This is one of my favorite days of the year. When the college baseball postseason starts, I always make my picks so all of you know which teams to avoid. Here are this weekend’s regional winners, with teams that will advance to Omaha in bold: UCLA, Michigan, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Georgia, Arizona State, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Louisville, North Carolina State, Miami, UC Santa Barbara, Georgia Tech, and Tennessee. Maybe a few too many national seeds advancing, but I think Vanderbilt will win it all.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (31-21)
Brendan McKay homered, but Durham fell behind late in an 11-6 loss to Louisville. His solo home run in the fourth — his first of the season — tied the game, but the Bats scored the next seven runs to open up a big lead. After a groundout to start the ninth, the next six batters reached base, leading to six Louisville runs. Arturo Reyes allowed four runs — two earned — in 5 2⁄3 innings.
CF Andrew Velazquez: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 K (.839)
1B Nate Lowe: 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K (.835)
2B Nick Solak: 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K (.844)
DH Brendan McKay: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K (.625)
LF Kean Wong: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B (.951)
3B Mike Brosseau: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K (1.045)
RHP Arturo Reyes: 5 2⁄3 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K (3.06)
Durham’s site offers this recap.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (30-22)
Montgomery couldn’t take advantage of a great Sam McWilliams start in a 5-2 loss to Birmingham. In seven scoreless innings, he struck out seven and gave up just two singles and two walks. He exited with a 1-0 lead, and the Biscuits led 2-0 after the top of the eighth. However, the Barons scored five in the bottom half of the inning, including a two-out grand slam.
CF Josh Lowe: 0-for-4, 1 K (.750)
SS Lucius Fox: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB (.653)
RF Jesus Sanchez: 2-for-4 (.789)
RHP Sam McWilliams: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K (2.64)
Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (27-26)
A seven-run inning sunk Charlotte in a 10-2 loss to Clearwater. Moises Gomez’s two-run homer in the second gave the Stone Crabs a 2-1 lead, but it was all downhill from there. In the big fourth inning, a pair of errors aided the Threshers as they sent 12 to the plate. Michael Plassmeyer was charged with eight runs in 3 2⁄3 innings, but only three were earned.
C Mike Zunino: 0-for-3, 3 K
SS Taylor Walls: 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 CS (.738)
DH Ronaldo Hernandez: 0-for-4, 3 K (.667)
LF Moises Gomez: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K (.728)
RF Garrett Whitley: 0-for-3, 3 K (.730)
LHP Michael Plassmeyer: 3 2⁄3 IP, 8 H, 8 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 5 K (2.70)
RHP Mikey York: 2 1⁄3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (2.36)
Charlotte’s site offers this recap.
Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (32-22)
Bowling Green couldn’t slow down Great Lakes in an 8-4 loss to the Loons. The Hot Rods scored all four of their runs in the first two innings, but they accumulated all of them without the benefit of a hit. They only had two hits in the game. Meanwhile, Great Lakes scored in seven different innings, including the last five. Alan Strong allowed four runs in five innings.
SS Wander Franco: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB (.883)
RHP Alan Strong: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (2.45)
Bowling Green’s site offers this recap.
Friday’s games (probables courtesy of milb.com)
Durham vs. Columbus 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Shao-Ching Chiang (2-4, 6.51)
Montgomery @ Birmingham 8:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Kenny Rosenberg (3-1, 2.25) vs. Blake Battenfield (1-1, 4.11)
Charlotte vs. St. Lucie 6:30 p.m. ET (radio stream)
TBA vs. Dedniel Nunez (0-0, 1.80)
Bowling Green @ Lansing 7:05 p.m. ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
TBA vs. Troy Miller (0-3, 5.85)
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Columbus Clippers (Cleveland)
30-21 (2nd in IL West)
Offense: 289 R (4th) .825 OPS (5th)
Pitching: 4.63 ERA (4th) 1.33 WHIP (2nd)
Top-30 prospects: 1B Bobby Bradley (7), SS Yu Chang (11), OF Daniel Johnson (14), C Eric Haase (25), RHP Chih-Wei Hu, C Dioner Navarro
Birmingham Barons (White Sox)
21-31 (5th in SL North)
Offense: 167 R (7th) .645 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.95 ERA (8th) 1.39 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Luis Robert (5), OF Micker Aldofo (6), OF Blake Rutherford (8), OF Luis Gonzalez (9), 1B Gavin Sheets (14), SS Laz Rivera (16), RHP Alec Hansen (17), RHP Zack Burdi (18), RHP Tyler Johnson (29), LHP Kodi Medeiros (30), LHP Hunter Schryver
St. Lucie Mets
26-26 (5th in FSL South)
Offense: 213 R (4th) .670 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.61 ERA (7th) 1.32 WHIP (9th)
Top-30 prospects: OF Desmond Lindsay (11), RHP Jordan Humphreys (16), 2B Carlos Cortes (19), RHP Tony Dibrell (24), LHP Kevin Smith (30)
Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto)
23-29 (6th in MWL East)
Offense: 228 R (7th) .714 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 4.44 ERA (12th) 1.47 WHIP (13th)
Top-30 prospects: SS Jordan Groshans (5), OF Griffin Conine (15), C Gabriel Moreno (20), RHP Sean Wymer (26)
Daily news and links
Baseball America subscribers can read Marc Topkin’s story on Jake Cronenworth’s turnaround.
At MLB.com, Jim Callis redid the 2009 draft.