This weekend, Florida State will host a Regional in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the 33rd time in school history as it begins its journey to the 2016 College World Series. Joining FSU in Tally will be Southern Miss, University of South Alabama, and Alabama State. Despite being the No. 1 seed in the Regional, Florida State holds the worst record of the four teams, coming in at 37-20 (16-10).
Playing with the No. 2 seed this weekend will be Southern Miss (40-18, 20-10) who ended its season winning the Conference USA Tournament title. It is the first time since 2011 that the Golden Eagles have made it to an NCAA Regional, when it went 0-2 after finishing with an almost identical 39-19 record. Southern Miss had a great start to its 2016 campaign, winning its first seven games and 11 of its first 13 with those two losses coming against another team in this Regional, Southern Alabama. the Golden Eagles did head into that CUSA tournament on a sour note before winning it all, getting swept by a then 26-29 FIU team to end the regular season.
The No. 3 seed was handed out to South Alabama, making their first appearance in a Regional since 2013, who were able to make the pool despite not winning its conference tournament because of its 40-20 (21-9) season. It too had a great start to the season, winning eight of the first nine games on the 2016 slate. The Jaguars have had struggles playing on the road, owning a mediocre 10-9 record which does not include its 4-4 mark in neutral sites. USA had some wins over Power Five schools on the road, defeating Auburn and Alabama. In its conference tournament, South Alabama entered as the No. 1 seed and fell to the No. 7 and No. 6 seeds, while victorious in two other game in the double elimination style tournament. The last 13 games have no been so great as the Jags have a 5-8 record with only three of those games coming against other postseason participants.
Rounding out the Regional at No. 4 is Alabama State, Florida State's first opponent. Head coach Mervyl Melendez is very familiar with Tallahassee, making his sixth career appearance in the Tallahassee Regional. However, do not be fooled by the seeding as the Hornets finished the season a perfect 24-0 in SWAC play en route to a 38-15 overall record. As of late ASU have been unstoppable, winners in 15 of its last 16 games. The Hornets are not only winning, but winning convincingly, putting up at least seven runs in 35 of its games and a total of 59 in the four game conference tournament run which included two games that ended early due to the margin of victory, 27-9 over Southern and 16-3 over Alcorn State respectively.
The Tallahassee Regional begins this Friday at noon with South Alabama vs. Southern Miss followed by Alabama State vs. Florida State at 6:30 PM.