The Florida State Seminoles baseball team are hosting their fourth straight NCAA Baseball Tournament Super Regional and they've been to Omaha two out of the last three years. Getting out of Tallahassee and into the field in Omaha for the College World Series is going to be a tough task for the Texas A&M Aggies as a result, especially without ace John Stilson.
The good news for the Aggies is that they have two other very strong starting pitchers behind him, so they'll have every chance to pull a slight upset in their first two games behind their pitching. Michael Wacha and Ross Stripling have both been strong all year, throwing over 100 innings and posting ERAs well south of 2.50 with great strikeout-to-walk ratios.
Florida State's three potential starters for the series don't seem to be set in stone, but their ace certainly is. Sean Gilmartin leads his team with an ERA well south of 2.00, 113.1 innings, and 122 strikeouts. He should have the slight upper hand in Game 1 against Stripling.
James Ramsey, Jayce Boyd and Mike McGee are the big bats for Florida State, but they have a whopping six players who registered on base percentages above .400 this season. Texas A&M can't claim to have nearly that kind of offensive prowess, but Tyler Naquin is a star.
Both teams have very good and very deep bullpens, and we should get a look at both of them in this Super Regional. Texas A&M are down their best starter, while Florida State only have one bonafide starting pitcher.
Saturday, 4:30 pm ET (ESPNU): Ross Stripling (13-2, 2.30 ERA) vs. Sean Gilmartin (12-1, 1.83 ERA)
Sunday, 4:00 pm (ESPNU): Michael Wacha (8-3, 2.24 ERA) vs. Mike McGee (4-3, 4.02 ERA)
Monday, (ESPN2/ESPNU): Derrick Hadley (0-0, 4.04 ERA) Hunter Scantling (3-2, 3.84 ERA)
What to watch for
Florida State offense vs. Texas A&M defense and pitching: Florida State have a lot more offensive firepower than the Aggies do, but their bullpen is fantastic and their defense is a team is well above average. The other end of the innings won't be nearly as fun, with Texas A&M's offense facing off against an average defense and a pitching staff that has a great top end, but is not as deep.