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NCAA Regionals in Review

by Chris Fitzgerald
Tuesday, June 05, 2012

NCAA Regionals in Review
Nearly 40 Chatham Anglers participated in the NCAA Regionals over the weekend, 18 of whom are slated to play for the 2012 Anglers -- one more than 2011. However, only one member of the 2012 roster moved on to Super Regional action.

Pat Valaika's (UCLA) journey to Cape Cod will be delayed because of a Super Regional berth. The Bruins upended Creighton twice and New Mexico once to advance out of the Los Angeles Regional. Valaika started every game at shortstop and was 2-11 at the plate.

Teammate Beau Amaral ('11) reached base seven times over the weekend, scored three runs and stole a base as the Bruins' leadoff hitter. Former Angler Eric Jaffe ('11) bolsters the staff as UCLA prepares to face TCU in a best-of-three series in Los Angeles this weekend.

Louie Lechich ('12) and Michael Wagner ('12) were eliminated when San Diego lost consecutive games in the LA regional. Wagner pitched on Friday, earning the loss after 5.1 innings of work in which he allowed five hits and two runs.

Kris Bryant ('11) crushed four hits, including a double and a triple over the two-game stretch.

Staying on the West Coast, Pepperdine lost a pair of one-run games against Stanford that concluded the Waves' season. Righty Scott Frazier ('12) gave up nine hits over 7.2 innings of work and earned a loss in the first of two matchups with Stanford. Frazier will enter CCBL play having gone 7-5 over the collegiate season.

West Coast Conference Player of the Year Joe Sever ('11) had five hits in 16 at-bats and propelled the Waves with three runs over the weekend in Palo Alto.

John Martinez ('12) and Tony Wieber (Michigan State) suffered a collective setback with a winless showing in Palo Alto. Martinez delivered two hits and scored twice for the Spartans, while Wieber ('12) threw two innings and gave up three runs on Saturday.

Louisville's early exit should provide a significant boost to the Anglers' early-season roster. Four Cardinals will be headed to Chatham in the next few days, including Alex Chittenden and Adam Engel. Engel is one of three natural centerfielders the Anglers will juggle across the outfield.

Dace Kime ('11-'12) threw 2.2 innings for Louisville and was relieved by Nick Burdi ('12), who threw just over an inning in a loss to Arizona on Saturday.

The Anglers will be similarly fortunate to get players from North Carolina early in the CCBL season. St. Johns topped the No. 1 seed Tar Heels twice and the Red Storm completed an upset to advance.

Tar Heels Tate Parrish ('12) faced one batter in a 7-4 win over Cornell on Friday, then struck out two of the three batters he faced on Sunday as UNC moved on. Catcher Jacob Stallings ('10) ended the weekend and his illustrious UNC career with four hits and four RBIs -- 42 on the season and 18 in NCAA postseason career.

North Carolina fell short of repeating a trip to Omaha. In 2011, UNC's success kept multiple players away from the Cape until late in the summer.

Several stars from the 2011 Anglers roster battled it out in Columbia over the weekend. South Carolina upended Clemson twice en route to a Super Regional bid.

It was Clemson's Richie Shaffer ('11) and Phil Pohl ('10), who hit back-to-back in the top of the Tigers order, that made the difference. The pair went 7-13 with five runs scored, three walks, and six batted in against Coastal Carolina on Friday and Sunday, including a Pohl grand slam. However, Pohl and Shaffer were a combined 2-18 against the Gamecocks.

South Carolina's Evan Marzilli ('11) notched five hits in 11 at-bats. Marzilli was a regular at the top of SC's order and started all three contests in centerfield.

The dream of a three-peat lives for the Gamecocks, a feat accomplished only once before in college baseball (the West Coast's USC won five consecutive titles between 1970 and 1974).

Fourth-seeded Manhattan was eliminated in Columbia, which will allow temporary players John Soldinger and Anthony Vega to arrive in Chatham sooner rather than later as the Jaspers went 0-2.

In another notable series, a pitching tandem for Florida (both of whom were on Chatham's preseason roster but never made it to the Cape in '11) combined to beat Georgia Tech's Buck Farmer ('11). The Yellow Jacket battled through seven innings, leaving the game having given up four runs.

Hudson Randall and Stephen Rodriguez, the pride of the Florida pitching staff, tag-teamed on the bump to produce a Florida win. The Gators went on to make the round of 16.