Ole Miss hosts Miami in Oxford
Editor's note: No one knows the super regional teams better than their opponents. Will Kimmey talked to college coaches who had faced multiple teams still alive in the NCAA Tournament and offered them anonymity in exchange for their candor.
Oxford Super Regional
At Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field (all times Eastern)
Saturday, June 10
Game 1 -- Ole Miss 11, Miami 9
Sunday, June 11
Game 2 -- Miami 7, Ole Miss 0
Monday, June 12
Game 3 -- Miami 14, Ole Miss 9 ... Watch
Miami (40-22) advances to the College World Series.
How They Got Here: Won Lincoln regional in three games, beat Manhattan in final
CWS History: 21 trips to Omaha, last in 2004; four championships, last in 2001
Coach: Jim Morris (13th season)
|Miami's Top Hitters|
|Player (Position)||AVG||OBP||SLG||Key Stats|
|Jon Jay (CF)||.361||.496||.530||14 2B, 70 R, 28 SB|
|Jemile Weeks (2B)||.346||.438||.528||61 R, 17 2B, 8 3B|
|Tommy Giles (RF)||.343||.422||.575||9 HR, 17 2B, 11 SB|
|Miami's Top Pitchers|
|Chris Perez (RHP)||3-1||1.74||56 K's, 28 BB, 12 saves, 46.2 IP|
|Scott Maine (LHP)||11-3||4.37||69 K's, 36 BB, 94.2 IP|
Scouting the Hurricanes: "This isn't a typical Miami powerhouse team. They're in a good regional, not having to see Nebraska, but Jim Morris' teams have a tendency to play better late, anyway.
"Miami reminds me of Florida State because FSU is so tough at home, and they figure out a way to win. Miami has really, really good ballplayers, and they're young with Weeks, [Dennis] Raben and [Yonder] Alonso. Weeks is very special; his hands are so fast, he runs well and he works the count in certain situations. [Catcher Eddy] Rodriguez is a much better player this year than last year. Defensively, he's been good, but he's a better hitter now.
"All the right-handed hitters are pull, and all the left-handed hitters are spray. You can pitch one way to Rodriguez and [Danny] Valencia. Weeks, Alonso, Raben and Jay, each of those guys you pitch different to. If you give them an opening, they bust right through it.
"You have to play great baseball. A normal team might score one run, [but] Miami will score six.
"To me, their best player is Giles. He's a good runner with a flat bat in the zone who can hit to all fields. You need to keep Weeks off the bases; man, he can fly. He doesn't look fundamentally [sound on defense], but he makes every play and has range that's unbelievable. Don't let Alonso get extended because he looks to pull. Jay doesn't look like anything special but he's a tough out. If you can throw upper 80s, you can get in on him. And Jay is super in center.
"On the mound they don't have a Friday night guy. Maine is the closest thing to it. I like Maine. He [throws] 88-92, [has a] good breaking ball with some feel and he attacks the zone. After that it really drops off. Obviously Perez is a stud in the bullpen; it's an eight-inning game with him, but he can be wild. [Andrew] Lane, Danny Gil and [Jon] McLean is a good mix-match bullpen, so they can beat anybody late on any day. Miami is going to be exposed on the mound in a longer series. Against the Hurricanes, [you have to be] aggressive and make them throw offspeed stuff for strikes by going after fastballs."
Ole Miss Rebels
How They Got Here: Won Oxford regional in three games, beat Tulane in the final
CWS History: Four trips to Omaha, last in 1972
Coach: Mike Bianco (Sixth season)
|Ole Miss' Top Hitters|
|Player (Position)||AVG||OBP||SLG||Key Stats|
|Chris Coghlan (3B)||.349||.441||.506||21 2B, 71 R, 24 SB|
|Zack Cozart (SS)||.333||.367||.508||16 2B, 9 HR, 61 RBI, 14 SB|
|Alex Presley (CF)||.343||.427||.552||18 2B, 7 3B, 60 RBI, 20 SB|
|Mark Wright (RF)||.301||.383||.593||14 HR, 19 2B, 72 RBI|
|Ole Miss' Top Pitchers|
|Will Kline (RHP)||5-2||3.02||71 K's, 21 BB, 62.2 IP|
Scouting the Rebels: "They're veteran players from a year ago. You look at Presley, Cozart, Coghlan -- they all had solid years. They played Texas close last year and they can taste it this season. Coghlan is the best all-around hitter and an outstanding athlete who can beat you with a long ball or line drive, and he's trouble if he gets on base. The Rebels are not a traditional lineup with four slashers at the top.
"They play very good defense. I love [Justin] Henry at second base. That's a really good infield defense. Cozart is an outstanding shortstop, and I like [Justin] Brashear catching and throwing. He's a decent player who got hot in the regional. Brashear can hit mistakes and can be pitched to, but he will hurt you with a mistake.
"That's pretty much the bottom of the order for the Rebels; they hit your mistakes. Mark Wright scares you because he's got bat speed, but not a lot of other guys scare you in their lineup. They have a lot of early action guys that want to swing [at] the first pitch of the at-bat. You want them to swing at pitches early in the count, rather than take pitches and get an advantage.
"On the mound, they're new because they lost so much.
"Those guys have gotten better as the year's gone on, however. The key is development -- so many guys who hadn't pitched before are out there. [Coach] Bianco does a great job with his pitchers. Being a former catcher, he's not afraid to run guys out there. Kline is their best arm now; he threw relief against us and stuffed it.
"I do think you can score against Ole Miss.
"The pitching is improved, but none of their guys run out there with dominant stuff. The most dominant stuff guys are Lance Lynn and Cody Satterwhite, the two freshmen, but they're Sunday and bullpen guys. Lynn is a one-pitch pitcher, and if he doesn't establish his second pitch, lefties will get to him if they can handle the fastball. [Brett] Bukvich [throws in the] mid-80s and can toss three pitches for strikes. You have to take borderline pitches. Generally the staff as a whole doesn't have great command. Take some pitches, get some walks and get the count in your advantage."
Will Kimmey covers college baseball for Baseball America.