Super Regional Preview: No. 8 Stanford hosts Texas, seeks third straight trip to MCWS
Stanford once again ran through the losers’ bracket to get out of the Stanford Regional and now hosts its second consecutive Super Regional needing two wins against Texas to punch its ticket to Omaha for a third straight season. To make things even sweeter, clinching a spot in the Men’s College World Series over the Longhorns would also secure the Director’s Cup for Stanford.
Let’s take a look at how the Cardinal can get it done.
Texas (41-20) at No. 8 Stanford (42-17) — Stanford Super Regional
How they got here: Stanford staved off elimination by taking down Texas A&M and now welcomes another team from the Lone Star State. Texas comes in after winning the Coral Gables Regional by beating Louisiana and No. 9 Miami twice.
In the batter's box…
There might not be a hotter hitter on the planet than Tommy Troy right now. The Pac-12 batting leader put up ridiculous numbers to earn the Stanford Regional MVP. The Stanford third baseman had 12 hits, three home runs and drove in 11 runs to propel the Cardinal into the Super Regional.
Troy is only a part of the Cardinal’s power offense. Stanford has hit 113 home runs, the 11th-most in the country. Troy has 17 blasts, one short of Pac-12 Player of the Year Alberto Rios’ team-leading 18 home runs. Braden Montgomery also has 17 home runs and three other Stanford hitters have double-digit dingers as well.
Stanford’s 133 doubles ranked 20th in the nation. Rios, Carter Graham, Eddie Park and Malcolm Moore all have at least 18 two-baggers this season.
If anyone can challenge Troy for the hottest bat in the country, it might be Texas’ Dylan Campbell. The outfielder enters the Super Regional on a Big 12-record 38-game hitting streak. Unsurprisingly, Campbell leads the Longhorns in batting average (.345). He has also hit for 18 doubles, three triples and 13 home runs while stealing 25 bases.
The Longhorns don’t hit as many home runs as the Cardinal, but do hit a good amount of doubles. Campbell and Garret Guillemette lead the team with 18, while five others have hit for at least 10. Eric Kennedy has the most home runs on the team with 16.
Stanford’s top hitters
- 3B Tommy Troy - .410 BA, 1.227 OPS, 16 2B, 4 3B, 17 HR, 57 RBI, 72 R, 17 SB
- LF Alberto Rios - .392 BA, 1.226 OPS, 21 2B, 18 HR, 71 RBI
- UTL Braden Montgomery - .329 BA, 1.078 OPS, 13 2B, 17 HR, 58 RBI
Texas’ top hitters
- RF Dylan Campbell - .345 BA, 1.058 OPS, 18 2B, 3 3B, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 65 R, 25 SB
- 3B Peyton Powell - .341 BA, .993 OPS, 15 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 45 RBI
- CF Eric Kennedy - .293 BA, .941 OPS, 13 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 45 RBI
On the mound…
It was all hands on deck for the Cardinal pitching staff during the Stanford Regional. But the discussion starts with Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Quinn Mathews. After the lefty started the first game of the regional, Mathews was called upon again in the win-or-go-home game against the Aggies. He tossed four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to help secure the win.
Matt Scott did an admirable job as well, starting back-to-back games in the regional. The right-handed freshman has done a solid job all season for Stanford. The Cardinal also uses Drew Dowd out of the bullpen a lot with 28 appearances this season. The backend is led by Brandt Pancer and Ryan Bruno. Bruno, a hard-throwing lefty, has nine saves this season and only allowed one run in his last five appearances.
Texas, meanwhile, has the 10th-best ERA in the nation (4.07) and has a dynamic duo that spearheads its rotation. Lucas Gordon and Lebarron Johnson Jr. both have sub 2.75 ERAs in 80-plus innings this season. Johnson Jr. is coming off a complete game with eight strikeouts against the Hurricanes.
The Longhorns use Charlie Hurley in a plethora of different roles from the bullpen and often sees a lot of action in the third game of a series as Texas pitches by committee behind Gordon and Johnson Jr. Zane Morehouse is the team’s closer with six saves this season.
Stanford projected starters
- LHP Quinn Mathews (9-4, 3.65 ERA)
- RHP Joey Dixon (6-0, 4.99 ERA)
- RHP Matt Scott (5-3, 4.87 ERA)
Stanford key relievers
- RHP Brandt Pancer (3-1, 5 SV, 4.64 ERA)
- RHP Ryan Bruno (2-1, 9 SV, 4.68 ERA)
Texas projected starters
- LHP Lucas Gordon (7-1, 2.45 ERA)
- RHP Lebarron Johnson Jr. (8-3, 2.62 ERA)
- RHP Tanner Wilt (2-1, 9.31 ERA)
Texas key relievers
- RHP Charlie Hurley (5-0, 4.19 ERA)
- RHP Zane Morehouse (4-3, 5.40 ERA)
How Stanford can reach the Men’s College World Series: Winning the game that Mathews starts will be key for the Cardinal. The likelihood is that he’ll give the team the best start and as long as the offense stays to standard, it’ll result in a win. That said, the bats have to stay hot against a team with one of the best ERAs in the nation.
How to watch
- Saturday, 3 p.m. PT, ESPN2
- Sunday, TBD, TBD
- Monday (if necessary), TBD, TBD