Previewing the Tallahassee Regional

Ryan Syrkus

Here we take a brief look at the four teams that make up this regional, how they got here, what they're good at. Book mark this page as it will be a pretty good reference throughout the weekend.

2013 TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

The above link is a great tool that has all of your schedules, team notes and links to all the venues for following the game.

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#1 Seed Florida State Seminoles

The Noles earned a berth into the postseason with an at-large bid and were a top ten team all season which earned them the 7th overall national seed. This is the 51st overall postseason appearance, 36th consecutive and marks the 14th time they've hosted sine the format change in 1999.

Signature Wins: There wasn't one win that put the Seminoles over the top but the two huge series wins over NCST and Clemson to close out the season.

Bad Losses: Hard to say there are any bad losses when you go 30-0 against teams with a RPI worse than 50. The late inning loss against UF where they allowed a run on zero hits and missed out on a season sweep is one that stings for most fans.

 photo FSUTeamOffense.jpg

While not as prolific as season's past the Noles still do everything to have a successful offense. Great plate discipline leads to baserunners, baserunners leads to pressuring pitchers and pressuring pitchers leads to scoring runs. The Noles are led buy OF DJ Stewart (.348/.451/.534) and catcher Stephen McGee (.296/.458/.522) who bother claimed All ACC honors. Third baseman Jose Brizuela (.320/.421/.459) will also be back to help contribute this weekend.

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The Noles pitching staff has been better this year than anytime in the past decade, all three weekend starters have been phenomenal, especially of late. There are a handful of guys in the bullpen that have been shutdown most of the season despite recent struggles. Scott Sitz (1.73 ERA, 3.35 K:BB) and Luke Weaver (2.42 ERA, 5.88 K:BB) were both recognized as All ACC and as starting pitchers give the Noles a great chance of making it to the championship games on Sunday.

#2 Seed Alabama Crimson Tide

The Tide earned a berth into the postseason with an at-large bid and are back in the postseason after missing a year. This is the 23rd overall postseason appearance and are back playing in Tallahassee for the second straight regional appearance.

Signature Wins: Alabama played a series with 6 SEC teams who made the postseason and lost all but one, a 2 game sweep of Texas A&M. They did however defeat LSU, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss late in the season and had a solid showing the in SEC tournament playing LSU tightly in two of the final three games.

Bad Losses: Despite being swept three times this season, all to excellent teams, the Crimson Tide do not have any glaring losses on their resume. An early season series loss to Tulane (127 RPI) is probably their biggest blemish.

 photo AlabamaTeamOffense-1.jpg
Nothing Alabama does offensively jumps off the page at you, they are a below average offense playing in an elite league. Mickey White (.286/.363/.373) was named to All SEC 2nd team even though he is not one of the best bats on the team but he does play a premium position at shortstop. RF Ben Moore (.284/.356/.427) and 1B Austen Smith (.274/.349/.433) are the two biggest threats in the Bama lineup.

 photo AlabamaTeamPitching.jpg

The Crimson Tide bring to Tallahassee a pretty average pitching staff although they have pitched well as of late. The staff allowed only 16 runs over four games in the SEC tournament, pretty good considering they faced LSU twice and held them to 3 runs each time. Their top starter, Charlie Sullivan (3.56 ERA, 3.13 K:BB), will get the call today against Troy but after him the starting pitchers take a significant downturn. Of note freshman reliever Ray Castillo (2.61 ERA, 1.58 K:BB) made the All SEC Freshman team.

#3 Seed Troy Trojans

The Trojans earned a berth into the postseason with an at-large bid and are back in the postseason after missing a year. This is their 6th overall postseason appearance but are no stranger to making the playoffs. The Trojans have an excellent baseball program and have 2 national titles from when there were DII classified.

Signature Wins: Troy finished up the year pretty strong by winning series against fellow Sun Belt postseason teams South Alabama and FAU.

Bad Losses: A loss to the 8th seed Jacksonville State in their conference tournament knocked them out and killed any chances of a title.

 photo TroyTeamOffense.jpg

Offensively the Trojans are impressive and can do some damage, no other team in the country has hit as many doubles as Florida State over the past 3 years than Troy. The Trojans landed three 1st Team All SBC players this year and Trae Santos who leads the team with 16 homeruns wasn't one of them. Shortstop Tyler Vaughn (.339/.411/.426), RF Danny Collins (.363/.455/.646) and 3B Logan Pierce (.373/.480/.591) make this lineup extremely dangerous.

 photo TroyTeamPitchings.jpg

An average pitching staff can keep the Trojans in games and hopefully let their offense take over an win. Shane McCain (3.53 ERA, 5.82 K:BB) is the SBC Pitcher of the Year and will get the start against Alabama. Nate Hill (3.42 ERA, 3.27 K:BB) is their go to guy out of the bullpen making 33 appearances this year and is a high strikeout guy.

#4 Seed Savannah State Tigers

The Tigers earned a berth into the postseason with an automatic bid given for winning their conference. This is their 1st overall postseason appearance and got there on the arm of a pitcher who was abused by their head coach in the conference tournament. Savannah State is the lowest ranked RPI team in the field this season.

Signature Wins: They played only 6 teams this year with an RPI in the top 100 but did come out victorious twice. A win against Campbell who some think were snubbed for not making the postseason and a win against a good Mercer team who is a 3 seed in the MSU regional.

Bad Losses: The Tigers have more losses against teams with an RPI worse than 100 (16) than the rest of the 3 teams combined (14) but their worst loss has to be at the hands of non-D1 Benedict College.

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When you play in one of the worst conferences in college baseball having above average numbers in that conference is not all that impressive. The Tigers don't hit well, struggle to get on base and virtually have no power bats in the lineup, as a team they hit 7 homeruns all season. 3B Joseph McCrary (.296/.341/.393) and SS Todd Hagen (.320/.408/.390) were name to the All Meac 2nd Teams while DH Mendez Elder (.307/.379/.401) was named MEAC Freshman of the Year.

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As you can see pitching in the MEAC isn't great and the Tigers are again slightly better than bad primarily due to their phenomenal starting pitcher that I wrote about yesterday. Allowing nearly five walks a game will get you into trouble in a hurry especially with the offenses that are present in this regional. Again SP Kyle McGowin (1.33 ERA, 5.38 K:BB) is this pitching staff, is the obvious choice for the MEAC POY and when he is not in there the Tigers chances of winning decrease significantly.

Florida State is the obvious favorite to win this regional but I do think the other teams here can make some noise for a game or two but lack the depth to pull out an upset. When all is said and done I believe the Seminoles will advance to host the super regional against the Indiana bracket.

Again I refer you to this link which has all the information you need for this weekend. The TN resident meterologist, ricobert1, had this to say about the weather this weekend.

The NWS has FSU with chances of showers and storms each day, with the highest chances coming in Saturday PM. Not that Sunday will be any clearer. We're entering a pattern where copious moisture from the Gulf will stream northward for the next 3 months or so. Daytime heating may cause delays for games in the afternoon & evening hours - which I believe is when baseball is played.

While it won't be burning hot, lows in the 90s coupled with high 60s / low 70s dewpoints will make it a bit uncomfortable, especially if you're with child.

Plain and simple, your typical Tallahassee weather during regionals. This article will be used for the game thread for the 12PM game between Alabama and Troy. Look for a the Florida State and Savannah State thread to post shortly after the completion of the first games.

Go Noles!




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