Four Mallards move closer to the College World Series!
Madison, WI – June 4, 2008. Four Mallards players find themselves one series victory away from college baseball’s pinnacle – the College World Series. RHP Nolan Cain (LSU), INF Drew Martin (NC State), INF Alan Ahmady and OF Trent Soares (both Fresno State) will be playing in Super Regionals this weekend.
Each of these teams won their four-team regional last week to advance to the second round.
LSU (46-16-1) was given the number seven national seed in the postseason and rolled through their regional, defeating Texas Southern 12-1 and Southern Miss twice (13-4 and 11-4). The Tigers are ranked #5 in the nation in the latest Baseball America poll. They will host UC-Irvine in the Super Regional beginning Saturday at 5:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPNU. The second game of the series will be Sunday at 3:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPN, and the two teams will play the deciding game if necessary on Monday at 6:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPN 2 to see who advances to the College World Series in Omaha. Entering the Super Regional the Tigers have won 23 straight games, dating back to April 22.
Nolan Cain, RHP, Jr., LSU – Two years removed from Tommy John Surgery, Cain rebounded nicely in 2007, pitching in a team-high 24 games with a 3.00 ERA and one save. All appearances were made in relief, with his longest outing coming against Tennessee on April 29 where he threw 2.1 scoreless innings. In 2008 Cain has pitched 18 innings, allowing just five earned runs for a 2.50 ERA. Opposing batters managed just a .164 batting average against the righty.
Cain in the Baton Rouge Regional: did not pitch
NC State (40-20) was the #1 seed in their regional and hosted South Carolina, Charlotte and James Madison. The Wolfpack beat James Madison 6-2, and then South Carolina two times (5-4 and 2-1). They will be traveling to Athens, GA to face the Georgia Bulldogs in the Super Regional starting Friday at 11:00 a.m. (CT) on ESPN, with game two slated for Saturday at 11:00 a.m. (CT) on ESPN 2. Should the series need a third game, it will be played on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. The Wolfpack jumped 10 spots in this week’s Baseball America poll, checking in at number 15.
Drew Martin, INF, Jr., North Carolina State – Martin has been a mainstay at the hot corner for the Wolfpack in 2008, batting mainly in the eight- or nine-spot. He showed his defensive prowess at the position in 2007 when he made only 9 errors all season, and 2008 has been more of the same defensively for Martin. Although this will be his first season with the Mallards Martin is no stranger to the Northwoods League, having played in 55 games for Thunder Bay in 2006. Entering the Super Regional Martin has played in 59 games (50 starts) and is hitting .250 with 3 home runs and 28 RBIs.
Martin in the Raleigh Regional: He played in all three games and hit a home run in the regional opener against James Madison.
Fresno State (40-28) is the Cinderella story of this year’s postseason. The Bulldogs became the first #4 seed to win a regional, and they did so with a win over host Long Beach State in the first game (7-3), and two wins in three games against San Diego (W 6-0, L 1-15, W 5-1). Each of the other three teams in the regional was ranked in the top 17, with Long Beach State checking in at #11 and San Diego at #6. After the regional win, Fresno State finds itself at #17 in this week’s poll. The Bulldogs will hope to score a couple more upsets, as they travel to #3 national seed Arizona State for the Super Regional. The first game will be Saturday at 8:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPN U, game two is Sunday at 9:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPN 2 and game three will be Monday at 6:00 p.m. (CT) on ESPN 2 (if necessary).
Alan Ahmady, INF, So., Fresno State – Ahmady was named to the National All-Star Lineup by the College Baseball Foundation for the week ending April 1 after hitting .583 with three home runs and 14 RBIs, which helped the Bulldogs to a 5-1 mark. He also hit six doubles and crossed the plate eight times. He enters the regional leading the Bulldogs in batting average (.388), RBIs (81), OBP (.468 and slugging percentage (.600). His batting average is good for third in the conference, and his RBI total leads the league.
Ahmady in the Long Beach Regional: 4 GP, .250 (3-12), 2 runs scored, 2 RBI
Trent Soares, OF, Fr., Fresno State – Soares has proven to be a valuable contributor for the Bulldogs in his freshman season in 2008, appearing in all but a few of the team’s games and making starts in key situations. He started in center field in the season opener for the Bulldogs and walked and scored one of the team’s two runs. He also was the designated hitter in the WAC opener against Hawaii. On March 26 Soares started against Cal Poly and went 3-for-5 with his first career home run and four RBIs. He appeared in 54 games for the Bulldogs in 2008 entering the Super Regional, hitting .198 and stealing 6 bases in 9 attempts.
Soares in the Long Beach Regional: 2 pinch-hit appearances (0-2), 1 RBI
The Mallards return home this Friday, June 6 for a tilt versus the La Crosse Loggers at 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. It’s Dejope “A Little Vegas Right Here in Madison” Night, featuring an appearance by The King! Also, the first 1,000 kids 14 & under will receive a Mallards Rubber Ducky courtesy of Luxury Bath Systems in Middleton.