The Tallahassee Super Regionals kick off on Saturday as the Florida State Seminoles host the Texas A&M Aggies. Both schools won home regionals with Florida State going 3-0 with victories over Bethune-Cookman and defeating Alabama in two games. Texas A&M won their opener against Wright State 11-0, Seton Hall 6-3 before losing 7-4 to Arizona and bouncing back against the Wildcats to win 3-0.
Florida State (45-17)
Best Pitcher: Sean Gilmartin (12-1, 1.83 ERA)
Best Hitter: James Ramsey (.364 BA, 10 HR, 66 RBI)
Strength: The power hitting of the Noles offense is clearly the strength of the team. They are currently second on the conference with 55 homers. Both James Ramsey and Mike McGee lead the Noles with 10 homers on the year. Justin Gonzalez and Rafael Lopez each have seven homers while Jayce Boyd and Devon Travis have six.
Weakness: Pitching depth is a major issue with the Seminoles. After Sean Gilmartin, things get hairy for the Noles with five other pitchers having at least five starts on the year. Hunter Scantling is expected to get the ball in Game 2 as he is 3-2 with a 3.84 ERA while Mike McGee would be my pick for the third weekend starter this week. He is 4-3 with a 4.02 ERA.
Florida State will win if…the Seminoles offense continues to pound out hits and they get quality starts from the other two weekend starters.
Florida State will lose if…the Aggies pitching staff shuts down the FSU offense and/or pounds out hits against the weak pitching staff of the Seminoles.
Texas A&M (45-19)
Best Pitcher: Ross Stripling (13-2, 2.30 ERA, 99 K)
Best Hitter: Tyler Naquin (.389, 21 2B, 43 RBI)
Strength: The Aggies starting pitchers form one of the top rotations in the nation. Even without the injured John Stilson, Texas A&M still has Ross Stripling and Michael Wacha, a pair of pitchers that can shut down any offense when they are on.
Weakness: Even with Big 12 Player of the Year Tyler Naquin in the lineup, the Aggies still have a lineup that occasionally struggles to get on base and move runners over. While the problem has greatly improved from earlier in the season, Texas A&M is still susceptible to long stretches without any scoring.
Texas A&M will win if…the bats come alive against the Seminoles. If Tyler Naquin can reach base consistently, Krey Bratsen and Matt Juengel can bring him around to score with ease.
Texas A&M will lose if…the Aggies are forced to go to a third game. Without Stilson, Texas A&M doesn’t have another starting pitcher with weekend stuff. Brandon Parrent and Derrick Hadley have shown much better stuff in relief than in starting roles.