For only the third time in school history, and the first as an at-large bid, the William and Mary Tribe have made the NCAA baseball tournament, despite a lackluster showing in last weekend's CAASe7en tourney (went 2-2, losing to academic bastion Towson in the championship round). The Tribe take the field today at 2pm as the #3 seed in The Raleigh Regional, facing #2 seed Ole Miss. You know what they say, throw our the records when these two get together (no one in their right mind says this). Also in this regional: top-seed NC State and soon-to-be-CAA member Binghamton (I think. conference realignment scares and frightens me. much like an elliptical machine). Regional play is double-elimination, with the pod winner advancing to the Super-Regional. For the hell of it, here's who the Tribe will face after they win the pod (FUTILE SUPERFANS UNITE):
Fun fact: William and Mary has ZERO wins in the NCAA baseball tourney. ZERO. I even checked with twitter to confirm what I think I thought I already knew (I sound like FUPA Peter King now). But hey, unlike the Burg hardcourt denizens, at least these guys have made the dance...
The Pantsless Griffins have made the NCAA tourney two times prior to the 2013 at-large selection, in 2001 as CAA champions and in 1983 as ECAC South champs (now you're just making up conferences). In 2001, Clemson and South Alabama took down the Tribesters. In '83, North Carolina destroyed W&M 11-0 in the first game and then the Tribe lost 13-8 to the scholars of JMU.
Quick aside: You might have heard the (god awful) mascot for William and Mary is a Griffin, a Griffin who lacks a particular piece of clothing. Well, today I learned there is an actual f'ing website called "Dress The Griffin". Seriously. It even has an app. Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?
|Killer chain, bro|
|Please keep the mythological Greek creature away from the children.|
Game preview: Oh, right, the actual contest at hand. W&M enters the game with a record of 37-22, one victory shy of the school record for wins (their 17 CAA victories did set a record). Ole Miss, after beginning the season 19-1, also enters the game with a 37-22 mark. At their highwater mark this season, the Rebels were ranked No. 6 in the nation.
The Tribe will send sophomore Jason Inghram (8-6, 3.46 ERA) to the mound this afternoon, opposed by Ole Miss junior Mike Mayers (5-5, 2.98 ERA). W&M star pitcher John Farrell, a 1st team all-CAA performer, is the likely regional Game 2 starter. I think rob delved a bit into Farrell's outstanding season in a previous post, but since I don't read anything on here, I'll add a few nuggets on the best pitcher the Burg has seen since before WWII. Farrell was 11-2 on the year, with a 2.80 ERA and 86 strikeouts against just 13 walks. The kid is a neuroscience major, and three grafs into this profile of Farrell we get a Marcus Aurelius name drop. Stoicism, for the win.
Moving on...at the dish, the non-pants-wearing Griffins are led by 1B Michael Katz, who is hitting .365 with 5 HRs and 47 RBI entering Friday's action. His plate work is complemented by 2B Ryan Lindemuth, who has a nearly identical offensive line (.363, 4 HR, 47 RBI). As a team, the Tribe hit .296 on the year with 17 home runs, 330 runs batted in and 367 runs scored.
Not to be ignored, Ole Miss has a hitting superstar as well, catcher Stuart Turner. The junior backstop is hitting .381 with five dingers, 44 runs scored and 50 RBI. On Thursday Turner was named to the Collegiate Baseball's All-American team.
TJ, how do I follow along with the action, you may (not) be asking? Hunker down in your cube with TribeAthletics.com (@TribeAthletics) open in your non-porn browser window for live stats and audio, provided by Wes Kempton and new FOG:TB Kris Sears (@kasear). It seems ESPN3 will also be streaming action from all 16 regionals this season, so hit that up if you get it.
Important youtube clip inclusion:
|Are you pointing to the sky? Are you #1? Or do you just want everyone to watch the Lloyd Christmas clip again?|
For more details on today's matchup, and the squad in general, be sure to check out this legitimate game preview, not the schlock I provided above.
Full NCAA tourney bracket can be found here.