:02 PM ET
By Will Kimmey | Baseball America

Austin Regional
1. Texas (45-14) -- at-large berth, third in Big 12, 49th NCAA tournaments, seventh consecutive appearance
2. Arkansas (37-20) -- at-large berth, tied for eighth in SEC, 18th NCAA tournament, fourth consecutive appearance
3. Miami (Ohio) (44-16) -- automatic berth, won Mid-American regular season and tournament, seventh NCAA tournament
4. Quinnipiac (26-22) -- automatic berth, won Northeast regular season and tournament, first NCAA tournament

Austin Regional schedule
At Disch-Falk Stadium
Austin, Texas
Friday, June 3

Game 1 -- Arkansas 9, Miami (Ohio) 5
Game 2 -- Texas 20, Quinnipiac 2
Saturday, June 4
Game 3 -- Miami (Ohio) 35, Quinnipiac 8, Quinnipiac eliminated
Game 4 -- Arkansas 9, Texas 2
Sunday, June 5
Game 5 -- Texas 12, Miami (Ohio) 5, Miami (Ohio) eliminated
Game 6 -- Texas 19, Arkansas 8
Monday, June 6
Game 7 -- Texas 5, Arkansas 2, Arkansas eliminated
Texas (49-15) advances to super regionals

Player To Watch
Sophomore center fielder Drew Stubbs (team-best 10 homers and 27 steals) possesses the tools to titillate, but senior shortstop Seth Johnston provides the Hook 'Em for these Horns with his steady, heady play and leadership. Johnston batted .402 and slugged .602 to lead Texas in each category.

The Favorite
It's always pitching and defense at Texas, and the Longhorns ranked second (2.80) and third (.978) in the nation in those respective categories despite losing projected ace Sam LeCure before the season began. Sophomores Kyle McCulloch, Randy Boone and redshirt freshman Adrian Alaniz have been good enough to hand off to junior right-hander J. Brent Cox, whose 7-2, 1.77 record with 14 saves remind plenty of predecessor Huston Street. It's a seven-man pitching staff for the most part, so a slip into the loser's bracket could prove worrisome. Catcher Taylor Teagarden missed the conference tournament with an oblique strain but should be ready to go.

On The Other Hand
Miami (Ohio) owns a pitching staff that Miami (Fla.) might envy. It didn't lose a series all year behind the power stuff of sophomore left-hander Keith Weiser and freshman right-hander John Ely, who combined for a 20-1, 2.57 record and 190-39 strikeout-walk ratio. Six-foot-7 freshman Graham Taylor throws fuel as well. The Red Hawks won a March series at Alabama. Senior outfielder Paul Frietch's 14 homers and .442 on-base percentage lead a steal-happy club that swiped 128 bags, the most of any tournament team.

Bracket Buster
Arkansas enters the tournament on a five-game losing streak. But it has succeeded when others haven't allowed it a chance during coach Dave Van Horn's three-year tenure, so maybe this is another spot for a Razorbacks uprising. They will need strong performances from freshman left-hander Nick Schmidt (7-2, 2.88) and workhorse Charley Boyce, who's 10-8, 3.43 in nine starts and 15 relief appearances. A punchless offense batted .255 and scored 130 runs in 30 conference games.

Don't Forget About Us
Don't blame Quinnipiac if the scene in Austin becomes overwhelming; this is the first postseason experience for the Braves program. Junior first baseman Bryan Sabatella won the Northeast Conference triple crown (.409-11-39) and player of the year honors. Quinnipiac's 4.65 team ERA led the league, but that's not going to scare the rest of the bracket.

Will Kimmey covers college baseball for Baseball America.

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