This was originally supposed to run for print but was cut. So here it is on the blog.
Tropical storm Andrea may have come and gone, but its impact was still being felt on Friday as Florida State University prepares to host their sixth consecutive NCAA Super Regional.
“When we got off the plane yesterday and the weather was going sideways, I would have gladly invited you guys up [to Bloomington],” joked Indiana head coach Tracy Smith. “You could have played at our place.”
Aside from pushing a press conference back a few hours on Friday, Florida State is hopeful the weather doesn’t cause anymore problems this weekend– they have enough to deal with on the field.
Indiana (46-14, Big Ten Champions) has won four straight and eight of their last nine. Despite some of the stigma that comes with playing baseball up north, the Hoosiers are confident after winning regular season road series against NCAA tournament teams like Florida and Louisville.
“That showed them just play baseball, be who you are, don’t get caught up in what the other uniform says, all those things,” said Smith. “Just play, if you’re good, you’re good.”
“We’re playing a team that has played a very tough schedule, that is not the least bit concerned where they play or who they play,” said Martin. “We know that we are going to have to play extremely well.”
The no. 7 Seminoles (47-15, ACC Atlantic Champions) have their work cut out for them, but head into this weekend with the confidence that comes from breezing through their NCAA Regional by a combined score of 32-4.
Neither of their scheduled starters even gave up a run in Regional play.
On Saturday, FSU will throw sophomore Luke Weaver (7-2, 1.95 ERA) against Indiana junior Joey DeNato (9-2, 2.65 ERA) in game one. Weaver was superb last weekend, striking out 14 of the 26 batters he faced and giving up just four hits and no walks over eight scoreless innings.
In game two, scheduled for Sunday at one, Florida State will send senior Scott Sitz (10-1, 1.59 ERA) to the hill against sophomore Aaron Slegers (9-1, 1.94 ERA). If needed, game three is scheduled for Monday at 1 PM.
“I know that this is setting up to be a very exciting weekend,” said Martin. “We’re just both very proud and happy to still be playing.”
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(Photo courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)