Florida State (38-20, 16-10) will look for its second straight victory to start the NCAA Tournament Tallahassee Regional as they face Southern Miss (41-8, 20-10) later today. A victory would give the 'Noles a very big advantage in the double-elimination style tournament as whatever team they would face next must beat them twice before FSU could beat them once.
Both teams got off with an offensive explosion in their first games of the Regional. Southern Miss defeated Southern Alabama 14-2 which included an 11 run sixth inning and Florida State put up 18 runs in their victory over Alabama State.
In that FSU victory, Dylan Busby continued his hot streak from the ACC Tournament, recording three hits and five RBI, scoring three runs. Right behind him in the lineup, Quincy Nieporte added three hits of his own with two RBI and Taylor Walls leading off was the third 'Nole to record three hits in the game. Florida State handed the first loss of the season to Joseph Camacho of Alabama State who was 10-0 coming into the game, chasing him out before the first inning ended.
Southern Miss is led by first baseman Tim Lynch who ranks first on the team in batting average (.364), RBI (58) and on-base-percentage (.464) while ranking second with 10 home runs. He went 1-4 in the team's NCAA Tournament opener as the only Golden Eagle to record more then two hits was Daniel Keating who went 3-5. The designated hitter hit .306 in the regular season. The Southern Miss lineup as a whole averages just under one home run per game and includes eight players who have a .299 or higher batting average.
On the hill for FSU will by Tyler Holton (2-3, 2.89 ERA) who is coming off an excellent start against Miami which earned him the victory. The lefty went seven innings, allowing two earned runs and struck out nine while only walking two. The two walks are an encouraging sign as Holton has struggled with that all season, walking 30 in just 56 innings, but counters that with his ability to strike batters out, recording a team leading 72.
USM will send out Cord Cockrell (7-1, 3.97 ERA), an extremely accurate hurler who is the exact opposite type of pitcher than Holton. The senior has only allowed seven walks in 68 innings, however has also only struck out 44 batters. His last start was against Old Dominion in the CUSA tournament where he could not make it further than two innings, allowing five earned runs on five hits.
The game is set to begin at 6 PM today from Tallahassee with full coverage available from Tomahawk Nation. ESPN3 will have the games telecasted over the internet.