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There were 30 past and present Anglers at the start of the NCAA tournament before the Regional round squeezed out 16 players on eight different teams.
Those eight teams will begin Super Regional play Friday, where three of the eight total matchups have Anglers squaring off. As the May madness shifts to June and three-game series’ replace round-robin groups, here are the Chatham players whose College World Series aspirations are still intact.
Houston vs. Texas
Two Anglers starting pitchers could potentially square off with this matchup, as Houston’s Aaron Garza (2013) and Texas’s Lukas Schiraldi (2013) each made a start in Regionals. Garza was dominant for the Cougars, throwing six innings and giving up just two runs in a 10-6 win over Southern Louisiana. Schiraldi wasn’t as successful, but only yielded two runs — one earned — in 3.1 innings in the Longhorns’ only loss of the round. The three-game series will commence at 4 p.m. Friday, and both Garza and Schiraldi are figured to see the mound at some point this weekend.
Louisville vs. Kennesaw State
This series kicks off on Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Louisville, Kent., and features six Anglers on the two teams. Nick Burdi (2012), Alex Chittenden (2012), Kyle Funkhouser (2013, 2014) and Zack Burdi (2014) bring the Cardinals into Super Regionals, with Funkhouser throwing as well as he has all season and Nick Burdi anchoring the pitching staff in a closing role. For the Owls, Kal Simmons (2014) hit a stride at the top of the order at the beginning of Regional play while Jordan Hillyer (2014) struggled in his only start but was buoyed by the KSU offense. Kennesaw State captured the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament win against second-seeded Alabama in the Regional round, and will look to push its success against an equally hot Louisville team.
U.C. Irvine vs. Oklahoma State
Four past and future Anglers had a hand in U.C. Irvine’s ascension to the top of the Corvallis region, where the Anteaters knocked off the tournament’s No. 1 seed in Oregon State. Connor Spencer (2014 temp) and Chris Rabago (2014 temp) were tough outs as the second and third hitters in U.C. Irvine’s order, and Jimmy Litchfield (2012, 2013) and Mitch Merten (2013) supported the team’s effort out of the bullpen. The Anteaters’ improbable win over the Beavers in the region’s final game earned it a trip to the Supers against Garret Williams (2014) and Oklahoma State. Williams didn’t see much action as a relief pitcher in Regionals, but will be at the ready when the series begins Friday at 9:30 p.m. in Stillwater, Okla.
College of Charleston vs. Texas Tech
Two Anglers will play into the next round with Texas Tech in a series that will take off at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Hunter Redman (2013) started at catcher in three of the Red Raiders’ four Regional games while Dominic Moreno (2013), a right-handed pitcher, didn’t take the mound. Redman wasn’t particularly successful at the plate, but TTU’s only loss came with him not in the starting lineup.
Pepperdine vs. Texas Christian
Pepperdine made its way through the San Luis Obispo region unscathed and it was Aaron Brown’s (2012) play on the mound and the plate that led the way. Brown hit fourth for the Waves in all three of their games, and threw eight innings while giving up just one unearned run in 2-1 win over top-seeded Cal Poly last Saturday. The Horned Frogs are riding a hot streak as well, and the series will start Saturday at 4 p.m.