Chat with Blair Angulo, DJ Foster
Welcome to ESPNLosAngeles.com! On Friday, college bloggers Blair Angulo and DJ Foster stop by to chat in advance of the NCAA baseball regional taking place in L.A.
Angulo is a student at UCLA and a writer for the Daily Bruin. Foster is a staff writer for Clipperblog.com and has contributed to ESPN.com's TrueHoop Network.
The L.A. regional includes UCLA, Kent State, UC Irvine and defending national champions LSU.
Send your questions now and join the chat Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT!
Greg Hattiesburg Ms [via mobile]
With Lsu hitting their stride now how do you like their chances in LA? Also which regional will they face after winning here?
Blair Angulo (4:35 PM)
Like you said, the Tigers hit their stride last weekend by winning the SEC Tournament. But even though they are the defending national champion, their chances of advancing took a hit by being placed in this tough Regional. UCLA is stacked on the mound. UC Irvine is a veteran, disciplined team. The winner of this one takes on the winner of the Fullerton Regional (Cal State Fullerton, Stanford, New Mexico and Minnesota).
Are there any players that you think we shoud pay extra attention to?
How much would it mean for the Oregon Ducks to go far this postseason? What do you think of their chances?
Blair Angulo (4:43 PM)
A win for Oregon would mean a whole lot, not only for that program, but for the Pac-10 Conference, which got eight of its 10 teams into the postseason. Oregon did not have a baseball program for 28 years, so to reach the postseason in just the second year of rebuilding speaks volumes about what George Horton (former Cal State Fullerton coach) has done in Eugene. Don't be surprised if the No. 3-seeded Ducks advance past the Norwich Regional (Florida State, Connecticut and Central Connecticut State) -- they have the pitching to do it.
D.J. Foster (4:47 PM)
Nick:For Fullerton, I would keep a close eye on Christian Colon. He's hitting .347 with 14 homers on the year and is really solid defensively. He's already a top 20 MLB prospect in a lot of scouts' minds.
D.J. Foster (4:48 PM)
For UC Irvine, Jeff Cusick is their big bat in the middle of the lineup. He's hitting .379 with 8 homers and has only struck out nine times in 214 at-bats, which is pretty incredible. The 'Eaters are definitely a small-ball type team that likes to manufacture runs, but Cusick is the guy they'll let swing away most times, and for good reason.
Do you think LSU will win the tittle agian for a second straight year
D.J. Foster (4:50 PM)
The UCLA Regional is definitely the toughest in the entire tournament. It's not going to be an easy time for the Tigers since they're so far from home and are going up against one of the best pitchers in the nation today in UC Irvine's Daniel Bibona. Add in that Jackie Robinson Stadium lends itself well to both UCLA and UC Irvine's style of play, and I think the Tigers may have a tough time coming out of this region alive.
Titans got any chance? This program still headed in the right direction?
D.J. Foster (4:52 PM)
Tinny:The Titans have won 23 of their last 25 games, so they're riding a lot of momentum. Sometimes, that's all it takes. If they get centerfielder Gary Brown back for Super Regionals, provided they make it, watch out. He's a star.
16 regions start today. Who's your three best teams? ASU and two others?
D.J. Foster (4:56 PM)
Arizona State, definitely. I like Texas and UCLA as my other two. If Cal State Fullerton were completely healthy, I'd probably rank them over UCLA. We might get to see that matchup nice and early in the Super Regionals, something Titans coach Dave Serrano wasn't too happy about.
brett (louisville) [via mobile]
Even w/o our coach for the next 3 gm's, louisville should still be considered a serious title contender right?
D.J. Foster (5:03 PM)
I like that Louisville has a lot of power spread throughout their lineup, but their number two and number three starters after Royse scare me a bit. That's the biggest strength of UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. One through three, both teams can trot out a guy each night who is a stud. Daniel Bibona for UC Irvine and Noe Ramirez for Cal State Fullerton are the clear aces, but the staff behind them are excellent as well.
D.J. Foster (5:04 PM)
I think Blair will tell you UCLA's pitching staff isn't too shabby either.
Blair Angulo (5:08 PM)
UCLA coach John Savage waited until 4 p.m. on Wednesday to announce his starter for tonight's opener against Kent State. It might have had to do with strategy, but he has four legitimate ace pitchers. Gerrit Cole was the safe choice though.
UVA not in your top 3?
D.J. Foster (5:12 PM)
You can definitely make the argument that they belong as well, since they're the top team in the country and all. I'd like to see a little more power from Virginia, but they sure do a great job of getting on base.
Do you think Alabama can win the Georgia Tech regional?
Blair Angulo (5:14 PM)
Brad: Absolutely. Alabama played will before falling to LSU in extras in the SEC Tournament title game. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, did not fare too well in the ACC tourney.
D.J. Foster (5:16 PM)
UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton both have great chances at redemption this weekend. UCI will try to avenge their ninth inning collapse in 2008 to LSU, while Cal State Fullerton has a matchup looming with Stanford, who own an 8-1 playoff advantage over the Titans since 1999. There should be some very intriguing battles this weekend out west.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which College Baseball Player who is Currently Playing in College will be Selected By The New York Yankees Before the College World Series?
D.J. Foster (5:18 PM)
That's tough to say, but Fullerton's Christian Colon is as close to a sure thing as it gets. Any team in the market for a big time shortstop would be wise to draft him.
Carp (Cherry Hill, NJ)
This sport still growing? You like the regional set up? More TV?
D.J. Foster (5:19 PM)
I believe it is. As it gets more exposure, particularly through televised games like you said, I think it will start to take off. College baseball just seems a little more "pure" than the big leagues.
How good is Anthony Rendon? Best player in college this year? Who would you compare him to? Thanks
D.J. Foster (5:23 PM)
Rice's Anthony Rendon is a really great player - he hit .378 with 22 homers this year in just his sophomore season. My pick for the Player of the Year however is Central Florida outfielder Chris Duffy. He hit .447 with 21 homers this season. No other hitter touches those numbers.
Mike (Tempe, AZ)
Its been a mild surprise how great ASU has been this season after having Pat Murphy leave the program, for sure its still his recruits out there for a powerhouse baseball program that had a great year last year but is there any concern with inexperienced coaching in the tourney? (and likely CWS berth)
Blair Angulo (5:24 PM)
There shouldn't be concern. The Sun Devils went 47-8 for a reason. When it comes down to it, baseball decisions are baseball decisions -- not matter if it's the postseason. Tim Esmay should be fine.
D.J. Foster (5:26 PM)
The nice thing about college baseball is the length of the season really let's you see who is elite and who isn't. In college basketball you can slide by with a lot of cream puff non-conference games and only get tested in conference just a few times. Since ASU is in the Pac10, which had one of the best years as a conference ever, we know they're fully battle tested and ready to go. I think that experience counts for quite a bit.
D.J. Foster (5:33 PM)
Thanks for stopping by and chatting everyone. Make sure to check out Blair's UCLA blog and my college blog on espnlosangeles.com for all the coverage of this weekend's matchups. Enjoy the games!