In this double-elimination round of the College World Series, it’s win-or-go-home for both the Florida State Seminoles and the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Wednesday night with a loss looming over both teams’ heads. The Red Raiders are the favorites based on their season ranking, but it’s already been a fairy tale run for the Florida State who have defied the odds to even make it to Omaha, let alone capture a victory. Will it be the Seminoles keeping their magical run alive or will Texas Tech finally be the team to send them home and bring an end to their quest for the national championship? Another team heads home before the night is over, it’s just a matter of which one.
First pitch for the game between Florida State and Texas Tech is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at 7 p.m. ET at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. The matchup will be shown on ESPN.
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The Red Raiders powered their way into another game with three home runs and an RBI triple off the bat of Cody Masters in the bottom of the eighth as the clinching run.
The homers came off the bats of Easton Murrell, Josh Jung, and Cameron Warren. Warren’s is the only one that wasn’t a solo shot. He drove in two.
Texas Tech lost their first game, falling to Michigan. Now, they’ll get another chance, but once again have to top what was a red-hot, underdog team coming into the College World Series.
Like Texas Tech, the Seminoles have also lost to Michigan here in Omaha, dropping a Monday night showdown 2-0, collecting three hits. They have eight now in two games here in the College World Series as the offense has gone quiet.
Caleb Killian gave the Red Raiders a much-needed performance on the mound on Monday, going seven strong, allowing just three runs in a must-win game. He did his part. Now the rest of the pitching staff will need to come through on Wednesday.
As a team, the Red Raiders are more offensively minded, but they did have a respectable 3.89 ERA on the season ranking No.44 in the nation.
The question, however, is: who is going to start. Micah Dallas could take the ball on three-days’ rest, particularly after a short outing, but there are questions about him after his struggles in Texas Tech’s first College World Series game.
Michigan tagged Dallas for four runs—three earned—in just three innings. That put the Red Raiders in a hole they couldn’t get out. Still, Dallas is a much better option to start than anyone else on the team. Bryce Bonnin, Erikson Lanning and Mason Montgomery took the ball and threw some innings this year but are hardly reliable in a win-or-go-home game.
Behind Dallas, Dane Haveman, Taylor Floyd, Jon McMillon and the rest will all be on call in this all arms on deck situation.
Meanwhile, FSU went with the opener, using J.C. Flowers for an inning and then getting eight from Drew Parrish in their huge 1-0 win over Arkansas. The pitching allowing just five hits and two walks, striking out 10.
The team went the more conventional starter approach on Monday with CJ Van Eyk who went 4.2 innings, throwing a ton of pitches and giving up what turned into the only two runs of the game.
Chase Haney and Jonah Scolaro came in tow pitch 4.1 combined scoreless frames without allowing a hit or walk and strikeout out eight. The relievers blew through the Wolverine offense, but it was too little, too late.
Overall, the pitching has a combined 4.48 ERA. Flowers has been a dominant closer—and now opener—with a 1.35 ERA in 26.2 innings. Haney and Conor Grady are also very strong relief options with a 2.73 and 3.64 ERA respectively. Grady also has 67 strikeouts in 59.1 innings. He or Shane Drohan are the only two other than Parrish and Van Eyk with more than three starts and could factor in to eat innings.
The offense was always going to be the question for the Seminoles. The team has a cumulative .270 average with just three regulars hitting over .300.
While Florida State was able to explode offensively in the Regionals and show well at the dish in the Super Regionals as well, the offense has gone ice cold here in Omaha, scoring just a single run in two games.
In the win over Arkansas, the Seminoles collected only five hits. It was even worse on Monday with Michigan’s Tommy Henry making them look silly.
FSU scored 35 times in three games in the Regionals, including plating 22 runs in two games against Georgia. Then, they made it seem real with a nice two-game showing against LSU, outscoring the Tigers 11-8. That shows this team does have the offense in there to score against good teams, but they’ll have to rediscover the magic quickly.
By the numbers it could be an uphill battle. Mike Salvatore, Robby Martin, Drew Mendoza and J.C. Flowers will need their bats to break out.
On the other side of this matchup, the Red Raiders are one of the best offenses in the country. Texas Tech came into the College World Series averaging 7.7 runs per game, ranking No.14 in Division 1 baseball.
With eight overall MLB draft pick Josh Jung along with Cameron Warren, few teams can match the one-two punch, but the lineup is so much deeper.
Even if Jung and/or Warren are shutdown, the Red Raiders have other options. The tam has a cumulative .300 batting average. There are six regulars with an average north of .305 and eight with an OBP better than .390.
Texas Tech can put runs on the board a plethora of different ways from using speed from Gabe Holt or Dylan Neuse or power from Jung and Warren. This offense has it all.
The Red Raiders haven’t exploded offensively so far in Omaha, but they did score three in a loss and five in a win, showing resilience in scoring in the bottom of the eighth after giving up a lead and capturing the win despite an early 3-0 deficit. The offense fought back.
Texas Tech came up short against Michigan, but so did the Seminoles who were completely shutout. The offense has gone cold. That’s not a good sign for Florida State’s chances of advancing on Wednesday.
Look for Dallas and company to fair well against FSU, allowing the Texas Tech offense to lead the way, capture an early lead and live to play another game.
Look for a big homer from either Warren or Jung while the rest of the lineup, top-to-bottom, puts together tough at bats and grinds the Florida State pitching staff down.
Take Texas Tech to advance and Florida State to go home at BookMaker.eu.
MLB Odds: Texas Tech 6, Florida State 2
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