There is one last stop before Florida State or Indiana can officially punch their tickets to Omaha. That stop is in the Seminoles’ own play pen known as Dick Howser Stadium.
Both coaches spoke with the media Friday afternoon discussing what it means to still be playing and looking forward to the Super Regionals opening tomorrow in Tallahassee.
“It’s an exciting time for Tracy and I to still be playing baseball,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin started. “This is setting up to be a very exciting weekend. We’re just both very, very proud and happy to still be playing.”
This will be the 13th time FSU has made the Super Regionals, going 13-17 in the first 12 appearances. Indiana will be making their first appearance in the Super Regionals.
Indiana head coach Tracy Smith mentioned that he was surprised as to how far his team has gotten this season.
“I knew we were capable [of making the Super Regionals],” Coach Smith said. “But when you haven’t done it before, I think people just think you’re the guy that’s talking into the wind.”
In what has become almost a surprise for Florida State considering their injuries early in the season and the loss of players due to last year’s MLB draft, Coach Martin aims to make another trip to Omaha.
“When I look at our ball club, there is so much that, as a Seminole, makes me proud,” Martin said on his team. “It’s the ability this club has shown to bounce back. After what we went through in the ACC Tournament and to come back and play as well as we did last weekend makes us all proud.”
Regardless of how many players went down for the Noles, there is still a large number that have returned and have the experience of playing in a Tallahassee Super Regional environment.
“For me to sit here and say [the experience] doesn’t matter is a fat lie,” Martin said. “Yeah it matters. It’s what any coach that is in this final 16, you want to have guys who have been there before. Yes, we do feel comfortable with guys who have played in the Super Regionals in the series last year [against Stanford]. We have a number of guys that have done that. All three starting pitchers are guys that have pitched in the College World Series.”
Of all the pitchers, Luke Weaver and Scott Sitz are slated in the first two games with Brandon Leibrandt going in the third, if the series comes to that.
“I’ve watched a little bit; I’ve seen some of the televised stuff,” Indiana coach Smith said on watching Weaver’s past outings. “He’s good. He’s really good.”
Weaver is coming off a career high 14 strikeout performance after facing 26 batters against Troy in the Regionals.
Florida State will go up against Joey DeNato in game one of the Super Regionals which begins Saturday at noon.