College World Series Preview: Is the third time the charm for Martin?

" It’s been 20 years since FSU won their first game in the CWS, which means they are overdue



One month ago nobody expected FSU to be back in the College World Series. We were one of the last four teams in the tournament field and yet we find ourselves in familiar territory once again. Now that FSU has made it back for #OneLastRun at that elusive championship, let's take a look at the road ahead. The College World Series is split into different brackets. Each bracket follows the same format as the double elimination regional round. The focus here is to take a look at FSU’s side of the bracket and their road to the championship round.



Arkansas 46-18

Rotation: W/L ERA IP SO

Isaiah Campbell 12-1 2.26 111.1 115

Connor Noland 3-5 4.00 74.1 53

Patrick Wicklander 6-2 4.29 65 88

Bullpen:

Matt Cronin 1-0 2.00 27 40

Jacob Kostyshock 1-3 2.89 28 29


Breakdown:


Arkansas has a top heavy rotation and bullpen. In a three game series this would be less scary but in a one off game the combination of Campbell and Cronin is tough to beat (unless you counter with C.J. Van Eyk and J.C. Flowers). The number 2 and 3 starters are inconsistent. Neither one made it out of the second inning during the Super Regionals with Noland lasting 1 inning and Wicklander going 1.2 innings. Outside of Cronin Kotyshock is the only other reliever with an ERA below 3.60.


Line up Avg. R HR RBI OBP SLUG.

Matt Goodheart .356 33 5 46 .453 .539

T revor Ezell .328 71 10 47 .439 .573

Jack Kenley .324 54 13 53 .442 .578

Heston Kjerstad .323 49 15 46 .401 .551

Dominic Fletcher .316 53 11 59 .382 .535

Casey Martin .293 65 15 56 .370 .556

Christian Franklin .267 40 6 34 .356 .408

Jacob Nesbit .262 34 3 41 .340 .343

Casey Opitz .232 29 2 29 .370 .349


Breakdown:


Wow. This team can flat out hit. 5 starters hitting over .300 with another at .293. An additional 5 starters with double digit home runs. This team is tough top to bottom with hardly an easy out in the whole line up. FSU’s starters are going to have to be on their A game. Their defense seems to be about average nothing special but also doesn’t kill them.


Overall Expectations/Predictions:


I would expect Arkansas to pitch their ace against the Noles and that is a tough task. The good news is the Noles have faced their share of aces this postseason and they have proven they can score. Oh and FSU has an ace of their own maybe you’ve heard of him his name is C.J Van Eyk. That man oozes confidence. I am not sure if Martin is going with Parrish or Van Eyk but either one is capable of keeping the Noles in the game. If FSU can get Campbell out of the game and get into the Razorbacks bullpen, they can win this game. I think the Noles do just that and win 7-5 (I am assuming that Parrish starts this game).



Michigan 46-20

Rotation: W/L ERA IP SO

Karl Kauffmann 10-6 2.59 114.2 101

Jeff Criswell 7-1 2.74 95.1 99

Tommy Henry 10-5 3.54 106.2 117

Bullpen:

Isaiah Paige 4-0 2.98 27 48.1

Willie Weiss 2-2 3.08 28 38.0


Breakdown:

Michigan has what has to have one of the best rotations left in the CWS. Their top 3 starters all have ERA’s below 3.60 with their top two with ERAs below 3.00. Their bullpen lacks a ton of depth but their top two relievers are both solid. This appears to be the strength of this Wolverines team.


Line up Avg. R HR RBI OBP SLUG.

Jordan Brewer .338 55 12 55 .396 .586

Jordan Nwogu .327 55 12 43 .442 .580

Jack Blomgren .309 36 3 47 .418 .406

Blake Nelson .299 40 1 35 .399 .398

Christan Bullock .296 26 2 14 .402 .459

Jimmy Kerr .269 46 12 56 .370 .475

Miles Lewis .266 43 4 31 .366 .410

Ako Thomas .262 35 2 28 .352 .374

Jesse Franklin .254 55 12 49 .384 .470

Joe Donovan .245 36 8 36 .318 .436


Breakdown:

Michigan has a solid all around line up. They have a good mix of players who get on base and players with some pop in their bat. There isn’t many weak spots in the line up with every starter having an on base percentage north of .350. While far from the most potent offense in baseball they have enough firepower to take over games.


Overall Expectations/Predictions:

My first instinct is to not trust Big 10 teams in baseball, but it’s tough to discount a team that just took out the number 1 overall seed at their own home. I think with Michigan’s rotation and just enough fire power in their offense they will beat Texas Tech in game 1 to set up a match up with FSU.



Texas Tech 44-18

Rotation: W/L ERA IP SO

Micah Dallas 7-0 3.38 72 82

Caleb Killian 8-3 3.93 89.1 80

Bryce Bonnin 6-1 4.42 59 58

Bullpen:

Taylor Ford 5-3 2.81 51.1 79

Willie Weiss 0-3 3.20 19.2 39


Breakdown:

The starting rotation is solid if unspectacular. Texas Tech has used multiple starters before deciding on their rotation making this a fairly untested rotation. The real strength of the pitching staff is in their bullpen. They have plenty of quality arms. The key is to get to the starter early.


Line up Avg. R HR RBI OBP SLUG.

Cameron Warren .354 60 17 76 .448 .664

Josh Jung .342 62 14 56 .476 .636

Dru Baker .326 29 3 23 .403 .457

Gabe Holt .320 53 3 35 .413 .438

Brian Klein .317 51 2 54 .411 .425

Dylan Neuse .307 55 8 51 .418 .518

Cody Master .303 23 5 27 .386 .470

Braxton Fulford .292 35 4 33 .389 .416

Cole Stilwell .270 23 3 22 .411 .410

Tanner O’Tremba .267 18 2 20 .374 .411


Breakdown:

Texas Tech can hit...which is an understatement. This team has 6 starters hitting over .300 with another at .292. They have 6 starters with OBP over .400 with the other 3 all above .370. Their game is obviosuly to get on base and let their stars drive them in. Those stars are Josh Jung and Cameron Warren who are just straight beasts. This offense is enough to carry the team.


Overall Expectations/Predictions:

Texas Tech is a team with few holes. Their starting pitching is solid, their bullpen is excellent, and their hitting is elite. However, baseball is a crazy game. I think Michigan on the back of their pitching takes game 1.



Florida State 41-21

Rotation: W/L ERA IP SO

Drew Parrish 8-5 5.11 86.1 116

C.J. Van Eyk 10-3 3.80 94.2 120

Conor Grady 9-5 3.64 59.1 67

Bullpen:

J.C. Flowers 0-0 1.40 25.2 23

Antonio Velez 5-2 4.26 44.1 47

Chase Heaney 2-2 2.73 33 32


Breakdown:

The starting pitching which came into the season as a strength has been wildly inconsistent. However, over the last 2 months C.J. Van Eyk has been almost unhittable. Conor Grady has really turned it on as well, especially on the big stage against a national seed in Georgia. The bullpen has also turned it around. J.C. Flowers has been unstoppable all season with an ERA below 1.25 and 12 saves. Chase Heaney has been dominate especially against righties and Velez has come on strong lately especially in big games. Velez also started 3 games one of which inflates his ERA and deceives just how good he has been.


Line up Avg. R HR RBI OBP SLUG.

Mike Salvatore .341 55 7 51 .430 .541

Robby Martin .332 33 4 54 .414 .473

Drew Mendoza .319 60 16 56 .484 .620

Reese Albert .299 33 9 35 .406 .552

Tim Becker .286 17 3 13 .400 .531

Matheu Nelson .277 32 6 29 .439 .439 .

J.C. Flowers .271 45 13 53 .372 .511

Carter Smith .247 18 2 10 .366 .376

Nander De Sedas .241 38 4 31 .365 .352


Breakdown:

When looking at the offense on paper it seems good but not great. However, when you look at how it has performed this postseason it’s an elite level offense. Since the last game of the ACC tourney FSU has been on fire. FSU inserted Tim Becker, the club team hero into left field and Carter Smith at first base. Since that time there is no hole in this line up. They work counts, get on base, and score runs.



Overall Expectations/Predictions:

1 month ago FSU was dead in the water. They barely made it to the tournament. Every one picked them to lose in the Athens Regional. Most experts picked them to lose in the Baton Rouge Super Regional. Yet here they are. It’s been 20 years since FSU won their first game in the CWS, which means they are overdue.


I expect FSU to pitch Drew Parrish in game 1. Despite his inconsistency he has the stuff and experience to get them that game 1 victory. Drew goes 6 solid 3 run innings and the bullpen closes out the win 7-5. Game 2 is the C.J. Van Eyk show as FSU beats Michigan (who upsets Texas Tech) in a pitchers duel 4-3. FSU then faces off against Texas Tech who wins the rematch against Michigan after ending Arkansas’s season. FSU holds them off 8-6 to advance to the CWS where they face an elite Vanderbilt team with everything on the line. Is the third time the charm for Martin in the CWS final?


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#FSU #NOLES #FLORIDASTATEUNIVERSITY #FSUBASEBALL #COLLEGEWORLDSERIES #GONOLES #TEXASTECH #MICHIGAN #ARKANSA #2019CWS #NOLEMAHA


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