Florida State doesn't know who is is playing just yet, but do know it has two opportunities to win a game and advance into the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament. Since the Regional is a double elimination format, the 'Noles have a big advantage being 2-0 while the winner of the Southern Miss vs. South Alabama game will be 2-1 regardless. FSU will need to win one game against their opponent before it can be beaten twice, which would eliminate the Seminoles. If Florida State were to lose tonight, the final game of the regional will take place tomorrow.
The 'Noles already defeated Southern Miss on Saturday by a final score of 7-2 on Saturday behind a strong performance by Tyler Holton who went 5 2/3 innings deep, allowing two runs while striking out six. FSU has not played South Alabama this season, however the Jaguars were defeated by Southern Miss in the opener of the regional 14-2. The teams also played twice in the regular season when USA came out victorious in both meetings by a combined 13-5 margin. South Alabama fended off Alabama State in the elimination game on Saturday 6-3, putting them in this position.
In the 'Noles victory against Southern Miss, the top of the lineup continued to be a focal point of the Florida State order. John Sansone added three hits in four at bats while Jackson Lueck continued his tear at the plate with a home run and a single in his four times at the plate. Taylor Walls added a hit and walk atop the lineup. In all, those three men have a combined .373 batting average and a .480 on-base-percentage in 2016, giving FSU that spark at the top of the order all season long, and in the postseason.
Although the damage done by the top of the lineup was impactful, Matt Henderson and Steven Wells Jr. were the producers for five of the seven runs in the game. Wells launched a three run homer in the second inning, his first of the season, bringing the 'Noles out of the early 2-0 deficit they were in.
No matter the opponent, Mike Martin has said he will send out freshman Cole Sands (5-6, 4.40 ERA) in the team's third regional game. His last time on the mound resulted in that fifth victory when the righty threw five innings against Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two. Sands does have issues with his command, allowing 31 walks in 61 1/3 innings and throwing a team high seven wild pitches.
As always, Tomahawk National will be providing live updates from Tallahassee. You can also watch the game on ESPN3 on the computer and other compatible devices.