This is probably one of the more intriguing match ups across the country today primarily due to the starting pitchers for both sides.
On paper Florida State is far and away the better team, this is also evident by the Noles perfect record against teams with an RPI outside the top 50. Savannah State plays in one of the worst conference in the country and outside of their starting pitcher there probably isn't a player on their teams that could contribute if they were on the FSU roster.
There really is no comparing these two offenses, the Tigers strike out twice as much as they walks and hit for virtually no power. The Noles had two players with more homeruns this season the the Tigers did as an entire team.
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.
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.
Kyle McGowin looks like the better pitcher but please keep in mind his strength of schedule was one of the worst in the country as documented here. Had Sitz or any other starting pitcher been a member of the MEAC it is my belief that they could have put up the same gaudy numbers.
Scott Sitz has proven that he can pitch on the biggest stages as he was great for the Noles in last year's postseason run including a great game against UCLA in the College World Series. In his last outing Sitz battled GT's Buck Farmer as he went 7 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 6 hits, walking only 1 with 5 strikeouts.
Lucky for Kyle McGowin the MEAC Tournament ended two weeks ago because he needed the rest after throwing 268 pitcher in 18 innings over the course of only 5 days. That's not a misprint, he threw 124 pitches in the first game of the conference tournament and on 3 days rest came out threw 144 pitches in the tournament championship game.
Despite its recent losses the Seminoles bullpen is still very good. I think Mike Martin does a great job of using his closers in high leverage situations and isn't afraid to extend them if necessary. If the bullpen can cut down on the amount of walks they've issued recently and get the ball to closer Robby Coles they should feel very good about closing out the game with a victory.
Given the amount of innings starter Kyle McGowin has pitched this season facing anyone of the above pitchers is a good sign for the Noles. Eric Ricks is their best option out of the pen but has troubles with issuing walks.
DEFENSE AND BASERUNNING
Its worth noting that both teams have been poor defensively this season although the Noles have been better of recent. Savannah State is fielding .958 on the season while Florida State is at .967 with the biggest liabilities coming in at 3B for both teams. Jose Brizuela and Joesph McCrary have 21 and 23 errors this season.
The Tigers are 127 for 157 in stolen bases this season, while that sounds impressive I believe it is more a product of bad defense in a bad conference and the inability of pitchers to hold runners on. There is no excuse for the Noles terrible baserunning this season at is one of the worst in recent memories.
Again the Tournament Central link that FSU has provided has everything you could possible need. I could see the Noles struggling early with McGowin but eventually their plate discipline and power will get to him and the Noles win this game going away.
See everyone here at 5PM.