By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
May 28, 2019
February 23, 2019. Youngstown State at Florida State baseball. Dick Howser Stadium Tallahassee, Florida, USA (Credit Image: Ken Lanese)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- This year's NCAA baseball tournament features five teams from the Sunshine State, though for the first time in quite some time, a regional won't be played in Florida.
However, there is a path to the Super Regional, and perhaps even the College World Series, for each of those five teams, as daunting a task as it may be.
Florida A&M and Florida State, respectively, are being hosted by the #3 and #4 overall seeds in Georgia Tech and UGA. The Rattlers open the Regionals against the Yellow Jackets, while FSU's first potential to meet UGA is in the second game, if both teams post the same result.
Florida Atlantic joins the Noles in Athens, with an all-Sunshine State matchup to open play in the Peach State.
The Florida Gators are being hosted by the #8 national seeded Texas Tech Red Raiders and open Regional play against a Dallas Baptist team that has made six straight Regionals and have been part of the the field of 64 in eight of the last nine years.
Miami won 39 games this year, including 18 in conference play, but open play in Starkville against a 46-win Chippewas team and a side that boasts wins over Pitt, Notre Dame and Michigan State.
While each of the five teams has just a good a shot as any to make it to the next round or Omaha (after all, you don't play the game on paper), WCTV viewers say they think Florida State has the best shot to get out of the first weekend and make it to the Super Regionals.
Which Florida team has the best chance to advance to Super Regionals?— WCTV Sports (@WCTVSports) May 28, 2019
But, a run for the Noles certainly wont come easy.
Both UGA and FAU posted 40-win seasons, while Mercer comes into the post season with a 35-win campaign.
All four teams also boast capable offenses, which comes at a bit of a determent to FSU; entering Regional play, the Dawgs, Owls and Bears own a better batting average then the Seminoles.
Prepping for tonight's 11 p.m. hit with @KeaneTheDream (as well as a web article) and found something interesting: FSU enters the Athens Regional with the worst team batting average of the four clubs (.268).— Fletcher Keel (@FletcherWCTV) May 29, 2019
UGA - .270
FAU - .299
Mercer - .269
If you remove FSU's 16-for-36 day at the plate in their ACC Tournament finale against NC State, that average dips to .264.
But, it isn't all bad news for the Garnet and Gold. Though the Noles also come in with a 4.73 ERA (the 10th-best mark in the conference), Mercer (4.90) and FAU (4.80) also have post-4.50 marks on the mound.
UGA comes in at 3.10, the second-best staff ERA in the SEC, only behind Texas A&M, and is 14-percentage points ahead of the next closest team in Mizzou.