NCAA Baseball Tournament 2013: Raleigh Regional Preview -- The Teams Ole Miss Will Face

Mike Ehrmann

There are some gaudy and strange numbers in the Raleigh Regional, which features a lucky ACC team, an up-and-down SEC team and a couple of midmajors with some bizarre games

Looking at the NCAA baseball tournament regionals that involve SEC teams

RALEIGH REGIONAL
Winner faces winner of the Eugene Regional

(1) N.C. State
RPI: 7
Record: 44-14, 19-10 ACC

N.C. State is kind of a bizarre team this year, in so very many ways. They won 26 of their last 30 regular season games -- despite being basically an average ACC team in both hitting and pitching. And despite those numbers, the Wolfpack beat Wagner 43-4 in a double header one day (and later lost at Elon by a 24-12 margin). Given all that, how the heck did N.C. State end up winning 44 games? Part of appears to have been luck. State is 11-2 in one-run games, well into "pending regression to the mean" territory. They are similarly 4-1 in extra-innings games. That is not to say that the 'Pack don't have some good players -- Trea Turner leads the team with a .460 on-base percentage and a. 567 slugging percentage. N.C. State has also relied pretty heavily on its bullpen at times, and it's responded. And a win is a win is a win -- but you have to wonder how much longer N.C. State can keep doing this.

(2) Ole Miss
RPI: 20
Record: 37-22, 15-15 SEC

You can almost trace the moment when Ole Miss season turned around to right after the Rebels beat Arkansas in the first SEC game of the year and moved to 18-2, their best-ever record through 20 games. They lost the following game to Arkansas, came back to win the series the game after that and then beat Texas A&M to kick off the next series -- but were never quite the same. Ole Miss would win just three of its remaining nine SEC series, including one against Tennessee. The offense is led across the slashline by Stuart Turner, .381/.452/.533. Bobby Wahl and his 1.99 ERA lead a generally solid pitching staff.

(3) William & Mary
RPI: 46
Record: 37-22, 17-10 CAA

Let's just look here ... situation stats ... ah, yes, the Tribe are 11-1 in games when they score 10-plus runs, about what you'd expect ... scrolling down ... wait. William & Mary has scored 10 or more runs in 12 games? Which might not be that eye-popping, except that W&M is also 1-10 when their opponent scores 10 or more runs. Meaning that in 20 games over the course of the year, the Tribe and / or their opponent has scored at least 10 runs. What BBCOR bats? In fact, at one point, W&M played four games with at least one of the teams hitting double digits in the space of five games total. that included a 20-19 victory over James Madison in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. And yet -- William & Mary ended the season tied for fifth in the CAA in runs scored. They scored two or fewer runs in 14 games. Not exactly consistent. They do have two players who crack .900 in OPS: Michael Katz (1.016) and Ryan Lindemuth (.923), while Jason Inghram leads the pitching staff with 96 strikeouts in 96.1 innings.

(4) Binghamton
RPI: 171
Record: 30-23, 17-14 America East

The Bearcats -- and they're green bearcats, which is really weird, but I digress -- have one really good player on offense. And by "really good," I mean that Jake Thomas has a 1.069 OPS, thanks in no small part to the fact that he reaches base almost 53 percent of the time he walks to the plate. He's walked 44 times and gotten hit by a pitch 12 times -- meaning Thomas averages a free base more than once per game. That's not to say that the other batters aren't good -- some of them are. But not many people put up those kinds of numbers. Each of Binghamton's starting pitchers has an ERA of 2.98 or below, so that helps.

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