UC IRVINE ANTEATERS

LSU’s Regional win is in the books and it’s now time to turn attention to the Tigers’ very worthy Super Regional opponent, the California-Irvine Anteaters.

Like I said in yesterday’s post, UC-Irvine is not top-to-bottom as talented as LSU, but in a three game series, they can pose major problems to LSU because of a very solid pitching staff.

As a team, the Anteaters have a 2.88 ERA. And if you’re one of those who likes to play the “They didn’t play anybody” game, the Anteaters made it to the College World Series this past season with many of these same guys throwing the balls and strikes.

As a team, eight UC-Irvine pitchers have ERA’s below 3.25, a mark that I am sure is close to leading the nation.

This team is also no strangers to Louisiana, having played a three-game series in New Orleans against Tulane in March, winning two of three ballgames, while limiting the Green Wave to just six runs combined in the three-game set.

As a staff, the Anteaters have held their opponents to three or less runs in 30 of the team’s 57 games.

The horse of the Anteaters’ staff is junior right-hander Scott Gorgen, who is 11-3 with a 2.31 ERA in more than 100 innings pitched.

Sophomore Eric Pettis has anchored the UC-Irvine bullpen throughout the season, recording 17 saves with a 1.65 ERA in 43.2 innings.

The weekend rotation is not set in stone and a lot of things can change, but I suspect UC-Irvine will throw these three guys this weekend in Baton Rouge (I’m sure the order will probably be wrong)

Friday: Jr. RHP Scott Gorgen (11-3 2.31 ERA)

Saturday: Soph. RHP Bryce Stowell (8-2 2.77 ERA)

Sunday: Soph. LHP Daniel Bibona (9-3 3.03 ERA)

So as you can see, there is not a lot of breathing room and the Tigers bats will need to be crackin’ if the team wants a shot to win this series, but as we have seen the past few weeks, this LSU team can defeat anyone in the nation.

NBA FINALS PREVIEW:

So far, we have broken down the PG’s and SG’s in the Finals, so today, I will take a peek at the SF’s.

Lakers: Lamar Odom

14.2 pts, 10.6 rebs and 3.5 assists per game

Celtics: Paul Pierce

19.6 pts, 5.1 rebs and 4.5 assists per game

Lamar Odom is a legit third option and has weaved the Lakers through several tough spots throughout the season, but the Celtics get their first “win” in this matchup. Paul Pierce has had a “mini-Kobe” season, in that he did not know if he would be a Celtic 12 months ago, but despite the off-the-court issues, Pierce has thrived in his 10th season in Boston, especially in the playoffs where he took everything LeBron James dished his way and delivered a 12th round knockout blow to King James.

Odom will cause problems to the Celtics, because Boston may not have a defender other than Kevin Garnett who can match his wirey frame, but at the same time, the Lakers may not have anyone other than Bryant who will be able to defend Pierce’s slashing ability.

For the Lakers to win the series, they will need 15 pts and 8 rebounds a game from Odom, but for the Celtics to win, they will need superstar numbers from their captain.

Big Advantage: Celtics

Tomorrow, I will break down the Power forward matchup in this series, while breaking down the UC-Irvine hitters, while taking a look at some of the Super Regional matchups.

Happy Monday,

Casey

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