Florida State vs Arkansas Super Regional Preview

dickhowserstadiumHere is your preview of the Tallahassee Super Regional between Arkansas and Florida State that will be shown on ESPN on Friday at 12 noon, on ESPN2 at noon on Saturday, and if necessary on Sunday at noon on ESPN.

Arkansas (37-22)

The Arkansas Razorbacks cruised through the Norman Regional, outscoring opponents 38-9 in their three games. The Razorbacks enter this weekend’s Tallahassee Super Regional with a .274 team batting average, 73 homeruns, and 62 stolen bases. Andy Wilkins leads the charge for the team with a .329 batting average and 17 homeruns. Ben Tschepikow is the biggest threat on the base paths, swiping 16 bases in 21 attempts this season. The Razorback offense averages 6.3 runs per game on the year.

The pitching staff boasts a 4.56 team ERA. Dallas Keuchel is the staff ace, posting a 7-3 record on the year with a 4.12 ERA in 94 innings over 15 starts. Brett Eibner is the projected game two starter, and he has a 5-4 season record with a 4.25 ERA in 15 starts and 65.2 innings pitched. Drew Smyly got the nod in the championship game against Oklahoma on Sunday and would likely be the game three starter if necessary. On the year, Smyly has a 3-1 record with a 4.72 ERA in 15 appearances, 13 starts, and 53.1 innings on the mound. Justin Wells and Mike Bolsinger provide middle relief for the Razorbacks. Wells is 2-1 with a 3 saves and a 4.37 ERA in 24 appearances and 47. 1 innings. Bolsinger has posted a 5-4 record with 1 save and a 3.09 ERA in 26 appearances on the year. Stephen Richards handles the closing duties for Arkansas and has a 5-1 record with 9 saves and a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings on the hill. Arkansas is allowing opponents to score an average of 5.4 runs per contest this season.

The Hogs are 10-8 in true road games this season and 5-2 in neutral site games.

Projected Rotation:
Friday – Dallas Keuchel (Jr., LHP, 7-3, 4.12 ERA)
Saturday – Brett Eibner (So., RHP, 5-4, 4.25 ERA)
Sunday – Drew Smyly (R. Fr., LHP, 3-1, 4.72 ERA) or TJ Forrest (Jr., RHP, 2-6, 5.73 ERA)

Florida State

Florida State enters the Super Regionals with a 45-16 record after going 19-9 in the ACC Tournament. Florida State opened up play in the Tallahassee Regional with a much tighter 16-4 victory over Marist then the score indicated. The next game was against Georgia where FSU sent ace Sean Gilmartin to the mound as they picked up a 8-2 victory. The Regional Championship game saw the Florida State offense break out as they broke the NCAA Tournament record by scoring 37 runs in a 37-6 victory over Ohio State.

The FSU pitching staff has an ERA of 4.55 while holding their opponents to a .256 average. The top starting pitcher on the staff is freshman Sean Gilmartin who is 12-3 with an ERA of 3.48. He has struck out 81 batters in 93 innings while holding opponents to a .219 batting average against. Brian Busch and Mike McGee both have identical records at 6-2 with 4.04 ERA’s. The top relief pitcher for the Noles is Jimmy Marshall who is 3-2 including 10 saves with a 4.62 ERA in 27 appearances.

The Florida State offense hits at a .323 average as a team while hitting 88 homers in 61 games. The top hitter on the team is All-American candidate Tyler Holt who has a .390 average while hitting five homers and 28 RBI. He is a solid base stealer with 33 stolen bases in 38 attempts. Stephen Cardullo is right on the heels of Holt with a .383 average while hitting 10 homers and driving in 48 runs. Mike McGee who also pitches has a .377 average with a team high 18 homers and tied for the team lead with 75 RBI.

Projected Rotation
Friday- Sean Gilmartin (Fr., LHP, 12-3, 3.48 ERA)
Saturday- Mike McGee (So., RHP, 6-2, 4.04 ERA)
Sunday- Brian Busch (Fr., LHP, 6-2, 4.04 ERA)

Special thanks to Colin Weber for contributing to this article.