Southern players comer together before facing Tulane in a game March 9 at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans.


RECORD: 42-15

COACH: David Pierce (5th year)

NCAA APPEARANCES: 57 (36 CWS, 6 national titles)

AT A GLANCE: In their fifth season under former Tulane coach David Pierce, the Longhorns are winning the old-fashioned way: with pitching. Their team ERA (2.95) ranks second in the nation and their team WHIP (1.15) is fourth. On offense, they rank ninth in the nation in sacrifice bunts and 23rd in sacrifice flies. Texas won the regular-season Big 12 title but bowed out of the conference tournament with a loss to Oklahoma State in the semifinals.

TOP PITCHER: Fr. LHP Pete Hansen (8-1, 1.88 ERA, 76.2 IP, 21 BB, 59 K)

TOP HITTER: So. DH Ivan Melendez (.331, 26 XBH, 11 HRs, 45 RBIs)


RECORD: 32-20

COACH: Tracy Smith (7th year)

NCAA APPEARANCES: 40 (22 CWS, 5 national titles)

AT A GLANCE: A traditional baseball powerhouse, ASU hasn't made a super regional since 2011 and made something of a backward slide this season, finishing in a fifth-place tie in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils come into the regional on a three-game losing streak and a No. 40 RPI ranking. They will need strong weekends from the top of their lineup: Although their team batting average (.287) ranks 50th in the nation, five players are hitting .300 or better.

TOP PITCHER: Jr. LHP Justin Fall (7-2, 3.86 ERA, 74.2 IP, 32 BB, 45 K)

TOP HITTER: Fr. RF Ethan Long (.340, 16 HRs, 53 RBIs, .725 SLG)


RECORD: 37-3

COACH: Bill Currier (10th year)

NCAA APPEARANCES: 1 (0 CWS, 0 national titles)

AT A GLANCE: Fairfield was runner-up in the Metro Atlantic tournament but still received an at-large berth — the first from that conference — mostly because of its No. 2 RPI ranking. But take a closer look, and you understand why it got so high in the first place: The Stags did not play a single out-of-conference game all year, fattening up on teams like Manhattan, Monmouth, St. Peter's and Niagara. It is also why their .305 team batting average and nation-leading 2.75 team ERA are so strong.

TOP PITCHER: Jr. RHP Jake Noviello (8-0, 1.44 ERA, 62.1 IP, 7 BB, 56 K)

TOP HITTER: Sr. C Mike Caruso (. 414, 3 HRs, 28 RBIs, .566 SLG)


RECORD: 20-28

COACH: Chris Crenshaw (1st year)

NCAA APPEARANCES: 14 (0 CWS, 0 national titles)

AT A GLANCE: Southern reached rock bottom April 25 with an 11-1 loss at ULM. It was their seventh in a row. But the Jaguars turned the corner at the right time. They won three of five to close the regular season, then tore through the SWAC tournament — even after losing their second game to Prairie View — and scored the upset of upsets, dropping undefeated Jackson State in the title game. The Jaguars can run (they're one of only 34 teams with 75 or more steals — but to win in Austin, they'll have to hit like they did in their past eight games, when they had a .308 team average.

TOP PITCHER: Jr. RHP Joseph Battaglia (5-4, 5.86 ERA, 55.1 IP, 16 BB, 33 K)

TOP HITTER: Sr. RF Tremaine Spears (.304, 6 HRs, 38 RBIs, .476 SLG)