It took five days, 32 rain delays and several pulled muscles by members of the grounds crew in yanking the tarps on and off the field, but we finally got through the regional round and whittled the crowd from 64 teams to 16. There were upsets, surprises and big-time rallies, and in the end, five SEC teams and four ACC teams moved on to the super regional round. The remaining field is set, with 10 No. 1 seeds, four No. 2 seeds and two No. 3 seeds.
Here is a quick look at how the eight Super Regionals match up.
Baton Rouge Super Regional
Coastal Carolina (47-16): .301 team batting average, 91 home runs, 102 stolen bases, 3.45 ERA, 497 strikeouts, 212 walks
LSU (45-19): .297 BA, 45 HRs, 95 SBs, 3.89 ERA, 520 K's, 235 BBs
The Tigers continue to get postseason magic at Alex Box Stadium, where they have won 20 of 24 home regionals. Jared Poche came to the Tigers' rescue in Monday's elimination game vs. Rice, as he retired 16 straight batters at one point in securing a 5-2 win. The offense is solid and really doesn't need a "Rally Possum," but every bit helps. Power and speed are hallmarks of Gary Gilmore-coached teams, and Connor Owings (.380 BA, 15 HRs, 51 RBIs, 14 SBs) and Zach Remillard (.347 BA, 18 HRs, 67 RBIs, 12 SBs) can do both. Andrew Beckwith is a tough matchup with his 12-1 record and 1.82 ERA, and Mike Morrison leads a strong bullpen, having gone 7-1 with an 0.81 ERA and 10 saves.
College Station Super Regional
TCU (45-15): .308 BA, 50 HRs, 92 SBs, 3.21 ERA, 477 K's, 171 BBs
Texas A&M (48-14): .318 BA, 58 HRs, 69 SBs, 3.07 ERA, 572 K's, 186 BBs
This will be the second straight year the Horned Frogs and Aggies have a super regional hoedown. Last year, they played one of the most epic three-game series in college baseball history. TCU won Game 1 13-4; A&M took Game 2 in 10 innings 2-1; and TCU won Game 3 5-4 in 16 innings. The Frogs are a mostly new team this year -- a testament to the job Jim Schlossnagle and his staff have done -- and they will face an Aggies squad that is as talented as any team in the country, led by Boomer White (.398 BA), who played on TCU's 2013 College World Series team before transferring.
Columbia Super Regional
Oklahoma State (39-20): .268 BA, 45 HRs, 78 SBs, 3.34 ERA, 534 K's, 238 BBs
South Carolina (46-16): .293 BA, 44 HRs, 69 SBs, 3.28 ERA, 602 K's, 208 BBs
After missing last year's postseason, the Gamecocks are making amends this year. Gene Cone has a .373 average, but DC Arendas was ridiculous during the regionals, as he went 7-for-13 with a double, triple, two home runs and five RBIs. Clarke Schmidt and Braden Webb are stud starters, and Tyler Johnson picked up two wins in regional play. As for the Cowboys, don't let the numbers fool you: They played lights-out this weekend and got steady starting pitching from Thomas Hatch (7-2, 2.16 ERA), Tyler Buffett (7-3, 3.34 ERA) and freshman Jensen Elliott (9-2). OSU held Nebraska and Clemson to just four runs in 27 innings in its regional sweep.
Coral Gables Super Regional
Boston College (34-20): .265 BA, 18 HRs, 72 SBs, 3.58 ERA, 411 K's, 206 BBs
Miami (48-11): .297 BA, 43 HRs, 58 SBs, 3.55 ERA, 400 K's, 208 BBs
As ACC mates, these two are no strangers, though they did not face each other this season. BC has a couple very good power arms in Justin Dunn (4-1, 1.49 ERA) and Mike King (7-4, 3.21 ERA), who are both expected to be top-round draftees in next week's major league draft. The Eagles are typical of most northern teams in that they begin playing their best baseball as the temperature gets warmer. Keep in mind they will face potentially the best batting order in the 16-team field, a Miami lineup led by Brandon Lopez (.392 BA) and Zack Collins (.358 BA, 13 HRs, 51 RBIs), who has an NCAA-best 69 walks. The BC arms staff is underrated, while The U's pitching needs to exceed its billing.
Gainesville Super Regional
Florida State (40-20): .300 BA, 57 HRs, 64 SBs, 3.70 ERA, 496 K's, 218 BBs
Florida (50-13): .281 BA, 50 HRs, 75 SBs, 3.02 ERA, 617 K's, 150 BBs
Ah, we meet again, my friend. Be it a good thing or a bad thing, for the second year in a row, the NCAA has allowed the Gators and Seminoles to meet in the super regional round in Gainesville. The Gators are on a five-game win streak over their rivals from up north, having won twice in the super regional last year and taken all three Tuesday night games this season. Last year's postseason showdown saw Florida paste FSU, 13-5 and 11-4. Logan Shore and A.J. Puk were the two starters in those games, and they will reprise their roles here. Advantage: Gators.
Louisville Super Regional
UC Santa Barbara (40-18-1): .262 BA, 30 HRs, 75 SBs, 3.83 ERA, 388 K's, 214 BBs
Louisville (50-12): .323 BA, 62 HRs, 100 SBs, 2.77 ERA, 545 K's, 209 BBs
At first blush, this looks like a rather obvious David and Goliath matchup. The Goliath part is probably right because the Cardinals do everything so well, with a vaunted pitching staff full of All-Americans and an offense keyed by Corey Ray (.319 BA, 15 HRs, 44 SBs), Nick Solak (.380 BA) and Will Smith (.380 BA). The Gauchos are second-to-last in hitting in the Big West, yet they have scored the most runs. That tells you that they are a great two-out-hitting team. Last year, the Cards hosted a Big West team in the super regionals, and they were eliminated by Cal State Fullerton. Hmm.
Lubbock Super Regional
East Carolina (37-21-1): .291 BA, 31 HRs, 66 SBs, 3.40 ERA, 430 K's, 185 BBs
Texas Tech (44-17): .295 BA, 52 HRs, 68 SBs, 4.26 ERA, 402 K's, 231 BBs
You get the feeling that going into Rip Griffin Park isn't going to fray any of the Pirates' nerves, as they are coming off beating defending national champion Virginia in Davenport Stadium for the third time this season. The starting pitching for the Pirates is solid, with Evan Kruczynski (7-1, 1.86 ERA), Jacob Wolfe (6-3, 2.66 ERA) and Jimmy Boyd (7-5, 2.90 ERA), but the bullpen can be shaky at times. Keep an eye on the Tech offense, as Eric Gutierrez (.330 BA, 12 HRs, 53 RBIs), Stephen Smith (.325 BA, 10 HRs, 39 RBIs) and Cory Raley (.333 BA, 6 HRs, 52 RBIs) have serious pop. The Raiders are hoping to get into a slugfest, considering they average more than seven runs per game.
Starkville Super Regional
Arizona (42-21): .291 BA, 23 HRs, 73 SBs, 3.53 ERA, 401 K's, 175 BBs
Mississippi State (44-16-1): .312 BA, 45 HRs, 51 SBs, 3.35 ERA, 552 K's, 203 BBs
Talk about road warriors. The Wildcats went to Lafayette, Louisiana, and took a pair of games from host Louisiana Lafayette by scores of 6-3 and 3-1 on Monday. Supers weekend will be another step up for the Wildcats. Although MSU first-round draftee-to-be Dakota Hudson was named the NCBWA Pitcher of the Month for May, his latest start wasn't stellar, as he went just 3 1/3 innings while giving up four hits, four walks and four runs to Southeast Missouri. Arizona is a team full of momentum, having won three games in a 28-hour span. That it did so in 90-plus heat with 70-plus humidity is a sign of this team's mental toughness.