Eleven of Detroit’s 40 draft picks were involved in the NCAA Super Regionals over the weekend.
The NCAA Super Regionals concluded on Monday, and the 2019 College World Series field is now set. Play will begin in Omaha on Saturday, two days after the Detroit Tigers take the field at TD Ameritrade Park for a regular season game against the Kansas City Royals .
The Tigers won’t get to stick around to watch the festivities, but a few of their recent draft picks will be involved. Detroit saw three players reach the College World Series with their respective teams, including 33rd round pick Jimmy Kerr and the Michigan Wolverines, as well as eight others that were in action during Super Regional play last weekend. Let’s see how they fared.
Advancing to the College World Series
Univ. of Michigan – 3B Jimmy Kerr, 33rd round
Kerr went 3-for-12 with a run scored in Michigan’s upset over UCLA in last weekend’s super regionals. The senior lefty was a monster during the regional round, however, with three home runs and nine RBI in Michigan’s four-game triumph. He is 8-for-28 with three homers and five walks in the NCAA tournament, and will be a key piece in the lineup against Texas Tech’s right-handed staff on Saturday. Kerr hit .269/.370/.475 with 12 home runs during the regular season.
Texas Tech – RHP John McMillon, 11th round
McMillon picked up a win and a save in Texas Tech’s Super Regional victory over Oklahoma State. He struck out three in a two-inning save in Tech’s 8-6 win to open the regional, then fanned six across 3 2⁄3 innings in relief in the Red Raiders’ Game 3 victory on Sunday. He only pitched once in Tech’s easy path through the Lubbock Regional, striking out five in two scoreless innings. For the year, McMillon racked up 61 strikeouts in just 43 2⁄3 innings with a 3.30 ERA.
Arkansas – SS Jack Kenley, 8th round
The Razorbacks battered Ole Miss pitching in their Super Regional win over the Rebels, and Kenley played a key role. The junior shortstop hit a three-run homer in the series opener, helping Arkansas open up a 4-1 lead that would eventually lead to an 11-2 drubbing. Kenley also reached base in Game 2, but the Razorbacks fell by a 13-5 score. They came back in a big way on Monday, scoring seven runs in the first three innings, but Kenley went hitless in a 14-1 win to clinch Arkansas’ spot in the College World Series . Kenley hit .324/.442/.578 with 13 home runs in the regular season.
Eliminated in Super Regionals
UNC – RHP Austin Bergner, 9th round; RHP Gianluca Dalatri, 40th round
Bergner was effectively wild during his lone appearance in the Super Regionals, with four hits and four walks allowed in 4 1⁄3 scoreless innings against Auburn on Sunday. He was also a key part of North Carolina’s regional win over Tennessee; he racked up eight strikeouts while allowing just two runs to punch UNC’s ticket to the next round. For the year, Bergner struck out 77 hitters in 82 innings, but allowed a 4.94 ERA.
Dalatri did not pitch in the Super Regionals. He finished the year with a 2.25 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 32 innings this season.
UCLA – SS Ryan Kreidler, 4th round
Like most of UCLA’s high-powered offense, Kreidler was held in check by Michigan’s pitching staff last weekend. He collected just two hits, a stolen base, and a single RBI in 13 at-bats as the No. 1 team in the country bowed out of the tournament. Kriedler enjoyed a breakout junior season, with a .300/.370/.502 line and 29 extra-base hits in 63 games.
Ole Miss – C Cooper Johnson, 6th round; 1B Cole Zabowksi, 22nd round
Johnson did his best to keep the Rebels within striking distance in their Super Regional loss against Arkansas, with four hits in 11 at-bats on the weekend. He logged two hits, including a solo home run, in Ole Miss’ 13-5 win in Game 2, and drove in an early run to put Ole Miss up 1-0 before Arkansas’ offense poured it on in the decisive Game 3. He hit .271/.371/.449 with 13 doubles and eight home runs during the regular season. Johnson also threw out 18 of 26 baserunners attempting to steal.
Zabowski was held in check in the Rebels’ two Super Regional losses, with just one hit and a walk in eight plate appearances. He had a huge game in their Game 2 victory, however, with three hits (including a three-run homer) and a pair of runs scored. He hit .318/.375/.517 with 16 doubles and 12 homers in 68 games.
LSU – RHP Zack Hess, 7th round
Hess had a quiet finish to his LSU career with a hit and two walks allowed in his lone Super Regional appearance against Florida State. He also only made one appearance during the regional round, but that one went much better; Hess struck out four and allowed a run in a three-inning win over Southern Miss. He struck out 82 hitters in 70 2⁄3 innings for the year, but allowed a 4.71 ERA.
Oklahoma State – SS Andrew Navigato, 20th round
Navigato went just 1-for-10 in Oklahoma State’s Super Regional loss to Texas Tech, but he still managed to score a couple of runs. He was a bit better during regionals, with three hits and a pair of RBI in 15 at-bats. For the year, Navigato hit .288/.367/.515 with 15 doubles and 12 home runs in 60 games played.
East Carolina – LF Bryant Packard, 5th round
The Pirates were held to just one run in their two Super Regional games against Louisville, so it’s only natural that Packard would have a quiet series. He reached base twice in seven plate appearances, but did not score. He was much better in the regional round, with 10 hits, five RBI, and six runs scored in 20 at-bats. For the year, he hit .358/.444/.550 with 19 doubles and seven home runs.
Done after Regionals
The Tigers had seven more draft picks involved in the regional round of the NCAA tournament, but their respective teams were knocked out before Super Regionals.
Coastal Carolina – SS Scott McKeon, 21st round
Coastal Carolina scored 24 runs in three regional games, but bowed out of the NCAA tournament because their pitching staff couldn’t keep runs off the board. McKeon went 5-for-14 (all singles) with a pair of RBI. Unfortunately, McKeon also committed three errors in the three games. He hit .340/.399/.484 with 18 doubles and five triples on the season.
Creighton – 1B Jake Holton, 10th round
Holton went a meager 3-for-17 with six strikeouts in the regionals. He drove in a pair of runs in an 11-7 Jays win over Michigan, but was held without an extra base hit across all five games Creighton played. He was Creighton’s leading hitter on the year, with a bonkers .386/.488/.681 line and 31 extra-base hits (14 home runs) in 54 games.
Tennessee – 3B Andre Lipcius, 3rd round
Lipcius was quiet in three of Tennessee’s four regional games, with just two hits and four strikeouts in 13 at-bats. He was a monster in the other matchup, however, going 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in a 6-5 extra innings win over Liberty. For the year, he hit .308/.399/.586 with 17 home runs and 58 RBI.
NC State – RHP Michael Bienlien, 24th round
The Wolfpack were quickly swept out of their regional, and Bienlien only made one appearance, faced one batter, and allowed one hit (that eventually came around to score). He allowed a 6.23 ERA in 21 2⁄3 innings for NC State this year.
Illinois State – LHP Matt Walker, 13th round
Walker tossed a complete game against eventual regional champion Louisville, with seven strikeouts to just two walks in a 4-2 win. The victory pushed Illinois State to the championship round, and Louisville to the loser’s bracket. Unfortunately for Walker, the Cardinals came back to win two straight against Illinois State and take the regional (he did not pitch in either game). He struck out 79 hitters in 77 2⁄3 innings this year, but allowed a 4.75 ERA.
West Virginia – RHP Sam Kessler, 34th round
Kessler was the goat in an elimination game against Texas A&M, allowing four runs in the bottom of the ninth to squander a 10-7 Mountaineers lead. Kessler struck out four and walked three in 2 1⁄3 innings. If West Virginia had pulled out the win, they would have faced Duke in the regional final. Kessler, a junior, managed a 3.19 ERA with 46 strikeouts to 11 walks in 36 2⁄3 innings this year.
Ohio State – LHP Andrew Magno, 15th round
Last, and certainly least because of his ugly school colors, we have Ohio State closer Andrew Magno. The junior lefthander threw 93 pitches in a 7 1⁄3 inning outing, his longest of the season, to keep the Buckeyes alive momentarily in their regional against McNeese State. Magno struck out 12 while allowing just one run on five hits, and picked up the win for his efforts. For the year, Magno finished with a 2.09 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 64 2⁄3 innings.