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May 27, 2013
The skid didn't cost FSU a seed.
Despite an 0-4 week filled with top competition and the wrong end of late-inning heroics, Florida State (44-15) got good news Monday as it landed the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The seeding guarantees the 'Noles home field advantage through Super Regional play.
The Seminoles will host their 30th regional tournament as Alabama, Troy and Savannah State start postseason play at Dick Howser Stadium on Friday. FSU will start its postseason run with MEAC champion Savannah State (33-21) at 5 p.m. ET while No. 3-seed Troy and No. 2 seed Alabama face off at Noon ET.
"We are just very excited to be where we are at," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "I'm sure there were a lot of tough decisions that the committee had to make but we are just very, very pleased and proud to be where we are and it's a credit to our young men."
NCAA Division I Baseball Committee Chair Dennis Farrell said the committee spent 45 minutes to an hour discussing four teams - FSU, Oregon, Indiana and N.C. State - they felt were qualified to take the final two national seeds. In the end, they picked FSU and No. 8-seed Oregon.
Farrell cited FSU's "body of work" during the ESPNU telecast announcing the bracket on Monday, adding "we tried to minimize the final weekend as much as possible for a number of teams."
"There's no way I can say that we were confident that we were a top eight seed (last night)," Martin said. "I'm appreciative of the body of work that was put forth as the committee perused over many, many different facts and figures. There's no question in my mind that the major emphasis should be what you accomplished in the first 56 games."
Aside from the losses in ACC Tournament play, Florida State took two of three games from N.C. State earlier this month and finished ahead of the Wolfpack in the Atlantic Division. While FSU went 0-3 in Durham, N.C. State went 2-1.
"I thought we deserved it," said FSU pitcher Scott Sitz, who admitted he felt unsure about FSU's standing for a national seed on the ride home the ACC Tournament in Durham, N.C. "I knew the question was between us and N.C. State and I felt like our head to head with them had to have some kind of advantage and I guess it clearly did."
Sitz (9-1) will take the hill against Savannah State, which will counter with ace Kyle McGowin. McGowin is 12-1 with a 1.33 ERA with 129 strikeouts in 115.1 innings.
The losers of each game in Friday's regional action will meet in an elimination game on Saturday (Noon ET) while the winners square off at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Martin said that Luke Weaver would get the start on Saturday and Brandon Leibrandt would take the hill Sunday.
The Tallahassee regional is paired with the Bloomington Ind., regional where Indiana is the host. Assuming the top seeds advance, FSU would host Indiana in the Super Regional round.
With a losing streak to snap and a national seed in hand, Martin expects a focused bunch this weekend.
"I don't care where you are, if you lose four in a row you've know that you've got to do some things better," Martin said. "And let's just hope we can go out and play better and get it done."
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