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June 02, 2013

A Final Look Back at the Tallahassee NCAA Regional


The 2013 Tallahassee NCAA Regional is over. Florida State swept through it going 3-0 by a combined score of 32-4. The Seminoles will now move on to host their sixth straight Super Regional next weekend- the longest active streak in the country.

Below you'll find complete recaps of all six games played in Tallahassee this weekend, as well as the All-Regional team. Take a chance to catch up on any of the action you may have missed and get ready for next weekend when FSU tries to pave its way to Omaha for the 22nd time in school history. I'll be back mid-week to preview the upcoming matchup and breakdown the numbers a little more, but for now take a look back at the weekend that was the 2013 Tallahassee NCAA Regional.

Preview: A Quick Look at the Tallahassee Regional

Game One: Troy 5, Alabama 2

Game Two: Florida State 10, Savannah State 0 (Newspaper Version)

Game Three: Alabama 3, Savannah State 2 [SSU Eliminated]

Game Four: Florida State 11, Troy 0 (Newspaper Version)

Game Five: Troy 9, Alabama 8 [Alabama Eliminated]

Game Six: Florida State 11, Troy 4 (Newspaper Version)
[FSU Wins Regional]

Luke Weaver Named Regional MVP, All-Regional Team Announced 


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Luke Weaver Named NCAA Tallahassee All-Regional MVP, All-Regional Team Announced


The Tallahassee NCAA Regional has now come and gone. Florida State rolled easily through the weekend, going 3-0 by a combined 32-4 margin to earn the right to host their sixth straight Super Regional. FSU has now won 19 straight NCAA Regional games.

Not surprisingly, the All-Regional team is loaded with Seminoles after this particular Regional was dominated by them. Six Seminoles were named to the All-Regional team, including Luke Weaver who was named the Regional MVP.

Weaver was superb on Saturday night, striking out a career high 14 batters and holding Troy to just four hits and no walks without allowing a run. A potent Trojan lineup was rendered impotent by Weaver's fastball and his pin-point control.

Joining Weaver on the All-Regional team are Jose Brizuela, DJ Stewart, Seth Miller, Marcus Davis and Scott Sitz. Stewart hit a Regional-best .636 and was definitely worthy of MVP honors himself. Brizuela hit .400, McGee .500 and drove in five RBI's and Davis his .333 and drove in six. Sitz of course went seven scoreless innings on Friday to get the Seminoles into the Winner's bracket after their opener with Savannah State.

Here is the complete Tallahassee All-Regional team and below, is my own personal ballot.

Tallahassee All-Regional Team

C - Brett Booth, Alabama
1B - Trae Santos, Troy
2B - Kyle Overstreet, Alabama
SS - Mikey White, Alabama
3B - Jose Brizuela, Florida State
OF - DJ Stewart, Florida State
OF - Josh McDorman, Troy
OF - Seth Miller, Florida State
DH - Marcus Davis, Florida State
P - Luke Weaver, Florida State
P - Scott Sitz, Florida State

MVP - Luke Weaver, Florida State


My Personal Ballot: C- Brett Booth, Alabama, 1B- Trae Santos, Troy, 2B- Darien Campbell, Savannah State, SS- Todd Haggen, Savannah State, 3B- Kenny Roberts, Alabama, OF- DJ Stewart, FSU OF- Seth Miller, FSU OF- Josh McDorman, Troy, P- Luke Weaver, FSU, P- Mike Oczypok, Alabama, DH- Marcus Davis, FSU, MVP- DJ Stewart, FSU

For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)

Florida State Wins Tallahassee NCAA Regional, Bests Troy 11-4


Once again the Florida State Seminoles have swept an NCAA Regional and will host a Super Regional at Dick Howser Stadium. FSU has now won 19 games in a row in Regional play and will host their 6th straight Super Regional next weekend after beating Troy 11-4 to cap their sweep of the Tallahassee Regional.

"We count this almost as a second season," said catcher Stephen McGee. "Every game is important to us but as soon as we get to that playoff it's almost like we're starting new again, we go out there with a whole new determination and we're just fighting for every game, all nine innings, all 27 outs."

"For any real baseball fan, or real baseball man, the consistency of what [Mike Martin] has done has been phenomenal," said Troy head coach Bobby Pierce. "Words can't describe what he's done with this program. I'm certainly pulling for him and them to win the college world series, because I think he's earned it.

"But regardless of that, the numbers across the board, there's nobody that can touch his numbers, and Florida State's numbers." 

Just hours after the Trojans of Troy came back from three down in the bottom of the ninth to knock off the Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida State and Troy squared off in the championship game of the Tallahassee regional.

After rallying back from what was at one point a four-run deficit, Troy entered the evening game with plenty of confidence and momentum. That only seemed to grow in the early innings as Troy managed to work out of a couple of jams- stranding five FSU runners in the first two innings alone- and then took a lead on Florida State for the first time in the Regional.

In the first, the Seminoles pressured freshman starter Levi Tate and loaded the bases with one out but only managed to push one run across after a Troy pitching change, an unsuccessful Jose Brizuela squeeze attempt and a ground out by John Sansone. 

They stranded two more the next inning before Troy used a bloop single to left and a Danny Collins double to pull ahead 2-1.

The Seminoles evened the score at two in the bottom of the inning when Brizuela hit a solo home run to right field. But the very next frame, in the top of the 4th, the scrappy Trojans added another run on a nearly identical bloop single over Giovanny Alfonzo's head at short to make it 3-2.

"I really thought we might be [the team of destiny]," said Troy head coach Bobby Pierce. "Sometimes I think I believed that more than my team did though."

Florida State apparently never believed that.

In the bottom of the 4th, the Seminoles exploded for seven runs and all but knocked Troy from the game. Trailing 3-2, Alfonzo lead off with a single and Josh Delph reached on a one-out walk. A throwing error on a fielder's choice let DJ Stewart reach at first and advanced the other runners into scoring position, loading the bases.

Stephen McGee earned an RBI for being plunked, it was the 98th time a Seminole batter had been hit by a pitch this year (a new school record) and tied the game at 3. Marcus Davis brought two more in on a double to left-center to put the Seminoles ahead 5-3, then a few batters later with the bases once again loaded, Brett Knief hit a grand slam to left field to bust the game wide open and put FSU up 9-3.

"I actually faced that guy yesterday,” said Knief. “I knew he had a really good slider so I tried to sit on and let it go by and I got lucky, got the bat head out and I was able to help our team out."

Trae Santos would hit a solo homer for Troy an inning later, but the Trojans never got close to the Seminoles again as the FSU bullpen combined for four shutout innings to help secure Brandon Leibrandt's tenth win of the season.

Leibrandt wasn't his sharpest on Sunday, he labored through five innings and got to 100 pitches quickly, giving up eight hits, four runs and a two walks along the way. But he avoided the big inning and kept things tight until the Florida State offense could take over the game.

"I thought Leibrandt had a little problem to day, but to show you what kind of guy he is he kept battling, kept battling, kept battling," said Martin. "We're very, very proud of him, the way he gets out there every time and no matter what he battles. He got to 100 pitches after five innings and that's why we got him, but I can't say enough about our bullpen."

Once again DJ Stewart had a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a run while Giovanny Alfonzo was 3 for 4. Knief lead the way with four RBI's while McGee drove in three runs himself. All in all the Seminoles used 11 hits and 8 walks to score over ten runs for the third game in a row- the first time they have done that all season.

"We're obviously elated to be in position we're in," said Martin. "But we also know that there's a very good team coming in here."

The Seminoles will likely host Indiana next weekend in the Super Regional.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)

Troy Walks Off On Bama, Eliminate Tide With Heartbreaking 9-8 Comeback Win


Headed into the bottom of the ninth inning Alabama was holding tight to an 8-5 lead, just three outs from staving off elimination and moving on to face Florida State in the championship game of the Tallahassee NCAA Regional.

Just a half hour later they were sitting at a press conference, still stunned from a heartbreaking 9-8 loss that ended their season and left them with a sick feeling in their stomachs.

"You never want to go out that way," said senior OF Andrew Miller. "It happened and we’ll just have to learn to live with it and move on, but you never want to go out that way just like we just did."

Head coach Mitch Gaspard called it one of the most painful losses of his entire life.

"It is, it is [one of the most painful]," said Gaspard. "It’s really an unfair way to finish the season as hard as this team has played."

"Obviously tough, tough way to lose there, I thought our guys competed really hard and you know this has been a season where we’ve been on the edge like that some late in games and to be honest we’ve been able to pull a lot of those out, today we weren’t.”

Down three in the bottom of the ninth Troy stayed patient, worked counts and took advantage of control issues from Alabama closer Ray Castillo. 

"The game’s always centered around the fastball and command of the fastball," said Gaspard. "I think that’s one thing you get when you have a young pitching staff at times you get some command issues and we’ve had that for a good part of the year."

Just a day after setting the Alabama freshman record with his 12th save of the season against Savannah State, Castillo struggled to locate his pitches against the Trojans. After plunking the first batter he faced, Castillo was able to strike out Logan Pierce but walked the next hitter to put two on with one out. 

Kyle Brown came through in the next at bat with a two-run double to make it 8-7 and put the tying run in scoring position. Castillo walked the next hitter before issuing an RBI single to Matthew Howard that tied the game and put the winning run 90 feet from home. After another hit batter to load the bags, Castillo walked the winning run in when he lost Brandon Brown on a 3-1 count.

That brought the winning run in a broke the hearts of many of the Tide faithful.

“He’s been so good for us in the ninth inning," said Gaspard. "If I’m not mistaken that’s the first time where it’s happened this year, and that’s the thing about a closer- it’s going to happen. It’s just it happened in the finale and obviously a lot more emphasis is put on that but that kid’s been great. He’s been great for us.”

This game was definitely Alabama's to lose heading into the 9th.

The Crimson Tide combined for 15 hits and 8 runs and had already managed to stave off a Troy comeback attempt earlier in the game.

Alabama used a couple of sacrifices to push runs across in the early going. Georgie Salem hit a deep flyball to center that brought in Chance Vincent in the third and in the fifth the Tide got another on Mikey White's grounder to first.

But it was back to back RBI singles in the top of the sixth that put Troy's backs up against the wall the first time. Kyle Overstreet ripped a one-out single to right-center that scored Kenny Roberts and Ben Moore followed up with an RBI single of his own to bring 1B Austin Smith in and make it 4-1 Alabama.

But the Trojans dug in and came back with a three-run bottom of the sixth that made it 4-4 heading into the final three innings. 

With the bases loaded Josh McDorman cranked a two-run double over Salem's head out in centerfielder to cut the Bama advantage to 4-3. A batter later Matthew Howard hit a sac-fly to even the score at four.

But Bama didn't buckle, they matched Troy's three-run 6th with a three-run 7th of their own and jumped back ahead 7-4.

Back-to-back doubles brought in three Tide runs when Brett Booth drove in two and Austen Smith brought Booth in with a two-bagger of his own in the next at-bat. An inning later Alabama made it 8-4 on Georgie Salem's second sac-fly of the afternoon.

But it wasn't enough, Troy never gave up hope and managed to steal one away in the final frame.

“It’s just one of those things you can’t explain," said Troy 3B Logan Pierce. "I told [Tyler Vaughn] in the top of the ninth that I’d seen crazier things. That’s what happened something crazy. That’s what it takes in the postseason and it’s just a great thing that everyone stepped up and did.”

“That was a great example of who we are and what we’ve been all year," said Troy third base coach Mark Smartt. "To get four in the ninth in this environment was a special thing. I couldn’t be prouder of all our players and it took everybody. We had pitchers running. We had guys getting big hits. I give Brandon Brown a lot of credit for taking the walk. That’s hard to do but it showed a lot of spirit, a lot of character, a lot of heart. The words ‘all in’ really do mean that and I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

Troy moves on to play Florida State this evening, Alabama heads home with a sour taste in their mouths. 

“Too many opportunities that we allowed Troy to have," said Gaspard. "They did a good job to get some big hits there in the ninth inning, but it doesn’t take away I think our guys competed extremely hard and I think our young guys learned a lot from the tournament and now we’ve just got to regroup and get ready for next year.”


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)



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