In a bizarre twist of fate, I will be unable to watch the first day of the regionals because I'm in Austin for a conference of my fellow law nerds. So Pittman, who graciously turned things over to me for the baseball tournament, gets control of this site again for the first day. I'll be back and watching the games tomorrow.
LSU will play in the early game, throwing out the first pitch at 2 PM. USM and UNO will meet in the nightcap. Honestly, LSU should be a heavy favorite to win, so the real drama is the UNO-USM game.
There's been some gamesmanship concerning the pitching staffs. Southern Miss will throw out Bowden for the first game, while UNO will sit Cryer for a potential matchup with LSU. I've already said I think this is a bad idea, as winning your first game is the most important thing in the regional. You can't afford to go into the loser's bracket. Teams can bounce back from a Friday loss, but it means winning four in a row. It's a terrible risk. I also hate managing a game with an eye on the next one. One of Skip's real virtues is that he coached each game as if it was the only one that mattered, because it was. Just win today, worry about tomorrow when it gets here. Planning for every eventuality pretty much guarantees that eventuality will not come. It's not like UNO can't win without Cryer, but the odds just went down. Why do that to yourself?