After a long and painful wait that made the DMV seem efficient, the Florida State Seminoles finally took to the field last night for their first game of the Tallahassee Regional against the Marist Red Foxes. The first pitch was thrown at 9:30 p.m., only five and a half hours late due to an excessive rain delay in the first game of the afternoon.
FSU began the game like any team that has sat around all day and waited for the chance to play. The ‘Noles scored just one run in the first four innings and went into the bottom of the fifth trailing 3-1.
This wasn’t happening again.
Sophomore left fielder Mike McGee set out to make sure the first-round loss to Bucknell wouldn’t be repeated this season. McGee crushed a home run to right field and gave the Seminoles a 4-3 edge.
Red Foxes, meet woodshed.
Florida State would break the game wide open over the next few innings, dropping 15 runs in the final four innings to clinch a spot in the winner’s bracket on Saturday. The crowd had mostly cleared out by the time the last out was recorded at 12:30 a.m. but they left knowing what was in front of the ‘Noles on Saturday.
Georgia. And wow, are they good.
Despite sitting through a five-hour rain delay with a 10-2 lead, Georgia let everyone know the bats weren’t too soggy to crank out 14 more runs after the rain subsided. The 24-8 rout over Ohio State left no doubt around the nation that the formerly top-ranked Bulldogs were going to be one of the tougher 2-seeds in the field.
So how do you stop a team that scores 24 runs?
Well to start, you counter with your ace. Freshman Sean Gilmartin has had a brilliant season and has been as good as advertised. Gilmartin has compiled an 11-3 record with an ERA of 3.64, bests for the starting rotation. In 84 innings, he has struck out 75 batters while walking just 35.
In order to beat the Bulldogs today, the walks must stay minimal. Georgia is going to hit, but keeping unnecessary runners off the basepaths will be the key to victory.
As for Seminole hitters, the task will be equally tough. Georgia will counter with their ace, Trevor Holder. Holder has a 7-4 record this season with a 4.34 ERA. If he has a flaw, it’s that Holder has been known to give up the long ball. The senior righthander has allowed 19 homers, by far the most on the Georgia staff.
Today’s matchup at 4 p.m. will give us half of the final matchup to decide who goes on to the Super Regional. The winner will be through to Sunday, while the loser will have to claw back into the final round and then will have to win twice in the finals. A daunting task for sure.
My predictions for today: Ohio State defeats Marist 8-2, and Georgia knocks off the ‘Noles 10-8.
Let’s hope I’m wrong about this one.