It's NCAA Regional time.
On Monday the NCAA announced its field of 64 teams, including all eight national seeds. Even despite a rough final week of the season the Seminoles found themselves holding on to their ninth national seed in program history– the most of any school in the country.
The Seminoles will be a seven seed nationally and will be seeded first in their pool when the Tallahassee Regional begins this Friday.
I'll be back with a more in-depth preview of the regional later tonight after all four coaches speak at the opening press conference, but for now, here's a quick first take on the four teams that will be competing in Tallahassee next weekend.
1.) Florida State University (44-15, ACC Atlantic Division Champions)
Manager: Mike Martin (34th year, 1768-609-4)
Despite a rough final week the Seminoles will play in the friendly confines of Dick Howser Stadium– where they are 32-3 this season– for the first couple rounds of the NCAA tournament.
2.) University of Alabama (34-26, 5th in SEC West)
Manager: Mitch Gaspard (4th year, 342-251)
Alabama went 2-2 in the SEC tournament (including an extra innings win over no. 21 Ole Miss), both of their losses came at the hands of nationally seeded LSU.
3.) Troy University (40-18, Sun Belt Champions)
Manager: Bobby Pierce (11th year, 393-252)
After a down year in 2012, the Trojans returned to their 2011 form this season and are once again trending upwards in college baseball, having won 40 games and the Sun Belt conference for the second time in three campaigns.
4.) Savannah State University (33-22, MEAC Champions)
Manager: Carlton Hardy (8th season, 364-363)
Savannah State's ace Kyle McGowin is as good as any pitcher in the Tallahassee regional- maybe better. The 6-3 junior RHP went 12-1 with a 1.33 ERA, threw four complete games and struck out 129 batters in 115.1 IP while holding opposing lineups to just a .215 average against him. He will likely face Florida State on Friday.
I'll be back with something more in-depth after tonight's press conference. Check back then.
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(Photo courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)