Thursday was an action-packed day for those Florida State Seminoles that gather clay between their cleats.
While the NCAA's Tallahassee Regional is set to begin Friday at noon inside Dick Howser Stadium, it wasn't the only news coming from the diamond.
Collegiate Baseball/ Louisville Slugger All-Americans
It was announced that DJ Stewart and Luke Weaver were named second and third team All-Americans, respectively, an honor decided on by the Collegiate Baseball Magazine.
If you're a Florida State fan this is great to hear, but I'm not so sure Stewart doesn't deserve first-team honors. Both Stewart and Weaver have been instrumental in the success seen during 2014's campaign, and that shouldn't be understated. But as the NCAA Championship Tournament begins, I think the FSU faithful are just fine with these second and third-teamers.
WCWS: Florida State vs. Oregon
The no. 8 seeded lady Noles dropped their Women's College World Series opener against no. 1 seeded Oregon Thursday afternoon, 3-0.
Florida State only managed a single hit against Oregon's ace Cheridan Hawkins on Thursday, drawing only a pair of walk in addition.
With this loss, the Noles are now set to face 13th seeded Baylor, who got mercy ruled by Florida on Thursday, in an elimination game Saturday at noon.
Tallahassee Regional press conference
The big news out of the Florida State camp was the way Mike Martin lit up when asked about Brandon Leibrandt. And after monitoring the situation, talking to Martin and Bell about Leibrandt and reading their responses and the way they've evolved over the last week or so, I'm finally confident that Leibrandt is back to where they want him.
Here was Martin in response to a question about a "lift" in the bullpen with Leibrandt healthy again..
"I don't really care how the rest of them feel," Martin said emphatically, "I'm elated. We have waited for this for over two months. It was a freak injury. In all my years of baseball, I've never witnessed anything like this."
"I would say he's ready to pitch, and we're going to use him. We don't know when or where, but he is ready to pitch."
While the news on Leibrandt was positive, Bryant Holtmann remains questionable.
DJ Stewart, who missed a couple days of practice this week, seems to be much better and is "already penciled in for Friday," according to Martin.
As a whole, all four coaches are excited for the opportunity. Kennesaw State comes into the regional having won 23 of its last 24 games, while Alabama "limps in" after a rough final stretch against the meat of its schedule. Georgia Southern is looking to surprise with an offense that has scored 401 runs on the year.
Alabama's head coach Mitch Gaspard also joked about being in Tallahassee pretty much every year.
"Again, uh, we're back," Gaspard said jokingly. "After three out of the last four years, I'm on a first-name basis with all of the administrators here . And I'll tell you what, not a better place you can come to, and what a great job they do of putting on regional. They've got a good habit, you know, they've done it 28, 29 years in a row now, which is super impressive."
Georgia Southern's head coach Rodney Hennon announced that they'll be starting LHP Sam Howard against Florida State Friday night. Howard is (6-6) on the year in 13 starts for the Eagles, accumulating a 2.60 ERA. In 86.2 innings pitched, he has struck out 84 batters and only walked 18, allowing an opponents batting average of .245.
Florida State's patience has hurt them at time this year against guys that don't hand out walks. It'll be interesting to see how aggressive FSU's approach at the plate will be.