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Texas Tech vs. Florida State: College World Series Preview

Josh Jung Texas Tech Baseball

College World Series Elimination Game, Bracket 1, 6 p.m. CT

TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska

Television: ESPN

Texas Tech Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network

Head Coaches

Florida State: Mike Martin (2,029-734-4 in 40 seasons)

Texas Tech: Tim Tadlock (284-151 in 7 seasons)

Probables

Florida State: So. RHP Conor Grady: 9-5, 3.64 ERA, 59.1 IP, 67 K, 24 BB

Texas Tech: So. RHP Bryce Bonnin: 6-1, 4.42 ERA, 59.0 IP, 58 K, 41 BB

 

Pitcher Usage

Florida State

*Denotes pitched in most recent game

**Denotes pitched in both games

Drew Parrish: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 27 AB, 30 BF, 113 pitches

*CJ Van Eyk: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 20 AB, 22 BF, 106 pitches

*Chase Haney: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 8 AB, 8 BF, 32 pitches

*Jonah Scolaro: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 6 AB, 6 BF, 30 pitches

J.C. Flowers: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3 AB, 3 BF, 13 pitches

Texas Tech

*Caleb Killian: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 28 AB, 29 BF, 105 pitches

Micah Dallas: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 13 AB, 15 BF, 61 pitches

**Taylor Floyd: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 7 AB, 7 BF, 23 pitches

**John McMillon: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 AB, 9 BF, 34 pitches

**Dane Haveman: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 AB, 8 BF, 34 pitches

Connor Queen: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 7 AB, 10 BF, 41 pitches

MLB Draft Picks

Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech, 1st round, 8th overall pick, Texas Rangers

Drew Mendoza, 3B, Florida State, 3rd round, 94th overall pick, Washington Nationals

J.C. Flowers, RHP, Florida State, 4th round, 124th overall pick, Pittsburgh Pirates

Gabe Holt, CF, Texas Tech, 7th round, 223rd overall pick, Milwaukee Brewers

Drew Parrish, LHP, Florida State, 8th round, 229th overall pick, Kansas City Royals

Caleb Killian, RHP, Texas Tech, 8th round, 236th overall pick, San Francisco Giants

Mike Salvatore, SS, Florida State, 9th round, 276th overall pick, Seattle Mariners

Taylor Floyd, RHP, Texas Tech, 10th round, 313th overall pick, Milwaukee Brewers

John McMillon, OF, Texas Tech, 11th round, 322nd overall pick, Detroit Tigers

Caleb Freeman, RHP, Texas Tech, 15th round, 440th overall pick, Chicago White Sox

Cameron Warren, 1B, Texas Tech, 22nd round, 654th overall pick, Cincinnati Reds

 

The main storyline of this entire College World Series is Florida State head coach Mike Martin retiring after a 40-year career with the Seminoles. He is tied with former Texas head coach Cliff Gustafson for the most College World Series appearances as the skipper. Unlike Gustafson, Martin has never won the College World Series. In the previous 16 appearances, he’s advanced to the finals twice. Seven of those appearances have seen the Seminoles ousted in three games. Texas Tech wants to make it eight times, and it may have Gabe Holt to help with that.

Holt, who broke his thumb during the Super Regionals, has been held out while trying to heal it after a quick surgery. The missing bat showed during the Michigan game. It’s hurt the Red Raiders during the first time through the lineup. This gave Michigan ace Karl Kauffman just enough time to chew up innings before Tech pounded him as they did in their previous meeting back in March. The Wolverines were able to hold off a comeback from Tech and are now in the “catbird’s seat”. Being the amazing coach that he is, Tim Tadlock has helped his team adjust after one round through the lineup. Arkansas wasn’t so lucky. Down 3-0, Tech came back to upset the Razorbacks and send them back to Fayetteville. The Arkansas ouster ensures that at least one of the teams in the National Championship will not be from the SEC.

While Texas Tech has been dealt a pair of rough starts on offense and a subpar outing from Micah Dallas in game one, Florida State’s problem is completely on offense. The Seminoles have scored one run in two games. That run was unearned in the ninth inning of a 1-0 victory over Arkansas. Luckily for Florida State, they’ll likely have more offense against Tech’s Bryce Bonnin. The Barber’s Hill product who transferred from Arkansas is a strikeout pitcher. Being a strikeout pitcher, he naturally surrenders a few walks. If Florida State can be patient at the plate and scratch out a few early runs, they’ll likely win.

On the flip side, Conor Grady hasn’t pitched since the Regionals. If Tech strikes early and often, the pressure automatically mounts on a Florida State bullpen that hasn’t been utilized much for a couple of weeks. The Seminoles used five total pitchers during their sweep in the Super Regionals. Is it too much rest for a bullpen? Many of these pitchers will be going straight from the regular season to the College World Series. Only Antonio Velez and Clayton Kwiatkowski have been on the mound during the postseason outside of the pitchers already utilized. If the Tech offense gets going, you can guarantee those two will be on the mound in relief.

Texas Tech has never reached the semifinals of the College World Series. The Red Raiders have recorded a record of 1-2 in each of their past two appearances. A Big 12 team has not made it to the National Championship since 2009 when Texas lost to LSU in three games. The Longhorns are also the last Big 12 team to win the National Championship, doing so in 2005. Florida State’s last semifinals appearance came in 2012. Their only College World Series appearance since came in 2017 when they finished 2-2. During that 2012 appearance, both losses came to eventual National Champion Arizona. After dropping their opener to the Wildcats, Florida State eliminated Stony Brook and UCLA.

It’s win or go home 6 p.m. Wednesday night on ESPN in Omaha.

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