2008 Omaha Cheatsheet: Florida State

The Florida State Seminoles will be heading to Omaha for the 19th time in school history and the 13th time under head coach Mark Martin Sr. without winning a title. They have a current record of 54-12 after losing to Bucknell (7-0) in the opener of the Tallahassee Regional before reeling off victories over Florida (17-11), Bucknell (24-9), Tulane (17-8 and 16-7). The Seminoles then hosted Wichita State in the Super Regionals where they lost the first game 10-7 before winning the final two games by scores of 14-4 and 11-4 to qualify for the College World Series.

The Seminoles have the best catcher in the nation in Buster Posey. He was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the fifth overall selection in the MLB draft last week. He leads the Seminoles with a ridcoulous batting average of .460 with 26 homers and 92 RBI in 66 games. These numbers are the type you see for an entire season of MLB and to be able to throw these numbers together in an NCAA season should go down in the record books. He is joined by freshman Stuart Tapley who is second on the team with a .396 average and senior Jack Rye who has a .381 average.

The biggest question mark in my mind with this Seminoles team is the pitching staff. They are led by an inconsistent sophomore lefty Matt Fairel. He has a 12-2 record with a 3.74 ERA in 17 appearances (all starts). He is not your prototypical number 1 starter as he throws in the mid-80′s with a very good breaking ball but can be hit by a solid hitting team. The rest of the rotation is filled out by Elih Villanueva (7-3, 3.79 ERA) and Geoff Parker (6-2, 4.42 ERA). Ryan Strauss has been in between the starting rotation and the bullpen but he showed a very solid fastball in the opportunity I had to see him pitch this season which hit 95 on some radar guns.