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College World Series team capsules

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Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2009 3:34 pm | Updated: 1:22 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A capsule look at the eight teams competing in the College World Series, which starts Saturday at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. (coaches' records at current schools through super regionals):

TEXAS (46-14-1)

CWS Seed: 1.

Coach: Augie Garrido (563-267-2, 13th season).

Road To Omaha: Won Austin Regional: beat Army 3-1; beat Boston College 3-2 in 25 innings; beat Army 14-10. Won Austin Super Regional: beat TCU 10-4; lost to TCU 3-2; beat TCU 5-2.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 0-0.

Last CWS appearance: 2005.

All-time record in CWS: 78-53 (33rd appearance, six titles).

Meet The Longhorns: C Cameron Rupp (.287, 8, 40), 1B Brandon Belt (.336, 8, 40), 2B Travis Tucker (.286, 2, 27), SS Brandon Loy (.294, 0, 26), 3B Michael Torres (.304, 4, 32), LF David Hernandez (.273, 0, 12) or Tant Shepherd (.264, 2, 21), CF Connor Rowe (.275, 6, 36), RF Kevin Keyes (.305, 7, 40), DH Preston Clark (.264, 2, 24). Starting Pitchers: RHP Chance Ruffin (10-2, 3.02), RHP Cole Green (5-3, 3.02), RHP Brandon Workman (3-3, 3.45), RHP Taylor Jungmann (8-3, 2.27). Relievers: LHP Austin Wood (5-1, 2.19, 15 saves), RHP Austin Dicharry (8-2, 2.40, 1 save), LHP Keith Shinaberry (1-0, 1.93), RHP Stayton Thomas (4-0, 2.11).

All-Star Alumni: Roger Clemens, Dennis Cook, Ron Gardenhire, Jerry Don Gleaton, Burt Hooton, J.P. Howell, Brooks Kieschnick, Keith Moreland, Spike Owen, Shane Reynolds, Bruce Ruffin, Calvin Schiraldi, Huston Street, Greg Swindell.

Short Hops: Longhorns are trying to join 1999 Miami Hurricanes as only No. 1 national seeds to win College World Series. ... Texas has most CWS appearances, and its six titles are second only to Southern California's 12. ... Garrido is winningest Division I college baseball coach in NCAA history with 1,714 victories, and has won five national titles: three with Cal State Fullerton and two with Texas. ... Longhorns' 25-inning win over Boston College in regionals was longest game in NCAA history. ... Wood threw 13 scoreless innings in that victory, including 12 1-3 hitless. ... Ruffin is son of former big league pitcher Bruce Ruffin.

Quotable: "The season starts now, man. The race is on." — Garrido, after the Longhorns clinched their first CWS berth since 2005.

———

CAL STATE FULLERTON (47-14)

CWS Seed: 2.

Coach: Dave Serrano (88-36, second season).

Road To Omaha: Won Fullerton Regional: beat Utah 18-2; beat Gonzaga 7-4; beat Utah 16-3. Won Fullerton Super Regional: beat Louisville 12-0; beat Louisville 11-2.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 4-1 (3-0 vs. Southern Miss; 1-1 vs. Arizona St.).

Last CWS appearance: 2007.

All-time record in CWS: 34-25 (16th appearance, four titles).

Meet The Titans: C Dustin Garneau (.293, 4, 26), 1B Jared Clark (.363, 12, 81), 2B Joe Scott (.313, 1, 39), SS Christian Colon (.352, 7, 38), 3B Joey Siddons (.362, 0, 22), LF Gary Brown (.337, 3, 35), CF Josh Fellhauer (.399, 6, 55), RF Khris Davis (.336, 16, 57), DH-LHP Nick Ramirez (.287, 10, 31; 3-1, 2.63, 7 saves); DH-OF Jeff Newman (.297, 0, 10). Starting Pitchers: RHP Daniel Renken (11-2, 2.36), RHP Tyler Pill (11-3, 3.95), RHP Noe Ramirez (9-1, 2.86). Relievers: RHP Kyle Mertins (1-0, 2.30), RHP Ryan Ackland (2-1, 3.41, 1 save), RHP Michael Morrison (1-2, 3.10, 4 saves).

All-Star Alumni: Chad Cordero, Jeremy Giambi, Mark Kotsay, Mike Lamb, Brent Mayne, Phil Nevin, Kirk Saarloos, Aaron Rowand, Mike Schooler, Kurt Suzuki, Tim Wallach.

Short Hops: Titans are making fifth trip to Omaha in seven years. ... Serrano took UC Irvine to CWS in 2007, and becomes 11th coach to bring two or more different schools to Omaha. Also joins Dave Van Horn (Nebraska, 2002, and Arkansas, 2004) and Larry Cochell (Cal State Fullerton, 1990, and Oklahoma, 1992) as only three to bring different teams in a span of only three seasons. ... Colon is one of five finalists for Brooks Wallace Award, given to college baseball's best shortstop. ... Pill set school freshman mark for wins in a season. ... Titans have been hit by pitches a Division I-high 124 times. ... Titans have three players with 10 or more HRs for first time since 1999.

Quotable: "There's not one facet of our game that needs any tweaking right now. Omaha is the greatest place in the world to finish a season. We think we have a legitimate chance to win the national championship the way we're playing right now." — Serrano, following the team's CWS-clinching win over Louisville.

———

LSU (51-16)

CWS Seed: 3.

Coach: Paul Mainieri (129-61-2, third season).

Road To Omaha: Won Baton Rouge Regional: beat Southern 10-2; beat Baylor 3-2 in 10 innings; beat Minnesota 10-3. Won Baton Rouge Super Regional: beat Rice 12-9; beat Rice 5-3.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 2-1 (vs. Arkansas).

Last CWS appearance: 2008.

All-time record in CWS: 30-19 (15th appearance, five titles).

Meet The Tigers: C Micah Gibbs (.286, 6, 39), 1B Sean Ochinko (.330, 7, 50), 2B D.J. LeMahieu (.340, 4, 39), SS Austin Nola (.238, 2, 16), 3B Tyler Hanover (.317, 4, 44) or Derek Helenihi (.313, 4, 22), LF Ryan Schimpf (.33, 18, 59), CF Leon Landry (.305, 12, 41) or Mikie Mahtook (.320, 6, 31), RF Jared Mitchell (.325, 9, 43, 35 SBs), DH Blake Dean (.333, 15, 65). Starting Pitchers: RHP Louis Coleman (13-2, 2.76), RHP Anthony Ranaudo (10-3, 2.95), RHP Austin Ross (5-7, 4.94). Relievers: RHP Matty Ott (3-2, 2.22, 15 saves), RHP Daniel Bradshaw (4-0, 3.38, 1 save), RHP Paul Bertuccini (2-0, 3.52, 3 saves), LHP Chris Matulis (6-2, 4.82), RHP Nolan Cain (5-0, 4.60).

All-Star Alumni: Joe Adcock, Albert Belle, Paul Byrd, Alvin Dark, Mike Fontenot, Mark Guthrie, Brad Hawpe, Aaron Hill, Curtis Leskanic, Ben McDonald, Warren Morris, Russ Springer, Ryan Theriot, Todd Walker, Brian Wilson.

Short Hops: Tigers, riding 10-game winning streak, are ranked No. 1 in most national polls entering CWS. ... Mainieri has led LSU to Omaha in each of last two seasons after taking over for Smoke Laval three years ago. Mainieri's 2002 Notre Dame team also made it to College World Series. ... Tigers open CWS against Virginia, coached by Brian O'Connor — Mainieri's former assistant at Notre Dame. ... Ranaudo and Coleman are first pair of Tigers pitchers with over 100 Ks in same season since 2000. ... Helenihi, who lost starting job twice this season, is expected to start CWS opener, in part because Hanover has sore ankle. ... Mitchell, first-round pick of the Chicago White Sox, has 69 career SBs, second to Rob Hartwig's 73 on school's career list. ... Ott, a freshman, has struck out 63 and walked just four this season.

Quotable: "Omaha, here come the Tigers. ... I figure one team has to win, so it might as well be us. We're going to go up there with the idea that we're going to put another trophy in the trophy case and give it our best effort." — Mainieri, after the Tigers earned a CWS berth with a super regional series win over Rice.

———

NORTH CAROLINA (47-16)

CWS Seed: 4.

Coach: Mike Fox (499-206-1, 11th season).

Road To Omaha: Won Chapel Hill Regional: beat Dartmouth 5-2; beat Coastal Carolina 14-5; beat Kansas 5-1. Won Chapel Hill Super Regional: beat East Carolina 10-1; beat East Carolina 9-3.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 2-2 (vs. Virginia).

Last CWS appearance: 2008.

All-time record in CWS: 18-16 (eighth appearance, no titles).

Meet The Tar Heels: C Mark Fleury (.315, 12, 59), 1B-OF Dustin Ackley (.412, 22, 70), 2B Levi Michael (.298, 13, 56), SS Ryan Graepel (.336, 2, 35), 3B Kyle Seager (.386, 5, 59), LF Ben Bunting (.333, 2, 35), CF Mike Cavasinni (.260, 0, 23), RF Garrett Gore (.307, 6, 43), DH Jacob Stallings (.216, 0, 7) or Seth Baldwin (.222, 3, 13). Starting Pitchers: RHP Alex White (8-4, 4.13), RHP Adam Warren (8-2, 3.19), RHP Matt Harvey (7-2, 5.35). Relievers: LHP Brian Moran (7-1, 2.00, 4 saves), RHP Colin Bates (4-2, 2.84, 6 saves), RHP Nate Striz (2-0, 3.42, 1 save), LHP Logan Munson (1-1, 2.70, 1 save), RHP Patrick Johnson (2-2, 2.91, 1 save).

All-Star Alumni: Russ Adams, Scott Bankhead, Scott Bradley, Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, Chris Iannetta, Clyde King, Andrew Miller, Paul Shuey, George "Snuffy" Stirnweiss, B.J. Surhoff, Walt Weiss.

Short Hops: Tar Heels have advanced to CWS for four straight seasons, marking longest active streak in nation. ... With 5-0 mark in this year's NCAA tournament, Tar Heels are 20-1 in regional and super regional play in last four seasons. ... Fox is one of just 10 head coaches to both play and coach in CWS. ... Ackley, who has batted over .400 in all three years, was second overall pick this week by Seattle. Ackley, who holds school marks for hits, runs and total bases, has 19-game postseason hitting streak, dating to 2007. ... White went 15th overall to Cleveland. ... With two expected starts in Omaha, Gore would tie CWS record with 20 games played.

Quotable: "I've learned where the best steaks are out there, the best milkshakes, the best route to go to get in. Our fans have learned where to park. We've learned a lot. We've learned to enjoy every single second of it." — Fox, after the Tar Heels clinched their fourth straight trip to Omaha.

———

ARIZONA STATE (49-12)

CWS Seed: 5.

Coach: Pat Murphy (627-282-1, 15th season).

Road To Omaha: Won Tempe Regional: beat Kent State 17-6; beat Oral Roberts 4-1; beat Oral Roberts 8-3. Won Tempe Super Regional: beat Clemson 7-4; beat Clemson 8-2.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 1-3 (1-1 vs. Cal State Fullerton; 0-2 vs. Arkansas).

Last CWS appearance: 2007.

All-time record in CWS: 59-34 (21st appearance, five titles).

Meet The Sun Devils: C Carlos Ramirez (.349, 18, 72), 1B Jared McDonald (.246, 5, 20) or Riccio Torrez (.298, 6, 37), 2B Zack MacPhee (.266, 4, 36), SS Drew Maggi (.319, 0, 21, 20 SBs), 3B Raoul Torrez (.250, 1, 26), LF Kole Calhoun (.292, 9, 42), CF Jason Kipnis (.385, 16, 71, 26 SBs), RF-LHP Matt Newman (.315, 7, 54; 2-1, 4.59), DH Johnny Ruettiger (.356, 1, 13) or Abe Ruiz (.345, 1, 19). Starting Pitchers: RHP Mike Leake (16-1, 1.36, 150 Ks), RHP Seth Blair (7-2, 3.16), LHP Josh Spence (9-1, 2.33). Relievers: LHP Mitchell Lambson (8-3, 2.77, 5 saves), RHP Jason Franzblau (3-2, 2.40), RHP Jordan Swagerty (4-1, 4.55, 4 saves).

All-Star Alumni: Sal Bando, Floyd Bannister, Marty Barrett, Willie Bloomquist, Barry Bonds, Hubie Brooks, Alvin Davis, Andre Ethier, Gary Gentry, Bob Horner, Reggie Jackson, Paul Lo Duca, Oddibe McDowell, Rick Monday, Dustin Pedroia, Craig Swan, Fernando Vina.

Short Hops: Sun Devils at College World Series for fourth time under Murphy, and third in last five years. ... Only Leake and Torrez were part of the last Sun Devils team to advance to Omaha in 2007. ... Leake was eighth overall draft pick by Cincinnati this week after winning Pac-10 pitcher of year award for second straight season. His 16 wins lead Division I, and he has 150 Ks and just 21 walks in 132 2-3 IP. ... Spence pitching well despite taking line drive off face in third start of season, suffering tendon injury on left middle finger that forced him to miss month and a back injury. ... Sun Devils lead nation with 2.78 team ERA. ... Kipnis was Pac-10 player of year. ... Maggi, who took over at SS early this season, set school freshman record with 20 SBs. ... Ruettiger is nephew of Rudy Ruettiger, former Notre Dame football player who had movie about his life made.

Quotable: "This isn't your normal powerhouse team. We have a bunch of freshmen who don't know you are supposed to lose more games than we have this year. We're growing playoff beards with freshmen who don't have any facial hair." — Kipnis, after the Sun Devils — who start four freshman — advanced to CWS.

———

VIRGINIA (48-13-1)

CWS Seed: 6.

Coach: Brian O'Connor (264-102-1, sixth season).

Road To Omaha: Won Irvine Regional: beat San Diego State 5-1; beat UC Irvine 5-0; beat UC Irvine 4-1. Won Oxford Super Regional: lost to Mississippi 4-3 in 12 innings; beat Mississippi 4-3; beat Mississippi 5-1.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 2-2 (vs. North Carolina).

Last CWS appearance: First appearance.

All-time record in CWS: First appearance.

Meet The Cavaliers: C Franco Valdes (.288, 5, 41), 1B-LHP Danny Hultzen (.333, 3, 33; 9-1, 2.09), 2B-OF Phil Gosselin (.314, 6, 63, 24 SBs), SS Tyler Cannon (.339, 1, 37), 3B Steven Proscia (.332, 9, 57), LF John Barr (.295, 0, 15), CF Jarrett Parker (.364, 16, 65), RF Dan Grovatt (.365, 7, 50), DH-1B John Hicks (.305, 7, 37). Starting Pitchers: Hultzen, RHP Andrew Carraway (8-1, 4.13), RHP Robert Morey (3-0, 3.11). Relievers: RHP Kevin Arico (2-3, 2.06, 11 saves), RHP Tyler Wilson (9-3, 2.73, 1 save), LHP Matt Packer (3-4, 3.95, 3 saves), LHP Neal Davis (2-0, 4.63, 1 save), RHP Will Roberts (4-0, 4.14).

All-Star Alumni: Brian Buchanan, Mike Cubbage, Hank Foiles, Seth Greisinger, Ricky Horton, Mark Reynolds, Eppa Rixey, Ryan Zimmerman.

Short Hops: Cavaliers set school record for wins. ... O'Connor is native of Omaha, grew up in nearby Council Bluffs, Iowa, and played at Creighton where he was part of Bluejays' 1991 CWS team. He's also only coach in Omaha to have played, assisted and served as head coach on a CWS team. ... The player on the far right of statue outside of Rosenblatt Stadium was created in O'Connor's likeness by Omaha sculptor John Lajba. He wanted to include O'Connor since he was Creighton player and pitched in CWS in 1991. ... Pitching staff has 567 strikeouts, most in program history. ... Hultzen set school freshman record with 95 Ks. ... Parker has tied or set five single-season school offensive records.

Quotable: "I'm just so happy for these kids. They're in for the experience they'll never forget. We're obviously going out to Omaha to win and I've got a lot of confidence we can win." — O'Connor, after Virginia clinched its first College World Series berth.

———

ARKANSAS (39-22)

CWS Seed: 7.

Coach: Dave Van Horn (274-156, seventh season).

Road To Omaha: Won Norman Regional: beat Washington State 10-3; beat Oklahoma 17-6; beat Oklahoma 11-0. Won Tallahassee Super Regional: beat Florida State 7-2; beat Florida State 9-8.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 3-2 (1-2 vs. LSU; 2-0 vs. Arizona St.).

Last CWS appearance: 2004.

All-time record in CWS: 7-10 (sixth appearance, no titles).

Meet The Razorbacks: C James McCann (.223, 1, 11), 1B Andy Wilkins (.326, 18, 52), Bo Bigham (.322, 1, 6), SS Ben Tschepikow (.310, 9, 47), 3B-RHP Zack Cox (.271, 12, 36; 5-1, 3.50), LF Chase Leavitt (.302, 1, 30), CF Collin Kuhn (.260, 3, 19), RF Andrew Darr (.245, 4, 17), DH Scott Lyons (.302, 8, 44). Starting Pitchers: LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-3, 4.04), RHP-DH Brett Eibner (5-4, 4.61; .224, 10, 29), LHP Drew Smyly (3-1, 4.72), RHP T.J. Forrest (2-6, 5.49). Relievers: LHP Stephen Richards (6-1, 1.82, 9 saves), RHP Mike Bolsinger (6-4, 2.83, 1 save), RHP Justin Wells (2-1, 3 saves, 4.37).

All-Star Alumni: Darrel Akerfelds, Eric Hinske, Jeff King, Cliff Lee, Les Lancaster, Tim Lollar, Kevin McReynolds, Mike Oquist, Tom Pagnozzi, Johnny Ray.

Short Hops: Razorbacks seeking 15th 40-win season in second trip to Omaha under Van Horn, who also led Nebraska to CWS twice. ... Razorbacks were ranked as high as No. 1 in one national poll in mid-April, the first time the program was tops in the country, but struggled down the stretch by going 14-15 in Southeastern Conference play in regular season. ... Smyly, a freshman, took no-hitter into ninth inning in 11-0 win over Oklahoma in regionals. ... Cox set school freshman record for HRs in season with his 12th in super regionals against Florida State. ... Richards, one of country's best closers, ranks among nation's leaders in saves.

Quotable: "We still haven't reached our goal yet, and that's to win the national championship. Now it's time to go try to win the whole thing." — Van Horn, before his team got on bus Wednesday and headed for Omaha.

———

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (40-24)

CWS Seed: 8.

Coach: Corky Palmer (458-279, 12th season).

Road To Omaha: Won Atlanta Regional: beat Elon 17-15; beat Georgia Tech 10-7; lost to Georgia Tech 10-3; beat Georgia Tech 12-8. Won Gainesville Super Regional: beat Florida 9-7; beat Florida 7-6.

2009 record vs. CWS teams: 0-3 (vs. Cal State Fullerton).

Last CWS appearance: First appearance.

All-time record in CWS: First appearance.

Meet The Golden Eagles: C Travis Graves (.246, 2, 12) or Kyle Maxie (.281, 4, 16), 1B Joey Archer (.311, 10, 62), 2B James Ewing (.314, 4, 42), SS B.A. Vollmuth (.236, 7, 25), 3B Taylor Walker (.305, 3, 29), LF Kameron Brunty (.342, 7, 53), CF Bo Davis (.371, 14, 53), RF Tyler Koelling (.265, 2, 27), DH Corey Stevens (.330, 8, 59), Starting Pitchers: RHP Todd McInnis (9-4, 3.61), RHP J.R. Ballinger (6-3, 3.89), RHP Scott Copeland (2-5, 6.28, 1 save), RHP Jeff Stanley (4-2, 4.43), RHP Kyle Lindsey (3-3, 6.28). Relievers: RHP Collin Cargill (4-3, 3.32, 13 saves), RHP Johnathan Johnston (1-0, 4.46, 1 save), LHP Cody Schlagel (5-1, 4.99), LHP Wade Weathers (2-0, 5.52, 1 save), RHP Seth Hester (2-2, 7.12).

All-Star Alumni: Chad Bradford, Jim Davenport, Bubba Phillips, Pat Rapp, Kevin Young.

Short Hops: Golden Eagles making program's first CWS appearance in Palmer's last season after he announced a few weeks ago that he was retiring after 33 years of coaching, including 12 at Southern Miss. Associate head coach Scott Berry was named Palmer's successor. ... Golden Eagles are only No. 3 regional seed to advance this year past regional, and 17th since current format began in 1999. ... Southern Miss has hit .323 with 15 HRs and 52 RBIs. ... McInnis was first Southern Miss player to win major Conference USA award after being selected pitcher of year. ... Golden Eagles have turned 80 double plays, which leads country heading into CWS. ... SS Brian Dozier, one of team's top players, was lost in April with broken collar bone after playing every game since start of freshman season. Vollmuth, a freshman, has filled in admirably. ... Ewing played his freshman season at Arkansas, and his twin brother, Michael, is a backup outfielder with Golden Eagles.

Quotable: "It's been a great ride. I don't know what happened three weeks ago. We just kind of grew up. We earned everything we got." — Palmer after his team won for 12th time in 15 games to clinch school's first trip to CWS.

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