FINAL: Florida State will host the winner of the Stanford regional next weekend as they defeated Samford 5-2. Florida State was shut down the last 5 innings of the game but they were able to plate 5 runs early which was more than enough the Noles pitching. Mike Compton pitched well over 6 innings and the shutdown combo of Gage Smith and Robert Benincasa finished things out. Great series for the Noles, pitching was phenomenal striking out 30 batters with only 4 walks. If Stanford does come to town next weekend the Noles will need that type of production in order to beat an elite offense. The Florida State offense has looked great at times this past weekend and looked completely lost, the #1 pick in tomorrow's MLB draft might be starting Friday which should be interesting. Plenty of coverage once the the opponent is known.
#1 Florida State Seminoles vs #3 Samford Bulldogs
Dick Howser Stadium, Tallahassee, FL - 6:00 PM
The Florida State Seminoles got exactly what they needed Saturday night as the offense busted out scoring eight runs off Samford and their ace Josh Martin. That was back story to what was the best pitching performance the Noles have had all season as Brandon Leibrandt tossed an almost perfect game. The freshman lefty struck out a career high ten batters while walking none in eight innings, only one Samford batter reached base after the first inning. The offense looked much better too at least from their top five hitters as Jayce Boyd had a bases loaded double scoring two and James Ramsey hit his first career grand slam.
The Seminoles now move to 2-0 in the bracket and face the Bulldogs tonight at 6PM. A win tonight advances the Noles to the Super Regionals while a loss forces a final game tomorrow night.
Inside a quick preview of this evenings game.
GAME 5 - #2 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs #3 Samford Bulldogs
Samford's pitching exploted the awful offense and and terrible coaching of Mississipi State in a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon. The Samford offense continually put pressure on MSU as they had a runner on base in every innings.
GAME 6 - #1 Florida State Seminoles vs #3 Samford Bulldogs
Freshman RHP Mike Compton (FSU) vs. TBD (Samford)
The rotation worked out just like Mike Martin had hoped, undefeated with your Saturday pitcher going and a well rested bullpen. Freshman Mike Compton has been hit or miss the second half of the season, in his last eight starts he has had five outings of five plus innings while his other three he was unable to pitch more than two and a third. While an appearance like Leibrandt's last night should be the expectation something better than Sitz's opener would be just what the Noles need. Florida State pitching has walked only three batters through the first two games while striking out twenty-three. That is the second most strikeouts the Noles have had all year in a two game stretch, but when Florida State struck out 26 batters earlier versus JU and FIU they had 11 walks.
All three weekend starters have already pitched for Samford so they pretty much have all hands on deck for tonight and tomorrow if needed. As you can see from the above numbers the pitchers they do have left have performed well but if you have watched the Noles this season and last night you know that the Noles offense can handle any pitcher.
The Florida State offense did exactly what they have done the majority of the season, work the count, walk and hit for power. The Noles recorded nine hits last night, five of them going for extra bases, if they are to succeed throughout the rest of the playoffs they are going to need to get better production from the bottom of the line up. The Noles have 18 hits in the first two games with 14 of them coming from the first five in the lineup, they have also walked 14 times with 10 of those be accounted for by the one through five guys.
Samford had twelve hits today but only two went for extra bases and none were homeruns. They are an excellent team that will take advantage of any mistakes. Compton is a groundball pitcher so keep the ball is essential against a team that thrives on extra base hits.
Other than extremly hot the weather looks to be pretty good for tonight, game temps are around 93 degrees and with a slight breeze.