May 29, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT
Following UNCW’s impressive CAA title run last week in Charleston, the conference will be represented by two teams in the 2015 NCAA Baseball Championship for the second time in the past three years. The Seahawks (39-16), who won their fourth league title overall after beating the College of Charleston, 7-6, last Saturday, and the Cougars (43-13) both earned enough respect nationally to receive No. 2 seeds in each teams’ respective regional.
Before jumping into some of the most eye-opening statistics, numbers, trends and other tidbits, let’s start with a quick look at the regional schedule.
Baton Rouge Regional: Friday, May 29 – No. 2 UNCW vs. No. 3 Tulane (8:00 p.m.) – ESPN3.
Tallahassee Regional: Friday, May 29 – No. 2 College of Charleston vs. No. 3 Auburn (12:00 p.m.) – ESPN3
*Each of the 16 national regionals features four teams playing a double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, May 29, to Monday, June 1 (if necessary). The rest of the regional schedules and teams can be seen here.
Numbers to Watch:
-This is UNCW’s seventh all-time regional appearance. Interestingly, it’s the Seahawks’ second appearance at LSU after making their NCAA regional debut in Baton Rouge in 2003. That season, UNCW fell in extra innings to LSU in the final game of the regional.
-UNCW and Tulane already played once this year. The Green Wave defeated the Seahawks in Wilmington, 8-4. That was the first matchup between the two teams since they also met in the Baton Rouge Regional in 2003.
-CofC is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance. The program owns a 12-12 postseason record, including a 12-8 mark in regional play. The Cougars won the 2014 Gainesville Regional as a No. 4 seed – just the fourth No. 4 to advance since 1999 – before losing a pair of 1-0 games at Texas Tech in the Supers.
-UNCW is 9-12 all-time in the regionals, but has won at least one game in all six previous appearances.
-On Wednesday, CofC had two players earn All-America status via Louisville Slugger and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Junior starter Taylor Clarke and junior third basemen Carl Wise picked up the distinction, while it’s the fourth time in program history that the Cougs have had multiple players on the list.
-Did you know? Clarke, the 2015 CAA Pitcher of the Year, leads Divison I and set a new CofC record with 13 wins in a season. Clarke improved to 13-1 following a 9-0 win over Elon to open the CAA Championship last week, while his 13 wins also tied a CAA single-season mark originally set by VCU’s Chad Berryman in 1998.
-Nationally, Clarke also No. 3 in WHIP (0.76), No. 2 in strikeouts (136), No. 5 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.71) and No. 8 in ERA (1.34).
-The Seahawks became the 11th No. 2 seed in CAA Baseball Championship history to win the title. Senior first basemen Corey Dick was named Tournament Most Outstanding Player, batting .538 with four runs and three RBI last week.
-Charleston head coach Monte Lee won his first career Coach of the Year honor last week when he was honored by the conference. Lee owns a 274-149 career record as coach of the Cougars.
-Currently, among Division I teams, UNCW ranks 11th in batting (.306), 12th in scoring (7.2 per game) and 14th in strikeouts per 9 innings (8.7).
-The Cougars rank second in Division I in slugging (.492), third in home runs (1.21 per game), eighth in batting (.309), eighth in scoring (7.6 per game) and 13th in doubles (2.27 per game).
-UNCW third basemen Terence Connelly leads the CAA and ranks No. 11 in Divison I with a .491 on base percentage. Left fielder Steven Linkous sits at No. 15 for total steals with 30.
-CofC first basemen Nick Papas ranks third in D-I with 27 doubles this season. Wise (68) and CAA Player and Defensive Player of the Year, Blake Butler (62), rank No. 6 and No. 18, respectively for runs driven in.
-UNCW skipper Mark Scalf is three wins shy of 800 for his coaching career. 2015 is Scalf’s 24th season with the Seahawks.
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