Both Florida State and Indiana looked impressive in their regionals, as they swept through unscathed. Both teams are hot, but only one will be left standing after this weekend.
(7)* Florida State vs. 1 Indiana
* - No. 7 national seed
Dick Howser Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.
Saturday: noon (ESPNU)
Sunday: 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
Monday (if necessary): 1 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN3)
Florida State is one of the premier programs in college baseball, sporting the second highest all-time winning percentage in the country and having more top-10 finishes and 50-win seasons in the last 23 years than any other school. They've made the NCAA Tournament for 35 consecutive years, and have advanced to Omaha on 21 separate occasions. Despite all of that success, they have yet to win a national championship, something they'll be looking to change in the next few weeks.
Indiana is as light in their baseball accomplishment as Florida State is heavy. This year marks only the third time in school history that they've qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers won a school-record 43 games this season, captured their first Big Ten regular-season title since 1932 and hosted a regional for the first time ever.
Path to the supers
After losing four straight games heading into the tournament, Florida State got back on track by sweeping the Tallahassee regional. They beat Savannah State and Troy (twice) by an average of nine runs, with the 10-0 win over Savannah State being their lowest offensive output of the three games.
Indiana went 3-0 in its regional as well, knocking out Austin Peay in consecutive days to clinch their spot in the supers. They had to come back from down 4-1 in the ninth inning against Valparaiso to win on the tournament's opening day, using a dramatic two-run homer to walk off with the 5-4 win.
The Seminoles are swinging a hot stick so far in the NCAA Tournament. They're hitting an impressive .330 and are tied for second in runs scored in tournament play. Their 10.7 runs per game have been fueled largely by the long ball, of which they had five in three games last weekend. Freshman left fielder DJ Stewart leads the club with a .363 season average.
Indiana's lineup can flat-out rake: they have six players with at least 150 at-bats who are hitting above .300 and five with at least five home runs. Sophomore Kyle Schwarber falls into both categories with his .372 average and 17 round-trippers.
Scott Sitz is Florida State's ace, holding a 10-1 record and a 1.59 ERA on the season. He and Luke Weaver wreaked havoc during the Tallahassee regional, combining for 15 ⅓ innings-pitched, 11 hits, no earned runs and 22 strikeouts in their two starts. Third starter Brandon Leibrandt struggled on Sunday, allowing four earned runs in five innings against Troy.
Indiana led the Big Ten in ERA and had two starters with sub-2 ERAs. Hulking 6'10 Aaron Slegers is an intimidating presence on the mound, as is his 9-1 record. The pen is just as formidable, with Scott Effross and Ryan Halstead coming out with ten wins and 16 saves between them.
Florida State seems to have recovered just fine from that four-game hiccup heading into the tournament. Their offense is clicking and their starting pitching is looking un-hittable. It's been a great run for Indiana, but it ends after two games in Tallahassee.