After a disappointing showing in the Big 12 tournament, it was announced on Sunday that the Cowboys will be the No. 2 seed in the Clemson regional. So how hard exactly will it be for the Pokes to make it out of the Tigers regional? Let’s get to know the three other teams that will be fighting the Pokes for a trip to Omaha.
After a 42-18 season, the ACC champions were selected as one of the 16 hosts and for a good reason. The Tigers come in as winners of nine straight and are extremely dangerous at home. Clemson is 24-7 this season in Death Valley compared to 13-11 on the road.
The Tigers are led offensively by outfielder Seth Beer, whose .372 batting average is top on the team. Beer has started all 58 games this season and is the leader of this Clemson squad. Beer has 16 home runs this season and has knocked home 63 runs. Beer is only a freshman, so we’ll see how he handles postseason college baseball.
The key to beating Clemson is to jump out early. If the Tigers have the lead after six innings, the game is virtually over. Clemson is 30-1 this season heading into the seventh inning with the lead. It’s clear the Tigers are the team to beat in this regional, and the Cowboys will have their hands full for sure.
On Friday at 11 a.m. the Cowboys and Cornhuskers will renew their Big 8/12 rivalry. Nebraska was a half game better than the Cowboys this year, with a record of 37-20. Nebraska is coming off an 0-2 showing in the Big 10 tournament, in which they scored a mere three runs.
Look for Nebraska to start either freshman Matt Waldron or sophomore Jake Meyers on Friday. Waldron was named to the Big 10 All-Freshman Team with a 2.47 ERA and is 4-1 on the year. Meyers is an impressive 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA. I'd expect the lefty Meyers to get the start when the Cowboys and Huskers meet up this Friday.
The Southern Conference Champion is heading to Clemson after a 30-29 season. Western Carolina is heading back to the postseason for the first time since 2007 and will play Clemson in the first round. The Catamounts have already taken on Clemson twice this season, losing two games by a combined three runs.
Western Carolina barely made the field, after a walk-off win over Mercer in the conference championship game.
The winner of Clemson/Western Carolina will take on the winner of Oklahoma State/Nebraska on Saturday at 6 p.m. while the loser of the two games square off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, as well.