OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Here's a capsule look at the eight teams -- including Rice -- competing in the College World Series, which starts Friday at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. (coaches' records at current schools through super regionals):
OREGON STATE (44-18) CWS Seed: -- 1. Coach: -- Pat Casey (435-271-4, 13th season). Road To Omaha: -- Won Charlottesville Regional: beat Rutgers 5-1; lost to Virginia 7-4 in 13 innings; beat Rutgers 5-2; beat Virginia 5-3; beat Virginia 7-3. Won Corvallis Super Regional: beat Michigan 1-0; beat Michigan 8-2. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 1-3 (vs. Arizona State). Last CWS appearance: -- 2006. All-time record in CWS: -- 6-6 (three appearances). Meet The Beavers: -- C Mitch Canham (.319, 9, 54), 1B Jordan Lennerton (.321, 7, 47), 2B Joey Wong (.280, 16 RBIs), SS Darwin Barney (.298, 4, 51), 3B Lonnie Lechelt (.228, 2, 10), LF Mike Lissman (.319, 8, 56), CF Chris Hopkins (.256, 2, 25), RF John Wallace (.271, 1, 23) or Scott Santschi (.261, 8 RBIs), DH Jason Ogata (.286, 4, 40). Starting Pitchers: RHP Mike Stutes (10-4, 3.93), RHP Daniel Turpen (9-1, 3.65), LHP Joe Paterson (10-6, 3.77). Relievers: RHP Eddie Kunz (3-1, 3.05, 10 saves), RHP Mark Grbavac (0-1, 2.36, 3 saves), LHP Anton Maxwell (3-1, 2.42), RHP Jorge Reyes (5-3, 3.13). All-Star Alumni: -- Ken Forsch, Steve Lyons, Ed Coleman, Wes Schulmerich. Short Hops: -- Despite losing two key starting pitchers, closer and several starters from last year's lineup, Beavers looking to join Texas (1949-50), Southern California (1970-74), Stanford (1987-88) and LSU (1996-97) as only consecutive winners. ... Became first truly Northern-based school to win CWS since Ohio State in 1966. ... Opened season - first game since winning title - with combined no-hitter vs. Hawaii-Hilo. ... Beavers are 37-0 when leading after seven innings. ... Turpen and Paterson were teammates in high school, college and were both drafted by San Francisco last week: Turpen in eighth round, Paterson in 10th. ... Kunz was a sandwich pick of New York Mets, taken 42nd overall, while Canham was selected by San Diego 15 picks later. ... Barney has 231 career hits, five shy of Jacoby Ellsbury's school record. Quotable: -- "I can't stop smiling. It means just as much as it did in the other years. This is the ultimate accomplishment you want to achieve as a college baseball player." - Barney, after the Beavers advanced to the CWS for the third straight year.
RICE (54-12) CWS Seed: -- 2. Coach: -- Wayne Graham (738-282, 16th season). Road To Omaha: -- Won Houston Regional: beat Prairie View 5-0; beat TCU 6-3; beat TCU 3-1. Won Houston Super Regional: beat Texas A&M 3-2 in 10 innings; beat Texas A&M 5-2. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 1-2 (vs. Cal State Fullerton). Last CWS appearance: -- 2006. All-time record in CWS: -- 8-9 (five appearances). Meet The Owls: -- C Danny Lehmann (.305, 4, 36), 1B-LHP Joe Savery (.360, 5, 57/10-1, 2.78), 2B Aaron Luna (.315, 11, 61), SS Brian Friday (.342, 3, 28), 3B Diego Seastrunk (.303, 1, 37), LF Jordan Dodson (.302, 8, 51), CF Tyler Henley (.308, 6, 30), RF Jared Gayheart (.338, 4, 40), DH Jess Buenger (.307, 7, 43). Starting Pitchers: Savery, RHP Ryan Berry (11-2, 2.71), RHP Chris Kelley (3-3, 3.28), RHP Matt Langwell (8-1, 1.70). Relievers: LHP Cole St. Clair (0-0, 2.49, 8 saves), RHP Ryne Tacker (9-1, 3.01, 3 saves), LHP Bobby Bramhall (6-2, 1.85, 6 saves), RHP Scott Lonergan (4-0, 3.21). All-Star Alumni: -- David Aardsma, Matt Anderson, Lance Berkman, Norm Charlton, Bubba Crosby, Jose Cruz Jr., Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann. Short Hops: -- Owls return to Omaha for second straight year and fourth time in six years. ... Owls won title in 2003, the school's first NCAA team title in any sport. ... Ranked No. 1 in every major national poll entering CWS. ... Have won 35 of past 37 games, including past seven. ... Entered last year's CWS as heavy favorite to win title, but failed to score in CWS-record 23 consecutive innings - including two straight shutouts against eventual champion Oregon State. ... Savery, first-round pick of Philadelphia, was Conference USA player of year and Dick Howser Trophy finalist after splitting time on mound and first base. ... Tacker made it back from season-ending injury last year to become C-USA pitcher of year, but has experienced elbow soreness since conference tournament. ... St. Clair, one of nation's top closers, missed first two months with shoulder injury but recovered nicely. Quotable: -- "I think we all understand that winning a super regional against a great team like A&M is huge, but ultimately we all want rings that say 'National Champions.' There is something more than just winning a super regional. We want a national championship." - Henley, following the Owls' CWS-clinching victory over Texas A&M.
NORTH CAROLINA (53-13) CWS Seed: -- 3. Coach: -- Mike Fox (394-173-1, ninth season). Road To Omaha: -- Won Chapel Hill Regional: beat Jacksonville 6-0; beat East Carolina 11-10; beat Western Carolina 6-5. Won Chapel Hill Super Regional: beat South Carolina 9-6; lost to South Carolina 8-6; beat South Carolina 9-4. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 0-0. Last CWS appearance: -- 2006. All-time record in CWS: -- 6-10 (five appearances). Meet The Tar Heels: -- C-RHP Tim Federowicz (.357, 4, 64/2-2, 4.05, 3 saves), 1B Dustin Ackley (.416, 7, 66), 2B Garrett Gore (.333, 2, 26), SS Josh Horton (.331, 8, 50), 3B Chad Flack (.251, 7, 44), LF Reid Fronk (.327, 11, 54), CF Seth Williams (.301, 8, 40), RF Tim Fedroff (.344, 4, 36), DH Kyle Seager (.311, 2, 28). Starting Pitchers: RHP Robert Woodard (10-2, 3.01), RHP Alex White (6-5, 4.22), RHP Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.74), RHP Adam Warren (10-0, 2.09). Relievers: RHP Andrew Carignan (2-1, 1.36, 15 saves), RHP Rob Wooten (6-1, 2.15), RHP Matt Danford (5-0, 2.83, 1 save). All-Star Alumni: -- Russ Adams, Scott Bankhead, Scott Bradley, Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, Paul Shuey, George "Snuffy" Stirnweiss, B.J. Surhoff, Walt Weiss, Andrew Miller. Short Hops: -- Last year's CWS runner-up are first Atlantic Coast Conference team to make consecutive trips to Omaha since Florida State in 1999 and 2000. ... One win from tying last year's team record for wins. ... Flack hit go-ahead two-run HR vs. South Carolina in super regional clincher - a year to the day he hit winner in Tar Heels' super regional clincher at Alabama. ... Fox is one of 10 to play in and coach in CWS, and one of only six to coach alma maters to Omaha. Was 2B on Tar Heels' 1978 CWS team. ... Pitching staff has been solid despite losing two aces - Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard - from last year's team. ... Woodard is Tar Heels' career leader with 33 victories. ... Ackley was selected as Collegiate Baseball's national freshman of year. ... Tar Heels are 45-1 when leading after seven, and 50-1 when ahead after eight. Quotable: -- "We just wanted another chance. I've been telling guys that I'm just trying to get back to that 'Promised Land'. That's Omaha to us and now that we have that opportunity, I think we're going to relax and enjoy it and give everybody out there our best shot for sure." - Fronk after the Tar Heels clinched a return trip to the CWS.
UC IRVINE (45-15-1) CWS Seed: -- 4. Coach: -- Dave Serrano (112-64-1, third season). Road To Omaha: -- Won Round Rock Regional: beat Wake Forest 13-0; beat Texas 3-1; beat Texas 9-6. Won Wichita Super Regional: beat Wichita State 1-0; beat Wichita State 3-2. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 2-1 (vs. Cal State Fullerton). Last CWS appearance: -- First appearance. All-time record in CWS: -- First appearance. Meet The Anteaters: -- C Aaron Lowenstein (.303, 20 RBIs), 1B Taylor Holiday (.353, 4, 41), 2B Cody Cipriano (.338, 12, 57), SS Ben Orloff (.341, 32 RBIs), 3B Tyler Vaughn (.324, 1, 36), LF Matt Morris (.336, 6, 52), CF Ollie Linton (.356, 18 RBIs), RF Bryan Peterson (.308, 5, 35, 27 SBs). Starting Pitchers: RHP Wes Etheridge (12-4, 2.49), RHP Scott Gorgen (12-2, 2.68). Relievers: RHP Blair Erickson (0-0, 2.95, 13 saves), RHP Dylan Axelrod (5-4, 4.13, 4 saves), LHP Tom Callahan (2-0, 1.50), RHP Eric Pettis (4-0, 4.36), RHP Cory Hamilton (4-1, 2.25). All-Star Alumni: -- Brady Anderson, Doug Linton. Short Hops: -- Anteaters making first CWS appearance in sixth year back in Division I. Program was cut after 1992 season because of statewide budget cuts in California, but was resurrected when students voted seven years later in favor of increasing school activity fees to fund baseball and other athletic programs that were cut. ... Before coming to UC Irvine, Serrano spent eight years as Cal State Fullerton's pitching coach under George Horton. He helped 2004 team win CWS with Chad Cordero and Jason Windsor. Also helped Tennessee reach CWS in 1995, mentoring pitching staff that included Todd Helton and R.A. Dickey. ... Erickson is NCAA's career leader in saves with 53. ... Holiday is program's single-season leader with 24 doubles, and enters CWS with 22-game hitting streak. ... Gorgen didn't start pitching until senior year of high school, spending first three years as catcher. Quotable: -- "This unbelievable group of young men is now going to take the next step and take a trip to Omaha. I really need to wake up from this dream, but I'm not ready to stop dreaming." - Serrano after the Anteaters advanced to the CWS for the first time.
ARIZONA STATE (48-13) CWS Seed: -- 5. Coach: -- Pat Murphy (528-255-1, 13th season). Road To Omaha: -- Won Tempe Regional: beat Monmouth, N.J., 5-3; beat UC Riverside 9-2; beat Nebraska 19-7. Won Tempe Super Regional: beat Mississippi 4-3; beat Mississippi 7-1. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 3-1 (vs. Oregon State). Last CWS appearance: -- 2005. All-time record in CWS: -- 58-32 (19 appearances). Meet The Sun Devils: -- C Petey Paramore (.379, 5, 50), 1B Brett Wallace (.423, 16, 78), 2B Eric Sogard (.394, 11, 58), SS Andrew Romine (.300, 39 RBIs), 3B CJ Retherford (.333, 3, 22) or Matt Hall (.313, 4, 24), LF Tim Smith (.345, 3, 27), CF-LHP Matt Spencer (.378, 8, 48/1-0, 4.35, 1 save), RF Ike Davis (.346, 7, 59), DH Kiel Roling (.373, 15, 63). Starting Pitchers: LHP Josh Satow (13-3, 2.41), RHP Mike Leake (13-1, 3.59), LHP Brian Flores (11-1, 3.74). Relievers: RHP Jason Jarvis (1-2, 3.67, 11 saves), LHP Joey Parigi (3-1, 6.57, 2 saves), RHP Scott Mueller (1-0, 3.07). All-Star Alumni: -- Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Bob Horner, Floyd Bannister, Hubie Brooks, Sal Bando, Rick Monday, Paul Lo Duca, Oddibe McDowell, Alvin Davis, Gary Gentry, Craig Swan, Fernando Vina, Dustin Pedroia. Short Hops: -- Sun Devils returning to Omaha for second time in three years - and third time under Murphy. ... Roling, Smith, Spencer and Flores were all key transfers. ... Wallace led Pac-10 in Triple Crown categories during regular season en route to being named conference player of year. Also was one of first 11 players selected for USA National Team. ... Sogard was Pac-10 defensive player of year. ... Leake tied for second in school history among freshmen with 13 wins. Only Kendall Carter had more with 19 in 1981. ... Jarvis set freshman record for saves, despite not being declared eligible to participate until Pac-10 play began in late March. ... Romine is son of former Sun Devils star and major leaguer Kevin Romine. ... Sophomore OF Mike Jones is also WR on football team. Quotable: -- "I don't think this has hit me yet. It's been my dream my whole life and to do it for the team that I've wanted to play for my whole life is just amazing." - Retherford after the Sun Devils clinched a CWS berth.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (38-20) CWS Seed: -- 6. Coach: -- Ron Polk (1,116-555-2, 28th season). Road To Omaha: -- Won Tallahassee Regional: beat Stetson 6-3; beat Florida State 3-0; beat Florida State 9-4. Won Starkville Super Regional: beat Clemson 8-6; beat Clemson 8-5. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 0-0. Last CWS appearance: -- 1998. All-time record in CWS: -- 7-14 (seven appearances). Meet The Bulldogs: -- C Edward Easley (.363, 12, 63), 1B Brian LaNinfa (.300, 5, 43), 2B Brandon Turner (.397, 2, 44), SS Jet Butler (.253, 2, 12), 3B Russ Sneed (.304, 1, 7), LF Jeffrey McCaskill (.320, 1, 23), CF Jeffrey Rea (.338, 1, 22), RF-LHP Mitch Moreland (.338, 9, 60/3-0, 3.20), DH Connor Powers (.306, 8, 36). Starting Pitchers: LHP LHP Justin Pigott (7-6, 4.40), RHP Josh Johnson (3-3, 6.21), LHP Tyler Whitney (5-1. 5.89), RHP Chad Crosswhite (8-4, 4.24). Relievers: Moreland, RHP Ricky Bowen (5-2, 3.21, 5 saves), RHP Aaron Weatherford (3-2, 3.20, 5 saves), RHP John Lalor (3-1, 3.83, 3 saves). All-Star Alumni: -- Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Bobby Thigpen, Jonathan Papelbon, Jeff Brantley, Matt Ginter, Jay Powell, Paul Maholm, Buddy Myer, Hughie Critz. Short Hops: -- Polk returns to Omaha for first time since leading Georgia to CWS in 2001. It's Polk's eighth trip: one each with Georgia and Georgia Southern and six with Mississippi State. ... Polk retired as Bulldogs coach following 1997 season, resumed career at Georgia in 2000 and returned to Mississippi State in 2002. ... Rea is school's career leader in hits with 331. ... Turner bidding to become only 10th player in school history and first Bulldogs rookie to hit .400 in a season. ... Moreland is third on school's single-season doubles list with 25. ... Easley is finalist for Johnny Bench Award, given to best catcher in college baseball. Quotable: -- "I just want to make sure these guys know that we aren't done yet and that we're prepared to compete for a national championship. I have a lot of confidence in our coaching staff and it's just a matter of staying healthy." - Polk, who has taken the Bulldogs to the CWS six times and been to Omaha eight times in his 34-year coaching career.
LOUISVILLE (46-22) CWS Seed: -- 7. Coach: -- Dan McDonnell (46-22, first season). Road To Omaha: -- Won Columbia, Mo., Regional: beat Miami 13-7; lost to Missouri 7-5; beat Miami 8-7; beat Missouri 4-3; beat Missouri 16-6. Won Louisville Super Regional: beat Oklahoma State 9-0; lost to Oklahoma State 3-2; beat Oklahoma State 20-2. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 0-0. Last CWS appearance: -- First appearance. All-time record in CWS: -- First appearance. Meet The Cardinals: -- C Derrick Alfonso (.278, 5, 31), 1B Daniel Burton (.309, 7, 54), 2B Logan Johnson (.364, 13, 59), SS Chris Cates (.294, 21 RBIs), 3B Chris Dominguez (.262, 12, 55), LF Isaiah Howes (.392, 18, 67), CF Boomer Whiting (.367, 1, 25, 73 SBs), RF Pete Rodriguez (.292, 2, 24), DH Jorge Castillo (.307, 7, 61). Starting Pitchers: RHP Zack Pitts (10-3, 2.23), LHP Justin Marks (8-2, 2.54), RHP Colby Wark (3-3, 3.63), RHP James Belanger (1-4, 3.94). Relievers: RHP Trystan Magnuson (3-2, 1.09, 9 saves), LHP Gavin Logsdon (2-0, 1.74), RHP Kyle Hollander (4-1, 2.30, 2 saves), LHP Skylar Meade (9-4, 4.47). All-Star Alumni: -- Two major leaguers: pitcher Sean Green (Seattle, active) and outfielder Fred Koster (Philadelphia, 1931). Short Hops: -- Cardinals have made impressive run under first-year coach McDonnell in just second NCAA tournament appearance, and first since 2002. ... Pitts was selected Big East pitcher of year while working school-record 117 innings and limiting opponents to .217 average. His 3.40 career ERA is third-lowest in school history. ... Pitching staff has posted 3.02 team ERA, lowest since 1958 squad posted 2.17 mark in just 21 games. The 496 Ks is also a school record, surpassing the 420 in 1999. ... Magnuson's career 3.04 ERA is lowest in school history. ... Cardinals have lopsided left side of infield with Cates, who's smallest player in Division I at 5-foot-3, and Dominguez, who's 6-4. ... Cates has started 230 consecutive games and missed just one game in career. He had school-record 17 sacrifice bunts, and has 52 career sacrifices - also Cardinals record and third in NCAA history. ... Whiting leads nation in stolen bases, and is school's career leader with 92. Quotable: -- "I've always said you can't back your way into Omaha and we definitely went through the front door. And I've had some people tell me we knocked the front door down to get in." - McDonnell, after Louisville clinched its first CWS berth.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (38-23) CWS Seed: -- 8. Coach: -- George Horton (490-210-1, 11th season). Road To Omaha: -- Won San Diego Regional: beat Minnesota 7-1; beat Fresno State 6-4; beat Fresno State 13-2. Won Fullerton Super Regional: beat UCLA 12-2; beat UCLA 2-1. 2007 record vs. CWS teams: -- 3-3 (1-2 vs. UC Irvine, 2-1 vs. Rice). Last CWS appearance: -- 2006. All-time record in CWS: -- 34-23 (14 appearances). Meet The Titans: -- C John Curtis (.284, 6, 45), 1B Matt Wallach (.254, 4, 26), 2B Corey Jones (.241, 2, 23), SS Joe Scott (.240, 24 RBIs), 3B Evan McArthur (.253, 4, 31), LF Josh Fellhauer (.320, 3, 28), CF Clark Hardman (.391, 5, 47), RF Nick Mahin (.287, 9, 45), DH Chris Jones (.281, 1, 33). Starting Pitchers: RHP Wes Roemer (11-6, 3.24), RHP Jeff Kaplan (11-3, 3.16), RHP Sean Urena (3-3, 4.50). Relievers: RHP Adam Jorgenson (4-2, 4.40, 8 saves), RHP Justin Klipp (2-0, 2.15, 1 save), RHP Nolan Bruyninckx (0-2, 2.55, 1 save), RHP Bryan Harris (2-2, 2.89, 3 saves), LHP Dustin Birosak (0-0, 2.89, 2 saves). All-Star Alumni: -- Chad Cordero, Brandon Duckworth, Jeremy Giambi, Mike Harkey, Mark Kotsay, Mike Lamb, Brent Mayne, Phil Nevin, Aaron Rowand, Kirk Saarloos, Tim Wallach. Short Hops: -- Titans making fourth appearance in CWS in five years, and sixth in nine seasons. ... Horton also made it to Omaha in 1975 as player and three times (1992, 1994-95) as associate head coach for then-Titans coach Augie Garrido. ... Curtis and McArthur are two of only six Titans players to make three CWS appearances. Harris also in Omaha for third time, but made first trip in 2005 with LSU. ... Team's .623 winning percentage is lowest for Titans squad arriving in Omaha. ... Lost 11 of last 17 regular-season games and were on tournament bubble after finishing fifth in Big West. Titans have gone unbeaten in regionals and super regionals since. ... Roemer, sandwich-round pick of Arizona, is among career leaders in number of pitching categories, and is six Ks shy of Adam Johnson's record (335). ... Wallach, son of former Titans star and major leaguer Tim Wallach, hit winning single to clinch CWS berth against UCLA. Quotable: -- "A lot of people questioned whether we should be in the thing and now we are one of eight playing for a national championship. We're real excited about the opportunity to go to Nebraska one more time. We have a way of making it back there." - Horton, after the Titans won the super regional vs. UCLA.
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