Florida State is once again hosting a regional and for an NCAA record 10th time as a top-eight seed. Here is the breakdown for the three teams coming to Tallahassee.
No. 2 Seed Alabama (34-22)
The Crimson Tide were slated to be one of the top two seeds and vie for a regional about halfway through the season, but faltered down the stretch dropping 11 of their last 19 games on the season. Alabama is built on very good starting pitching with their four main starters having a sub-3.4 ERA and an opponent batting average of sub-.245. Spencer Turnbull is their Friday starter and has a 2.28 ERA, but due to a lack of run support is only 5-6 on the year.
This is what got the Crimson Tide in trouble down the stretch. As a team they have a .278 Batting average and average over 5 runs a game on the season. They post a team OBP of .350. During their final 19 games Alabama had three games where they scored 9 or more runs and 12 games where they scored 3 runs or less.
Their record against the top teams they have faced is not very good.
UF: 0-3 - Outscored 24-9.
ULL: 1-2 - Outscored 14-12
LSU: 1-1 Outscored LSU 5-3(Game 3 cancelled)
USC: 1-2 Outscored 20-7
UK: 2-2 Outscored 17-11
No. 3 Seed Kennesaw State (37-21)
The Owls have one of the best players in the nation and a likely top 10 pick in the upcoming MLB draft in catcher Max Pentecost. He has a .423 average with nine homeruns, 55 RBIs and a .477 on-base percentage. The offense isn't all Pentecost, however, as the Owls have two other players batting .360-plus in Bo, Way and Alex Liqouri. As a team they bat just over .300, have an OBP of .362, hit 27 homeruns, and stole 57 of the 77 bases they attempted on the season.
Kennesaw State has five pitchers with eight starts or more and four of the five have ERAs below 3.5. Starters Jordan Hillyer and Travis Bergen have both struck out over 70 batters on the season. As a staff the Owls have a 3.54 ERA. Their bullpen is excellent as their set up man, James Connell, and closer, Justin McCalvin have sub-2.25 ERAs. Connell has 59 strikeouts in 33 innings and McCalvin has 56 in 35 innings.
The Owls did not play a very tough schedule, but did play five opponents that Florida State played.
UGA: 2-0 - Outscored UGA 13-8
GT: 1-1 - Outscored GT 12-11
Stetson: 5-0 - Outscored SU 29-17
Jacksonville: 1-2 - Tied 18-18
FGCU: 1-2 – Outscored 18-14
No. 4 Seed Georgia Southern (39-21)
The Eagles are led by two stellar starting pitchers in Josh Wirsu and Sam Howard. Wirsu, who will likely start against Florida State, is 9-3 on the season with a 2.33 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 92.2 innings this season. Once the starters come out Georgia Southern has one of the best relievers in college baseball in Jason Richman, who posts a 1.06 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 84.2 innings pitched.
Georgia Southern has quite a bit of power in their bats as they hit 59 homeruns this season. Seven players have five homeruns or more and 11 players have at least one. They are also extremely aggressive on the basepaths attempting an incredible 121 stolen bases and completing 88 successfully. They have a team batting average of .289 and an OBP of .372.
As with Kennesaw State the Eagles have not played an incredibly tough schedule. They have played four teams that Florida State has played.
UGA: 2-1 – Outscored UGA 30-18
GT: 1-1 – Outscored 16-6
Clemson: 1-1 – Outscored CU 18-10
JU: 2-0 – Outscored JU 23-14
Florida State got a reasonable region for the No. 5 overall seed. Alabama is on the back end of the two seeds and Kennesaw State is on the upper end of the three seeds. Georgia Southern was an automatic qualifier from the SoCon conference. The Seminoles will have their hands full with Georgia Southern on Friday, but should be able to run through this region with the talent that Florida State has. The Seminoles are paired with the Louisville region which consists of Louisville, Kentucky, Kansas, and Kent State.