TALLAHASSEE -- For the sixth year in a row, Florida State will host a Super Regional after the No. 7 Seminoles used a seven-run fourth inning Sunday night to overcome a scrappy Troy University team 11-4 and win the Tallahassee NCAA Regional.
The Seminoles swept through their regional by a combined score of 32-4. They have now won 19 consecutive regional games.
“We’re obviously elated to be in the position we’re in,” FSU coach Mike Martin said.
“This is huge,” catcher Stephen McGee said. “Especially to have [a Super Regional] at our home field, I’m really looking forward to it. I know last season against Stanford it was awesome, the crowd was electric. It was really amazing.”
Coming into Sunday night’s game, Troy looked like it might be a team of destiny. A ninth inning rally helped the Trojans come back from a three-run deficit to beat Alabama 9-8 in the early game.
Then after the Seminoles chased Levi Tate before he could record an out in the first inning, the Trojans managed to escape a bases-loaded jam with just one run scoring. They stranded five Seminoles in the first two innings and by the bottom of the fourth were leading 3-2 — the first time in regional play that FSU trailed in a game.
“Oh yeah, I had that feeling [that we were a team of destiny],” Troy coach Bobby Pierce said. “Yeah, I felt pretty good about where we were at. I knew that this team would struggle if we couldn’t stay in the winner’s bracket.
“But once you win a game like [earlier in the day against Alabama] you say ‘why not, it could be us.’ ”
Destiny, however, was not on Troy’s side Sunday night; FSU exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth and had little trouble keeping the Trojans at bay the rest of the evening.
After an error on a fielder’s choice loaded the bases, the tying run came in when Stephen McGee was plunked by a pitch. Marcus Davis made it 5-3 with a two-run double to left-centerfield the next batter, then a few hitters later with the bases once again loaded, Brett Knief picked an ideal time to hit the first homer of his career when he blasted a grand slam to left field that broke the game wide open, 9-3.
“I actually faced that guy [Saturday],” Knief said. “I knew he had a really good slider, so I tried to sit on and let it go by and I got lucky, got the bat head out and I was able to help our team out.”
Troy first baseman Trae Sanchez hit a bomb to right field to cut the Seminole lead to five in the top of the next inning, but that proved to be all the offense the Trojans could muster.
The FSU bullpen combined for four scoreless innings to cement Brandon Leibrandt’s 10th win and the Seminoles poured on a couple of insurance runs.
The Seminoles will host Indiana next weekend in a Super Regional.