Seminoles Play to Adavance into Super Regionals

Ryan Syrkus

Florida State took care of the business the last two days defeating Savannah State and Troy by a combined score of 21 to nothing. They will now face a pitching depleted Troy team who needs to defeat the Noles twice in order to advance. Game is scheduled for 5PM this evening and can be viewed on ESPN3.

Florida State was just stellar in their 11-0 win versus Troy on Saturday night, are well rested and prepared to take on the Trojans for the second time. Troy battled back with 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to defeat Alabama for the second time this weekend.. The Trojans wore down reliever Ray Castillo as he walked in the winning run with only 1 out eliminating the Tide. Troy will have a tall task ahead of them as they need to defeat Florida State tonight and tomorrow if they are to advance.

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With yesterday's victory the Seminoles become those only team in the regional play era to advance to the finals every single year, advancing all but twice.


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) who has been superhuman the past few weeks as he is is hitting .484/.595/.710 over his past 17 games. 1B John Nogowski hit a homerun yesterday, legged out a triple and had a stolen base, Martin noted afterwards that he likes the way he has swung recently against right handed pitchers so I would presume we see more of him.

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Offensively the Trojans are impressive and can do some damage. Today the scored 9 runs on only 8 hits but worked the count and had 8 walks. 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. Trae Santon (.292/.372/.593) and his 17th homeruns gutted out the earlier conenst with a bad hamstring and is unknown for tonight's game.

PITCHING

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Brandon Leibrandt has a lot to live up to today if he is to surpass the performance by his fellow starters Sitz and Weaver. Much like those two Leibrandt has been excellent over the past month and gives the Noles an excellent chance of earning the opportunity to host Supers with a win. In his last start the sophomore faced Virginia in the ACC tournament where he went 5.1 innings allowing only 1 earned run, striking out 4 with 1 walk.

Troy is playing their 4th game in 3 days which means all of their quality arms are not available leaving a freshman who has pitched sparingly to say the least gets thrown to the wolves tonight. There is nothing you can take away from his limited innings pitched but I would be surprised if he was all that effective tonight.

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Florida State has a good bullpen although you have not had the opporunity to see it this weekend since the pitching has completely dominated. Brandon Johnson (2 IP) and Gage Smith (1 IP) are the only two players who have seen action this week.

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Above are the arms that Troy has available out of the pen. Nate Hill pitched 2 innings on 45 pitches Friday, 2 innings on 43 pitches yesterdat and another 1.1 innings today so its probably safe to assume he won't be available tonight. Thomas, Howard and McGowan have thrown just under 3 innings in the first 3 games and should be available if needed.

DEFENSE AND BASERUNNING

Troy is fielding .981 on the season with no player accounting for more than 9 errors on the season but played a factor into last night's game against FSU as it helped open up the scoring. Florida State is at .967 with 3 players who have 10 or more errors on the season but has been better fileding as of late and in this regional.

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. Florida State is rested and ready, Troy might be riding high on emotion but are probably pretty tired after playing three hours in the 90 degree Tallahassee heat . Their staff is depleted, one of their best hitters is hurt and they need to win two games. It just isn't going to happen, the Seminoles have some margin for error but will take care of business tonight.

See everyone here at 5PM.

Go Noles!

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