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Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators face off in the NCAA Baseball Super Regionals

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It has been a long wait since these two teams met in a weekend series and now the stakes couldn't be any higher. Inside we preview the strengths and weaknesses of both teams.

This is what fans have been clamoring for, a weekend series with rival Florida with high stakes. The winner of this series will not only have in-state bragging right for the next year but they will have also earned a trip to Omaha. The last times these two teams met in a Super Regional was 2005 when Florida swept Florida State and earned their first birth in a College World Series.

Both of these teams are playing extremely well. They are both on a seven game winning streaks, they both won their conference tournaments, and they both went 3-0 in the regional that they hosted. Florida State won the "season series" this year, but playing three midweek games is not a great predictor of how this series will end up. The Gators have been in the top ten pretty much all season and are absolutely loaded with talent while Florida State has hung around in the 10-20 range this year and have exceeded expectations in what was thought to be a rebuilding year.

OFFENSES:

TEAM OFFENSES
2015 SEASON STATISTICS
TEAM PA 2B 3B HR SB SBA SB % K% BB% R/G AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP IsoP
FLORIDA STATE 2597 109 6 57 59 78 75.6% 20.7% 14.3% 6.8 0.259 0.390 0.399 0.789 0.319 0.140
FLORIDA 2530 121 23 55 76 105 72.4% 14.8% 9.5% 6.8 0.298 0.381 0.451 0.831 0.334 0.153
CONFERENCE OFFENSES
2015 SEASON STATISTICS
CONFERENCE PA 2B 3B HR SB SBA SB % K% BB% R/G AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP IsoP
ACC 31636 1391 184 531 838 1132 74.0% 17.8% 10.9% 5.8 0.272 0.367 0.398 0.765 0.323 0.126
SEC 31551 1348 212 561 879 1202 73.1% 17.4% 9.9% 5.7 0.281 0.367 0.409 0.776 0.330 0.128

Both of these teams have excellent offenses scoring 6.8 runs per game which puts them with a handful of teams for 21st best in the country. The both do it with a slightly different approach; the Noles are a patient team that gets on base frequently via the walk, while the Gators hit their way on and hit for power. Florida is ranked 21st in slugging and there are only four teams left in play that have a higher slugging then they do. What is truly remarkable about their power is that they do it without striking out very much, it will be interesting to see how they fare this weekend as Florida State has the fifth highest strikeout rate in the nation.

Neither team relies on small ball to score runs. Florida has 21 sac bunts on the season and Florida State has 25, ranking them 258 and 232 respectively. The Gators, however, are more aggressive on the base paths but do not have any greater success than the Seminoles. Base runners might be at a premium this weekend so it will be interesting to see just how much the coaches run given that both catchers have been very solid behind the plate.

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
2015 SEASON STATISTICS - PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP IN ITALICS
PLAYER PA 2B 3B HR SB SBA SB % K% BB% AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP IsoP
Josh Delph 262 12 0 1 5 6 83.3% 17.2% 15.3% 0.282 0.410 0.354 0.764 0.354 0.072
John Sansone 298 15 0 8 3 5 60.0% 21.1% 11.4% 0.250 0.384 0.413 0.797 0.306 0.163
DJ Stewart 285 10 2 13 11 14 78.6% 15.8% 24.2% 0.322 0.509 0.580 1.089 0.358 0.259
Quincy Nieporte 241 9 0 7 1 2 50.0% 7.1% 9.1% 0.290 0.389 0.440 0.829 0.283 0.150
Chris Marconcini 187 7 0 7 1 3 33.3% 19.3% 20.9% 0.230 0.417 0.432 0.849 0.255 0.201
Taylor Walls 280 4 1 0 7 8 87.5% 19.3% 18.2% 0.227 0.378 0.255 0.632 0.296 0.027
Ben DeLuzio 195 6 0 2 14 17 82.4% 23.6% 12.3% 0.244 0.347 0.317 0.664 0.322 0.073
Dylan Busby 240 14 0 9 12 13 92.3% 30.4% 11.3% 0.239 0.360 0.447 0.807 0.322 0.208
Danny De La Calle 224 9 2 8 2 3 66.7% 28.1% 4.9% 0.257 0.300 0.441 0.741 0.326 0.183
Darren Miller 125 7 0 1 0 3 0.0% 22.4% 16.0% 0.279 0.400 0.375 0.775 0.373 0.096
Hank Truluck 91 4 0 0 3 0 #DIV/0! 25.3% 18.7% 0.271 0.427 0.329 0.756 0.404 0.057
Gage West 75 6 1 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 21.3% 6.7% 0.238 0.360 0.365 0.725 0.319 0.127
Hayden Kelly 20 3 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 45.0% 15.0% 0.214 0.450 0.429 0.879 0.600 0.214
Steven Wells, Jr. 29 1 0 1 0 0 #DIV/0! 20.7% 10.3% 0.182 0.296 0.364 0.660 0.188 0.182
Nick Graganella 30 1 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 40.0% 16.7% 0.120 0.267 0.160 0.427 0.231 0.040
Jackson Owens 9 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 0.0% 0.0% 0.286 0.333 0.286 0.619 0.250 0.000
Dylan Silva 2 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 0.0% ##### ##### 1.000 ##### ##### ##### #####
Mike Compton 1 1 0 0 0 4 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.000 1.000 2.000 3.000 1.000 1.000
Billy Strode 1 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! ##### 0.0% 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 ##### 0.000
Cobi Johnson 1 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 0.0% 0.0% 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Bryant Holtmann 1 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! ##### 0.0% 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 ##### 0.000
TOTAL 2597 109 6 57 59 78 75.6% 20.7% 14.3% 0.259 0.390 0.399 0.789 0.319 0.140
*- 1st Team All Conf. # - 2nd Team All Conf. @ - 3rd Team All Conf. $ -All Conf. Freshmen

The entire offense revolves around DJ Stewart in the number three spot. He is one of six players in the country to have reached base 50 percent of the time this season. He walks once in every four times he steps to the plate but has also hit 13 homeruns this season. For Florida State to be successful this weekend and beyond, the hitters behind him have to make pitchers pay if they decide to pitch around Stewart. In the three games in regionals, Nieporte and Marconcini had only 5 hits in 27 plate appearances. Now, 2 of those hits were homeruns, but the fact still remains that the big hitters need to come through.

Florida State is also shuffling its third baseman due to Dylan Busby's struggles at the plate. The freshman is just three strikeouts shy of the team record and has not put many productive at bats together in recent weeks, which is why Darren Miller got the start in two of the regional games. Another freshman, Taylor Walls had a nice regional, going 5 for 11 with a walk and has been moved up in the order. Bolstering the lineup is Ben Deluzio who has been Florida State's hottest player as of late, the sophomore has 12 hits in his last 6 games, he had 13 hits in the 20 previous games.

FLORIDA GATORS
2015 SEASON STATISTICS - PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP IN ITALICS
PLAYER PA 2B 3B HR SB SBA SB % K% BB% AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP IsoP
Harrison Bader 269 14 1 14 6 10 60.0% 17.8% 11.2% 0.290 0.393 0.549 0.942 0.309 0.259
Buddy Reed 280 14 5 3 17 24 70.8% 18.2% 8.6% 0.316 0.376 0.447 0.823 0.385 0.130
Richie Martin 293 9 4 4 20 27 74.1% 11.3% 11.3% 0.291 0.404 0.415 0.819 0.317 0.124
Josh Tobias # 236 14 5 5 11 13 84.6% 12.7% 8.5% 0.374 0.449 0.567 1.016 0.415 0.192
JJ Schwarz  # $ 264 16 3 15 1 1 100.0% 16.3% 8.3% 0.320 0.380 0.610 0.991 0.330 0.290
Peter Alonso 139 8 1 3 0 0 #DIV/0! 12.2% 11.5% 0.296 0.403 0.461 0.864 0.320 0.165
Jeremy Vasquez 113 6 0 2 1 3 33.3% 14.2% 9.7% 0.330 0.402 0.450 0.852 0.378 0.120
Mike Rivera # $ 229 10 1 3 2 2 100.0% 9.6% 6.1% 0.266 0.335 0.372 0.707 0.279 0.106
Dalton Guthrie $ 291 14 1 2 6 12 50.0% 15.1% 8.6% 0.290 0.357 0.374 0.731 0.341 0.084
Ryan Larson 186 5 1 1 6 7 85.7% 16.7% 11.8% 0.309 0.406 0.375 0.781 0.377 0.066
Christian Hicks 67 3 0 2 0 0 #DIV/0! 17.9% 13.4% 0.143 0.269 0.304 0.572 0.140 0.161
John Sternagel 55 1 1 1 1 1 100.0% 14.5% 12.7% 0.182 0.333 0.318 0.652 0.200 0.136
Logan Browning 34 1 0 0 3 3 100.0% 17.6% 2.9% 0.200 0.273 0.233 0.506 0.250 0.033
A.J. Puk 26 3 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 19.2% 11.5% 0.261 0.346 0.391 0.737 0.333 0.130
Mark Kolozsvary 17 1 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 35.3% 5.9% 0.250 0.294 0.313 0.607 0.400 0.063
Taylor Lane 12 1 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 16.7% 0.0% 0.250 0.250 0.333 0.583 0.300 0.083
Mike Fahrman 11 1 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0! 9.1% 9.1% 0.500 0.545 0.600 1.145 0.556 0.100
Jason Lombardozzi 8 0 0 0 2 2 100.0% 0.0% 12.5% 0.000 0.125 0.000 0.125 0.000 0.000
TOTAL 1981 93 17 38 53 71 74.6% 13.9% 9.4% 0.296 0.380 0.438 0.818 0.330 0.142
*- 1st Team All Conf. # - 2nd Team All Conf. @ - 3rd Team All Conf. $ -All Conf. Freshmen

There is not much let up in this lineup, as their 8 and 9 hitters both possess an on-base percentage of .400 or better. Two big threats are Harrison Bader (14 HRs) and freshman JJ Schwartz (15 HRs) and they might not be the best hitters in the lineup. Josh Tobias has the highest OPS on the team and went 4 for 10 with 2 walks this past weekend. Peter Alonso and Jeremy Vasquez are hot hitters right as both had great regionals, Vasquez went 7-12 with a walk and Alonso went 4-11 with 3 walks.

OFFENSIVE STATS SINCE LAST MEETING ON MAY 14, 2015
TEAM G 2B 3B HR SB SBA SB % K% BB% R/G AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP IsoP
FLORIDA STATE 24 38 1 21 29 36 80.6% 19.8% 13.5% 6.4 0.255 0.375 0.384 0.759 0.309 0.129
FLORIDA 25 40 10 13 20 31 64.5% 16.9% 9.4% 5.6 0.282 0.367 0.400 0.766 0.331 0.118

Taking a look at the numbers since these two teams last met and Florida State came out on top with a 4-3 win the Seminoles have actually posted better numbers. The Gators went went 19-6 with the Noles going 17-7 over the same span.

TEAM PITCHING
2015 SEASON STATISTICS
PLAYER IP ERA WHIP H/9 K/9 BB/9 K:BB HR/9 FIP BABIP BAA OPSa
FLORIDA STATE 567.0 3.71 1.34 8.76 8.98 3.30 2.72 0.71 3.77 0.321 0.254 0.702
FLORIDA 561.0 3.19 1.14 7.65 8.15 2.58 3.16 0.71 3.72 0.283 0.230 0.640
CONFERENCE PITCHING
2015 SEASON STATISTICS
CONFERENCE IP ERA WHIP H/9 K/9 BB/9 K:BB HR/9 FIP BABIP BAA OPSa
ACC 7025.3 3.87 1.37 8.49 8.01 3.80 2.10 0.57 4.01 0.309 0.250 0.694
SEC 7098.0 3.79 1.34 8.49 8.03 3.53 2.28 0.59 3.94 0.309 0.251 0.690

The Florida Gators have some extremely talented arms on their pitching staff and their numbers reflect that. They are better than league average in every category and what is really impressive and could be trouble for Florida State is their high strikeout to walk ratio which ranks 10th in the nation. What makes Florida State so tough is they strike out almost 9 batters per 9, good enough for 6th in the country.

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
2015 SEASON STATISTICS - PITCHERS SORTED BY IP
PLAYER G GS IP ERA WHIP H/9 K/9 BB/9 K:BB HR/9 FIP BABIP BAA OPSa
Boomer Biegalski # 17 16 106.0 2.80 1.07 6.62 10.10 2.97 3.40 1.02 3.84 0.257 0.201 0.617
Drew Carlton 18 12 71.3 4.04 1.33 9.59 7.57 2.40 3.16 0.50 3.48 0.343 0.278 0.735
Mike Compton 12 12 68.3 3.03 1.19 9.35 8.69 1.32 6.60 0.40 2.50 0.335 0.265 0.657
Bryant Holtmann 19 9 61.0 3.25 1.39 9.59 4.72 2.95 1.60 0.74 4.67 0.299 0.273 0.725
Dylan Silva 35 0 54.7 3.95 1.52 7.90 12.35 5.76 2.14 0.66 3.66 0.358 0.242 0.729
Alec Byrd 26 3 42.7 4.64 1.45 9.91 9.91 3.16 3.13 0.84 3.91 0.355 0.275 0.732
Cobi Johnson 13 8 42.7 7.17 1.73 11.18 9.07 4.43 2.05 1.27 5.06 0.367 0.303 0.875
Billy Strode  # 29 0 34.0 1.85 1.18 6.09 11.91 4.50 2.65 0.53 3.13 0.280 0.193 0.579
Jim Voyles 20 2 24.3 2.59 1.40 9.25 9.25 3.33 2.78 0.37 3.13 0.329 0.258 0.641
Will Zirzow 11 0 18.0 3.50 1.06 8.00 7.50 1.50 5.00 0.00 2.59 0.302 0.235 0.567
Alex Deise 10 0 16.3 3.86 0.98 6.61 8.82 2.20 4.00 1.10 4.34 0.238 0.203 0.640
Taylor Folsom 15 0 14.0 3.86 2.07 10.93 7.07 7.71 0.92 0.00 4.85 0.370 0.309 0.818
Derek Vail 10 0 6.0 10.50 3.00 18.00 4.50 9.00 0.50 1.50 7.59 0.440 0.414 1.135
Ed Voyles 5 1 5.3 1.69 0.94 8.44 8.44 0.00 ##### 1.69 4.55 0.267 0.250 0.673
Andy Ward 2 0 1.3 13.50 3.75 20.26 13.50 13.50 1.00 0.00 4.92 0.600 0.429 1.127
Steven Wells, Jr. 1 0 1.0 0.00 1.00 9.00 18.00 0.00 ##### 0.00 -0.58 0.500 0.250 0.500
TOTALS 243 63 567.0 3.71 1.34 8.76 8.98 3.30 2.72 0.71 3.77 0.321 0.254 0.702
*- 1st Team All Conf. # - 2nd Team All Conf. $ -All Conf. Freshmen

Friday starter Boomer Biegalski has really emerged as a legitimate ace. Since the postseason began Biegalski has made 3 appearances, allowed 2 runs over 19.2 innings while striking out 20 and issuing 3 walks. Game Two and Three starters have not been named yet and it will probably be dependent on the outcome of game one. If the Noles drop Game One it would be my guess Drew Carlton gets the start as the freshman is coming off his best start of the season where he shutout Charleston for 6.2 innings while striking out nine. Should Florida State win the opener I believe Mike Compton would get the start, and the right hander can be effective with his tremendous strikeout to walk ratio.

The Seminoles relief pitchers were fantastic in the regional games, problem is only two of them pitched. Dylan Silva has really turned the corner and has been pitching lights out over the last two weeks. Closer Billy Strode has also been dynamic having not allowed a run in his last 6 appearances and only allowing 2 hits. No other pitcher outside of those two has made a start since Bryant Holtmann on May 24th in the ACC Tournament.

FLORIDA GATORS
2015 SEASON STATISTICS - PITCHERS SORTED BY IP
PLAYER G GS IP ERA WHIP H/9 K/9 BB/9 K:BB HR/9 FIP BABIP BAA OPSa
Logan Shore 16 16 95.3 2.64 1.03 7.36 6.51 1.89 3.45 0.47 3.54 0.273 0.229 0.610
A.J. Puk 15 12 68.7 3.80 1.17 6.68 12.19 3.80 3.21 0.92 3.57 0.299 0.207 0.626
Alex Faedo 18 11 56.3 3.36 1.21 8.95 8.31 1.92 4.33 1.44 4.45 0.297 0.257 0.744
Dane Dunning 14 13 54.7 3.95 1.19 7.24 8.73 3.46 2.52 0.49 3.79 0.273 0.215 0.598
Bobby Poyner 23 1 54.3 2.98 0.98 7.79 8.94 0.99 9.00 0.99 3.36 0.293 0.236 0.635
Taylor Lewis 28 0 49.7 1.27 1.03 7.25 5.62 1.99 2.82 0.36 3.54 0.253 0.220 0.560
Kirby Snead 25 0 31.0 3.19 1.26 9.87 8.71 1.45 6.00 0.58 2.90 0.356 0.279 0.698
Aaron Rhodes 16 1 30.3 3.86 1.09 5.93 9.20 3.86 2.38 0.89 4.34 0.233 0.189 0.676
Danny Young 18 1 26.0 2.42 1.35 9.00 7.96 3.12 2.56 0.35 3.30 0.316 0.257 0.645
Eric Hanhold 14 4 25.3 4.26 1.54 9.95 8.17 3.91 2.09 0.36 3.42 0.360 0.286 0.742
Shaun Anderson 14 1 20.3 4.43 1.18 7.97 7.97 2.66 3.00 1.33 4.75 0.250 0.222 0.663
Frank Rubio 14 0 19.7 2.29 1.02 7.78 2.75 1.37 2.00 0.46 4.23 0.254 0.243 0.608
Brett Morales 6 3 14.0 4.50 0.93 5.79 7.07 2.57 2.75 0.64 4.06 0.211 0.180 0.528
Logan Browning 8 0 7.3 4.91 1.50 6.14 7.36 7.36 1.00 0.00 4.24 0.294 0.217 0.727
Mike Vinson 7 0 6.0 3.00 1.00 4.50 6.00 4.50 1.33 0.00 4.09 0.176 0.143 0.470
Tyler Deel 5 0 2.0 4.50 1.50 4.50 18.00 9.00 2.00 0.00 2.42 0.250 0.125 0.675
TOTALS 241 63 561.0 3.19 1.14 7.65 8.15 2.58 3.16 0.71 3.72 0.283 0.230 0.640

The Noles will have to handle Logan Shore on Friday night who isn't overpowering but does not issue walks and allows the opposing batters to put the ball in play and trusts his stellar defense. AJ Puk, on the other hand, has some of the best stuff in the nation as his fastball is in the mid 90's. He ranks third in the country in strikeouts per nine and given the high frequency in which the Noles lineup strikeouts out base runners could be tough to come by. The Sunday starter would more than likely be freshman Alex Faedo who has had an excellent rookie season.

The Gator Bullpen is just loaded with arms. Bobby Poyner has allowed just 6 walks in over 54 innings this season while striking out a batter per inning. Although not as dynamic, Taylor Lewis and Kirby Snead have been work horses and provide reliable arms for Florida .

TEAM PITCHING
PITCHING STATS SINCE LAST MEETING ON MAY 14, 2015
PLAYER GS IP ERA WHIP H/9 K/9 BB/9 K:BB FIP BABIP BAA OPSa
FLORIDA STATE 24 222.0 3.12 1.25 8.11 9.04 3.16 2.86 3.54 0.311 0.243 0.665
FLORIDA 25 222.0 2.88 1.09 7.50 8.43 2.31 3.65 3.27 0.289 0.228 0.612

While Florida State's offense has had a slight edge since the last time the two met, the Florida pitching staff is finally healthy and pitching extremely well. Another edge the Gators have is their defense, Florida has the top fielding percentage in the nation and have only committed 35 errors all season. The Seminole defense on the other hand has committed more than twice that with 87 and has been a concern all season. Florida is too good of a team to be giving them extra outs.

Game 64 - at Florida June 5

First Pitch: 7:30 p.m. ET
FSU Starter: RHP, Boomer Biegalski (7-4, 2.80 ERA)
UF Starter: RHP, Logan Shore (8-6, 2.64 ERA)

Game 65 - at Florida June 6

First Pitch: 5:00 p.m. ET
FSU Starter: TBA
UF Starter: LHP, A.J. Puk (9-3, 3.80 ERA)

Game 66 - at Florida June 7
First Pitch: 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. ET
FSU Starter: TBA
UF Starter: TBA

All games can be heard locally on 106.1 FM - Tallahassee with the first and second game on ESPN2 with the third game on either ESPNU or ESPN2.

The hope here for Florida State is that this is a competitive series and that the Noles can even win a game. The Gators have the better rotation, better bullpen, better lineup and better defense, but this is baseball and anything can happen in a three game series. I am not predicting the Seminoles to advance, but if they do it would only further confirm what a great job Coach Martin has done this season.

Florida State lost two of their three weekend starters early to the draft, lost two of their three best hitters early to the draft and lost their two top bullpen arms. On a roster of about 30 players, Florida State lost 6 of their 7 best players and still were able to have a successful season that exceeded some expectations. It should be a great weekend of baseball and we will have all your coverage right here.

Go Noles!