What lies ahead for FSU in the Tallahassee Regional?

Postseason baseball is back where it belongs in Tallahassee! For the first time since 2018, the Seminoles will host a regional inside Dick Howser Stadium. FSU will also have the opportunity to play a super-regional at home after earning a top 8 national seed for the twelfth time in program history, an NCAA tournament record.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. The Noles must navigate a difficult regional with three other quality programs coming to town. Their first pairing will be against a familiar foe in the Stetson Hatters (40-20). The Hatters are making their 19th tournament appearance after winning the ASUN championship and reaching 40 wins. FSU and Stetson split their two meetings this season with the Noles taking game one by a score of 1-0. Only two weeks ago, the Hatters grabbed the win in game two by a score of 10-5. Stetson also split a two-game series with Florida and one of the regional opponents, UCF. They are only 1-4 in quad 1 games, but that lone win was against FSU, so they better come ready to play.

If the Noles get past the Hatters, they will face the winner of UCF and Alabama. The Knights enter the regional with a 35-19 record and wins over Stetson, Florida, and Miami. However, UCF is only 4-8 in quad 1 games with an offense that ranks outside the top 100 in scoring and team batting average. Defensively, the Knights lead the grouping in runs allowed and team ERA. UCF is 12-9 in road games this season and 6-4 in their last 10 games. Don’t let those numbers fool you. The Knights beat #19 Oklahoma State three times this season including a 13-2 blowout. They also beat Florida and Miami earlier in the season.

The Knights will face a dangerous Crimson Tide team that enters the tournament with a 33-22 record and ranked 24th in RPI. The Tide may not have hit 40 wins, or have the best winning percentage, but that has a lot to do with their top 10 strength of schedule ranking. Alabama has played a whopping 35 quad 1 games! For reference, FSU has played 16, UCF 12, and Stetson 5.

Just look at this lineup of teams they have played… #1 Tennessee, #2 Kentucky, #4 Texas A&M, #5 Arkansas, #11 UGA, #15 Mississippi State, #18 Arizona, #25 Southern Miss, and an unranked 40-win LSU squad. That’s a tough slate for any team and the Tide did manage to come out with series wins against #1 Tennessee, #5 Arkansas, and LSU. They do hold a losing record in road games (8-12) and are 5-5 in their last 10, so that’s an advantage for FSU if these two teams meet.

Quick Stat Rundown

Team Record (SOS/RPI)

Quad 1 Record

Runs per game

Team Batting Avg.

Runs allowed per game

Team ERA

These are 4 quality teams who will be competing in the Tallahassee regional. According to these power rankings by a popular stat source on X (formerly Twitter), the Tallahassee regional ranks as the second hardest to win in 2024.

Tallahassee Regional Schedule

Friday, May 31st

Game 1: No. 1 seed Florida State vs. No. 4 seed Stetson at noon (ACC Network)

Game 2: No. 2 seed Alabama vs. No. 3 seed UCF sat 6 p.m. (ESPN+)

Saturday, June 1st

Game 3: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser at noon.

Game 4: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner at 5 p.m.

Sunday, June 2nd

Game 5: Game 4 Loser vs. Game 3 Winner at noon.

Game 6: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner at 6 p.m.

Monday, June 3rd (if necessary)

Game 7 (if necessary): (TBD)

If the Noles advance to the super regional, they will face the winner of the Norman (OK) regional. Oddly enough, the potential for a rematch against Duke is on the table, but they would have to get past UCONN, ninth-seed Oklahoma, and Oral Roberts.

The good thing is that FSU will host for the next two weeks if they keep advancing. This is a huge boost for a team that is 27-4 at home, but only 8-10 on the road. Additionally, head coach Link Jarrett shared some positive updates on FSU’s former Friday starter Cam Leiter, who has missed significant time. 

“The whole lunch in there was him telling me he’s ready to go and this and that. So, we need to get him another good bullpen session. So, we’ll lengthen that out again for him. He’ll throw a little bit today and then prep for his bullpen Wednesday. If things hold true to how we have planned this and how he feels, then he’ll be available this weekend. Not to start, but in any way that we can involve him in it. You know, it’s a really high-power weaponized arm, so we’ll see how the next several days go. But that’s the hope and plan.” – Link Jarret

FSU has one of the better offenses in the country and leads the regional grouping in scoring, hits, home runs, and team batting average. However, inconsistency from the bullpen has been their Achilles heel throughout the season. Getting Leiter back in any capacity would be a huge boost for the Noles. They’ve recently added Conner Whittaker and Ben Barrett back to the rotation and what better time to get healthy than heading into the postseason? Coach Jarrett was also asked about how he plans to manage resources throughout the weekend.

“Well, we know the teams fairly well, and you have to be in a position to win these games. I’ll look at that. You have to win them. If you don’t, it becomes difficult. So where to use Jamie and then Dorsey and Whittaker and the rest of the crew? Like we have enough. I don’t know if I’m ready to start down the road of how to manage the entry to the tournament.”

He continued, “My experience in this is you need to try to win. And once you fall into the loser side of that, it becomes a more challenging roadmap to victory. So that’s what I can tell you now. We haven’t had time to unpack what makes the most sense. Fortunately, everybody is relatively fresh and healthy, so that does give you some options. There are situations where you may not have the luxury of deciding what to do. At least we’re in that position. But I feel like we have to try to do things to put ourselves in a position to stay on the winner’s side.”

No matter what happens, it’s been quite the turnaround in year two under coach Link Jarrett. However, this team is looking for more than just a feel-good story. Any team that makes it to the postseason is a threat, but Alabama appears to be the toughest challenge of this regional. If the offense performs like we know it can and the bullpen holds up with the possibility of Cam Leiter returning and Conner Whittaker getting a larger workload, I like the Seminoles’ chances. FSU faithful will undoubtedly pack Howser for an added home-field advantage and maybe they’ll even find a little Mike Martin magic for a run to Omaha. Thanks for reading and Go Noles!

Share this Article with other Nole fans!

Check out the Plant The Spear Podcast for those who bleed garnet and gold!

Continue Reading