Rivals.com Kendall Rogers breaksdown the Tallahassee Regional
The Road to Omaha has begun and it all starts with NCAA regional play this weekend.
In our latest regional insider, we take a look at the Tallahassee regional, where Florida State is fuming after being left out of the national seed mix.
Florida State is the most balanced team in the field and the favorite to advance to next week’s NCAA super regional round. Mike McGee and Tyler Holt lead the offense and Sean Gilmartin and Brian Busch spearhead the pitching staff.
Georgia has failed to meet expectations down the stretch but is very dangerous, Big Ten champion Ohio State has one of the nation’s best pitchers in Alex Wimmers and Marist hopes to hit its way to a few surprises.
We preview the Tallahassee regional.
The Favorite: Florida State
There’s not going to be a team more motivated this week than Florida State. The Seminoles essentially won the ACC regular season title and also played well in the ACC tournament. The NCAA committee, though, felt they weren’t worthy of a national seed. The Seminoles are hitting .312. FSU also has a 4.67 earned run average. Tyler Holt, Mike McGee, Stephen Cardullo and Jason Stidham lead the offense. Holt is leading the team with a .388 batting average and a .515 on-base percentage. McGee is hitting .376 with 15 doubles, one triple, 17 homers and 68 RBIs, Cardullo is hitting .362 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs and Stidham is hitting .351 with 21 doubles, 11 homers and 63 RBIs. Sean Gilmartin, Brian Busch and Mike McGee lead the FSU pitching staff.
The Darkhorse: Georgia
The Bulldogs are a scary team in this regional. There’s no question they failed to meet expectations down the stretch. But remember that this team was ranked No. 1 at one point this season. The Bulldogs are hitting .290 and have a 4.79 earned run average. Rich Poythress leads the offense and freshman Colby May is having a good season. May is hitting .336 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs. Also keep an eye on power hitters Bryce Massanari and Joey Lewis and versatile outfielder Matt Cerione. On the mound, Justin Grimm has been Georgia’s most consistent pitcher down the stretch and senior right-hander Trevor Holder has the ability to be dominant. Georgia’s offense must return to its old self to win this regional.
The Best Hitter: Georgia 1B Rich Poythress
It was a close call between Poythress and Florida State outfielder Mike McGee. Poythress has struggled the past few weeks, but still is one of the nation’s best hitters. The first baseman enters the regional hitting .370 with 16 doubles, 21 homers and 77 RBIs. He also is slugging .718 and has a .459 on-base percentage. It’s also important to note that Poythress has walked 38 times and struck out in 37 at bats. He leads Georgia with 163 total bases. Much of Georgia’s success hinges on Poythress’s ability to get on base and deliver key hits.
The Best Pitcher: Ohio State RHP Alex Wimmers
Wimmers caught everyone’s attention with a no-hitter against rival Michigan a few weeks ago, but the truth is he has been outstanding the entire season. The right-hander enters the Tallahassee regional 9-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 100 2/3 innings. He also has struck out 131 and walked 48 and opponents are hitting him at a .199 clip. Wimmers also has thrown four complete games for the Buckeyes. He needs to start regional play on the right foot
Florida State lost several key cogs to graduation and the MLB draft last season, but coach Mike Martin has done one of his best coaching jobs this season. All eyes this weekend are on weekend starters Sean Gilmartin, Mike McGee and Brian Busch. Gilmartin is 11-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 84 innings. He also has struck out 75 and walked 35 and opponents are hitting him at a .226 clip. McGee is 5-2 with a 4.22 ERA in 64 innings and Busch is 6-2 with a 4.28 ERA in 80 innings. Teams are hitting .242 off him … Georgia’s offense needs to have a strong weekend and the same goes for the pitching staff with Justin Grimm, Trevor Holder and Alex McRee leading the way. McRee especially needs to rise to the occasion, as he enters the weekend 4-4 with a 6.34 ERA in 55 1/3 innings. Also keep an eye on relievers Dean Weaver and Will Harvil, who have earned run averages of 2.77 and 2.96, respectively … Alex Wimmers is the headliner for the Buckeyes, but keep an eye on the offense, which enters the weekend with a .328 batting average. Ryan Dew leads the team with a .389 average, seven homers and 35 RBIs. Dan Burkhart is hitting .362 with 10 homers and 60 RBIs, Zach Hurley is hitting .349 with six homers and 50 RBIs, Cory Kovanda is hitting .345 with a home run and 34 RBIs and Michael Stephens is hitting .339 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs … Marist enters the Tallahassee regional hitting .292. It also has a 4.78 ERA. The key hitters to watch include Bryce Nugent and Ricky Paclone. Nugent is hitting .324 with eight homers and 42 RBIs and Paclone is hitting .321 with eight homers and 51 RBIs