Florida State will host the Tallahassee regional this weekend against College of Charleston, Auburn, and Mercer. Here is how each team breaks down.
1-seed Florida State
Record against the Top 25 RPI: 10-6
Record against the Top26-50 RPI: 9-4
Champions of the ACC
Batting Average: 233rd (.257)
Walks: 1st (359)
ERA: 80th (.381)
Fielding Percentage: 196th (.963)
Home Runs: 20th (55)
OBP: 20th (.390)
Scoring: 28th (6.8)
D.J. Stewart (LF): .318 BA, 13 HR, .585 SLG%, .506 OBP, 66 Walks (leads the nation by 12)
Boomer Biegalksi (SP): 7-4 Record, 2.84 ERA, 98.1 Innings pitches, 111 strikeouts, 31 earned runs, 34 walks.
Florida State was right on the cusp of a national seed after winning the ACC tournament. The Seminoles have more Top 50 RPI wins than any team in the country and have played the sixth toughest schedule.
The Florida State offense is based entirely on taking pitches and working counts. The Seminoles lead the country in walks and get into the opposing teams bullpens quickly. DJ Stewart leads the nation in walks, and for most of the season other teams were able to take advantage of a lack of production from the guys behind him. The last third of the season, however, the four and five hole hitters have stepped up as well as the rest of the lineup.
The Seminoles pitching staff starts with the Friday and Saturday starters. Both Biegalski and Mike Compton have a sub 3.00 ERA and the Sunday starter, Drew Carlton is coming off his best performance of the season shutting out national seed Louisville for seven innings. The Florida State bullpen is where things get a little concerning. Outside of closer Billy Strode, the Seminoles lack an exceptional arm. Dylan Silva is the most used reliever throwing in 32 games, but he has been inconsistent at times this season which show in his 4.35 ERA. Though that has gone down over the last week and the Florida State bullpen did go through their best stretch of games in over two months in the ACC Tournament this past weekend.
The Seminole defense has also been a problem for Florida State this season. They commit 1.42 errors per game and have had three games this season where they have committed five or more errors.
2-seed College of Charleston
Record against the Top 25 RPI: 4-1
Record against the Top26-50 RPI: 4-3
Colonial Athletic Association regular season champions.
Batting Average: 8th (.309)
Walks: 108th (211)
ERA: 44th (3.36)
Fielding Percentage: 145th (9.66)
Home Runs: 4th (68)
OBP: 33rd (.383)
Scoring: 8th (7.6)
Blake Butler (2B): 3.38 BA, 12 HR, .575 SLG%, .405 OBP
Taylor Clarke (SP): 13-1 record, 1.34 ERA, 107.1 Innings pitched, 16 Earned Runs, 136 Strikeouts, 14 Walks
College of Charleston is one of the top offensive teams in the country. They hit the ball out of the ballpark at a ridiculous rate. Five of their starters have nine or more home runs this season. They also hit for average. Seven of the nine starters have batting averages of .290 or higher with five at .315 or better. Each one of their starters has an on base percentage of over .345.
If that wasn’t enough, they have three excellent starting pitchers. Clarke has a ridiculous stat line as evidenced above, but their second starter, Brandon Glazer, also has double digit wins while throwing 80.2 innings this season. He’s not a big strikeout guy with only 46 on the season, but he’s issued just 9 walks.
This is a very tough team that probably deserved their own regional and they definitely have the potential to make it out of the Tallahassee regional.
Record against the Top 25 RPI: 7-11
Record against the Top 26-50 RPI: 5-7
Batting Average: 126th (.276)
Walks: 76th (224)
ERA: 57th (3.49)
Fielding Percentage: 56th (.973)
Home Runs: 236th (17)
OBP: 121st (.363)
Scoring: 194th (4.9)
Anfernee Grier (CF): .335 BA, 22 2B, .453 SLG%, .404 OBP
Cole Lipscomb (SP): 8-2 record, 2.38 ERA, 87 innings pitched, 23 earned runs, 84 strikeouts, 24 walks
Auburn isn’t one of the best teams on paper, but they have proven all year long that they can play with the best teams in the country. They have wins over regional hosts Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt, and wins over national seeds LSU and Florida.
They’re not a strong offensive team, but have a solid pitching staff. Three of their regular starters have ERAs under 3.25. Lipscomb was a finalist for the top pitcher in the SEC and is considered one of the top pitchers in the country. He will be going up against the potent College of Charleston offense in the opening game of the regional in what should be a great matchup.
Record against the Top 25 RPI: 1-2
Record against the Top 26-50 RPI: 0-4
Champions of the Southern Conference
Batting Average: 70th (.288)
Walks: 38th (246)
ERA: 158th (4.55)
Fielding Percentage: 41st (.974)
Home Runs: 3rd (69)
OBP: 24th (.389)
Scoring: 21st (6.9)
Kyle Lewis (OF): .373 BA, 17 Homeruns, .691 SLG%, .428 OBP
Eric Nyquist (SP): 9-2 record, 3.22 ERA, 86.2 innings pitched, 31 earned runs, 69 strikeouts, 28 walks
Mercer is one of the top offensive teams in the country and the Bears excel at hitting the long ball. Lewis is the top offensive weapon on the team with 17 homeruns, but only one other Bear is in double digits. Eight of the nine starters have four or more homeruns.
It’s fortunate that they do have high run production because their pitching staff has struggled this season. That’s against the 183rd strongest schedule so it will be interesting to see how they play against some of the top teams in the country like College of Charleston and Florida State. Mercer has beaten Georgia Tech this season so they can compete with teams at this level.