On this episode of the College Baseball Central Podcast, Joe Healy and Scott Stone preview the Tallahassee Regional in ten minutes or less. The four teams fighting for a regional title in this one are:
Florida State Seminoles (43-17, ACC automatic)
FSU lost ace Tyler Holton early in the season, but Drew Parrish (5-0, 2.47 ERA) has done a pretty good impression of him as the team’s ace this season. Cole Sands (7-3, 4.46 ERA) and Andrew Karp (8-4, 3.97 ERA) have given the Seminoles some depth on the starting staff as well. Offensively, it’s a typical FSU offense. The .268 team batting average doesn’t blow you away, but they have a couple of big power bats in Cal Raleigh (13 HR) and Jackson Lueck (15 HR) in the order, and they still take a ton of walks, as evidenced by their .397 team on-base percentage.
Mississippi State Bulldogs (31-25, SEC at-large)
It’s been one hectic season for MSU. Their head coach was relieved of his duties after one series. They got off to a slow start in SEC play, and then rebounded to get into a regional. And now, as they head into the regional at Tallahassee, news is swirling about the new head coaching hire. Along the way, they’ve done a nice job of getting the most out of their team. On the mound, Konnor Pilkington (2-6, 4.28) hasn’t been as dominant as anticipated, but he’s still been solid and thrown a ton of innings. Ethan Small (5-3, 2.94 ERA) has been very good to give some depth to the rotation, and Jake Mangum (.353/.432/.475, 20 2B, 14 SB) has been quite the catalyst on offense.
Oklahoma Sooners (36-23, Big 12 at-large)
The Sooners will come into the weekend with some injury concerns, as top hitters Steele Walker (.352/.441/.606, 13 HR) and Kyler Murray (.296/.398/.556, 10 HR) are questionable for the regional. As good as guys like Brylie Ware (.326/.400/.438, 18 2B) and Cade Harris (.276/.443/.452, 21 2B) have been this year, it will be a tough ask for them to compete without those two top bats. On the mound, Jake Irvin (6-2, 2.85 ERA) has been as advertised.
Samford Bulldogs (36-24, SoCon automatic)
The Bulldogs are a four seed with more than enough pitching depth to be able to compete deep into a regional if they can get there. Samuel Stricklan (8-2, 1.89 ERA) and Cody Shelton (2-3, 3.08 ERA) give the Bulldogs a couple of proven starters, and they have some absolute workhorses in the bullpen in Wyatt Burns (1.68 ERA, 12 SV) and Josh Rich (2.64 ERA). The former has 77 strikeouts in 59 innings, while the latter has 78 strikeouts in 58 innings.