ACC in NCAA Regionals Breakdown: Tallahassee Regional

Posted by Brandon Rink on May 29, 2012 under ACC Baseball | Comments are off for this article

FSU faces a field of three conference tournament champs in Tallahassee this weekend. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)

Tallahassee Regional

Opening Schedule

6/01 2) Mississippi State vs. 3) Samford, 12 p.m. ET

6/01 1) Florida State (No. 3 national seed) vs. 4) UAB, 6 p.m. ET

Mississippi State scouting report

Season notables: The Bulldogs lost four of their first five SEC series, but got hot at the right time sweeping Kentucky and battling out of the loser’s bracket to an SEC Championship in Hoover, Alabama. They own no real marquee out of conference wins, but that SEC Tourney run was impressive – downing Arkansas, LSU (twice), Kentucky and Vandy.

Top Bats: SS Adam Frazier (.376 BA/15 2B/26 RBI), DH Trey Porter (.262 BA/5 HR/25 RBI), 1B Wes Rea (.244 BA/38 RBI/5 HR).

Top Arms: RHP Chris Stratton (Starter: 11-1, 2.21 ERA), RHP Kendall Graveman (Starter: 4-4, 2.92 ERA), RHP Jonathan Holder (2-0, 0.00 ERA/9 saves), RHP Caleb Reed (1-5, 2.56 ERA/8 saves).

Samford scouting report

Season notables: Samford won on the road at Auburn, Oklahoma and UAB, and also took down No. 1 national seed Florida, 12-7 a couple weeks ago. They ran the table in the SoCon tournament scoring 10 runs per game to earn the school’s first NCAA Tournament berth.

Top Bats: 1B Saxon Butler (.350 BA/14 HR/60 RBI), CF Phillip Ervin (.340 BA/10 HR/52 RBI), RF Brandon Miller (.299 BA/22 HR/63 RBI).

Top Arms: RHP Josh Martin (Starter: 12-1, 2.96 ERA/90 Ks), RHP Charles Basford (Starter: 9-2, 3.95 ERA), RHP C.K. Irby (Reliever: 5-1, 1.53 ERA).

UAB scouting report

Season notables: The Blazers were a surprise C-USA champ as a 7-seed, going 2-1 in round robin play and downing Memphis in the title game 5-0. They lost to fellow regional foe Samford 11-0 earlier this season, but did steal games at Clemson and Rice.

Top Bats: 3B Patrick Palmeiro (.252 BA/5 HR/34 RBI), LF Ivan De Jesus (.297 BA/3 HR/23 RBI), CF Ryan Ussery (.275 BA/4 HR/18 RBI).

Top Arms: RHP Ben Bullard (Starter: 5-5, 2.96 ERA, did not throw a pitch in last start suffering from rotator cuff strain), RHP Michael Busby (Starter: 5-4, 3.90 ERA), RHP Chase Mallard (Reliever: 4-4, 3.13 ERA).

Projections

(Picks in bold)

Friday Games

6/01 2) Mississippi State vs. 3) Samford, 12 p.m. ET

6/01 1) Florida State vs. 4) UAB, 6 p.m. ET

Saturday Games

6/02 3) Samford vs. 4) UAB, 12 p.m. ET

6/02 1) Florida State vs. 2) Mississippi State, 7 p.m. ET

Sunday Games

6/03 2) Mississippi State vs. 3) Samford, 12 p.m. ET

6/03 1) Florida State vs. 3) Samford, 6 p.m. ET

Super Regional matchup vs: Stanford.

How It Goes

Questions abound in the Tallahassee Regional…FSU is matched with three teams that got hot in their respective conference tournaments to earn auto bids. Who runs out of gas and who, if any of the three, can keep the momentum going? Three-seed Samford might be balanced enough to do the trick (3rd in batting avg/1st in HRs/2nd in team ERA in SoCon), but it goes without saying Mississippi State is the more battle-tested of trio. The ‘Noles stumbled to the finish losing all three round-robin games in the ACC Tournament and 5-of-9 down the stretch in the regular season. Is that a wake-up call or a sign of problems to come? The good news for FSU is they’ve lost four games all season at the friendly confines of Dick Howser Stadium, and with some runs in the potential matchup against Mississippi St. (4th nationally in team ERA) on Saturday – the Seminoles should  advance on to a home Super Regional.