Florida State and Troy in the Regional Winner's Bracket

Ryan Syrkus

The Florida State Seminoles are the visiting team today as they take on the Troy Trojans at 5PM on ESPN3

Both Troy and Florida State won in similar fashion yesterday, big innings and excellent starting pitching. The Trojans scored all 5 runs in the 4th inning yesterday afternoon on two homeruns and had six plus quality innings from their starter. The Seminoles had a five run 2nd and a four run 3rd inning to take a 10-0 lead and shut the door on a completely outmatched Savannah State team.

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Troy is a solid baseball team but as you can see they just haven't played the quality of opponents that Florida State has but are fully capable of competing and defeating the Noles. If the Noles play like they did yesterday though the chances of Troy moving into a sudden death playoff with Alabama is likely.


OFFENSE

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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. Those three went 7-12 last night, drove in 6 runs and scored 4 times, Marcus Davis (.298/.376/.500) had a great night as well driving in 4 runs on 3 hits, 2 for doubles.

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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. Not mentioned is 1B Trae Santon (.292/.372/.593) hit his 17th homerun of the season.


PITCHING

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Luke Weaver is the best pitcher on this team and has had a phenomenal season, a strikeout to walk ratio approaching six while maintain an insanely high K/9 makes him one of the best pitchers in the country. His last outing was in the ACC tournament where he went 6 plus innings, striking out 9, walking 1 and allowing 2 earned runs. The VT offense is one of the best in the ACC and pretty comparable to Troy so a line like that is not out of the realm of possibility.

Tanner Hicks has impressive numbers as well , he doesn't walk many guys and allows a low number of hits. Hicks hasn't made a start in sometime and pitched out of the bullpen recently including earning the save yesterday after entering the game with two runners on and two outs. In his last start against Arkansas State on May 10th he went 7.2 innings allowing 5 hits, 0 earned runs with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk.

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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. None of the above pitchers threw last night as the game was cleaned up by Brandon Johnson.

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The Trojans Nate Hill has had his share of long innings saves and is their best option out of the bullpen but pitching two plus innings yesterday might limit him today. Thomas Austin is another arm they trust for long relief should Tanner Hicks have a shorter than anticipated outing. Will Starling is out for the season with Tommy John surgery.

DEFENSE AND BASERUNNING

Troy is fielding .981 on the season with no player accounting for more than 9 errors on the season while Florida State is at .967 with 3 players who have 10 or more errors on the season.

The Trojans are 61 of 80 in stolen bases this season which puts them above that 75% success threshold you aim for, they pick their spots but shouldn't be a huge threat give the success of McGee behind the plate. There is no excuse for the Noles terrible baserunning this season at is one of the worst in recent memories. Martin said after the game yesterday that they wanted to be a little more agressive than they were throughout the year and it showed last night with no ill results.

Again the Tournament Central link that FSU has provided has everything you could possible need. This game is exactly how the Noles planned it out, in the winner's bracket with their ace on the mound, barring an off outing from Weaver the Seminoles should be in ideal position to win the regional on Sunday.

See everyone here at 5PM.

Go Noles!

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