June 9, 2017 - by
Noles-Bearkats Face Off in Super Regional

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sitting at 21-15 after a heartbreaking loss to No. 4 Clemson, Florida State was two games under .500 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the toughest part of its schedule was coming up. Since that day on April 15, the Seminoles are 22-6 with series wins over No. 3 Clemson and No. 2 Louisville, a four-game sweep through the ACC Tournament and a win last week in the Tallahassee Regional.

Starting Saturday at 12:00 noon, Florida State (43-21) will host Sam Houston State (44-21) in a best-of-three Super Regional with a bid to the College World Series on the line. The Seminoles have made 21 trips to Omaha for the CWS, most recently in 2012, while the Bearkats are playing in a Super Regional for the first time.

Sunday’s game will be at 12:00 noon, while Monday’s game, if necessary, does not have a start time yet. Saturday’s game will air on ESPN2, and the other two games will be on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU.

Eduardo Perez and Clay Matvick will have the call from Tallahassee. Eric Luallen, the voice of Florida State baseball, can be heard in Tallahassee on 106.1 FM or nationwide on the FSU Gameday App.

FSU reached the Super Regional by winning the Tallahassee Regional on Monday, winning four games in three days after losing the opener against Tennessee Tech. FSU was just the 21st team to reach the Super Regional round after losing the first game of the regional. The Seminoles were down to its final strike of the season against Auburn Sunday night, trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, before Dylan Busby tripled to score Taylor Walls. FSU won that night, 8-7 in 10 innings, and beat Auburn again on Monday to advance.

FSU’s starting pitching was dominant throughout the regional, culminating in a complete-game shutout of the Tigers by Will Zirzow in the final game. Tyler Holton tossed a complete-game against UCF, allowing just one unearned run. Drew Parrish struck out 12 in 7.1 innings in the opener against Tennessee Tech, while Cole Sands and Andrew Karp both pitched admirably in Sunday’s doubleheader.

Holton (13), Parrish (12), and Zirzow (11) set career-highs for strikeouts, while FSU’s 62 were the most in the country in the regionals.

Sam Houston State is a three-seed that eliminated two-seed Arizona and host and top-seed Texas Tech last weekend in the Lubbock Regional. The Bearkats beat both teams twice, including the Red Raiders, the No. 4 National Seed. Thanks to the Bearkats upset victory, Florida State is able to host the Super Regional.

Sam Houston is led by Bryce Johnson at the plate. Johnson hits .350 with 62 runs scored on 89 hits, and also leads the team in walks (34) and stolen bases (33).

On the mound, Heath Donica is 9-2 with a 1.91 earned run average. He has 106 strikeouts in 108.1 innings, and opponents are hitting just .208 against him.

Florida State and Sam Houston State have never met on the diamond. For the Bearkats, from Huntsville, Texas, this is the team’s first plane trip as a Division I member and first overall since a flight in 1979 as an NAIA program.

FSU leads the nation in consecutive postseason appearances, reaching the NCAA Tournament in 40 consecutive seasons. The Seminoles 16 trips to the Super Regionals (since the format was introduced in 1999) are three more than Cal State Fullerton and LSU for most in that span.

FSU last reached the College World Series in 2012, beating Stanford in two games in Tallahassee. FSU last hosted a Super Regional in 2013, and has played the past two Super Regionals in Gainesville.

For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).

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