#5 Texas Tech vs #1 Florida
This is it. Win or go home. Its simple, all you have to do is beat the top-seeded team on the nation. The team that has allowed a mere 14 runs in the past 7 games, with a record of 52-14. This will not be an easy game, however it is baseball, and anyone can win at any given time. We’ve seen how bad bounces can affect games. We’ve seen how pitchers can be lights out in one game and a week later leave a ball in the zone that turns around a game. Nobody is unbeatable. Going into the World Series, we knew we’d have to beat Florida to advance to the Championship. The way the cards fell we now only have to beat them once.
The Red Raiders will be facing All-American sophomore Alex Faedo, a right-hander from Tampa. In 16 appearances this season, Faedo has 13 wins over 97 innings of work. He has struck out 124 batters while walking 21 and only allowing 5 home runs with an ERA of 3.25 this season. In the 2015 CWS, Faedo went 2-0 in 11 innings pitched, striking out 13, with an ERA of 1.64. He is a powerful pitcher that will look to strikeout as many of our batters as quickly as possible, stifling our offense.
The Red Raiders will counter with freshman Davis Martin, who has a 9-1 record with a 2.73 ERA over 82.1 innings, walking 24 and striking out 58. Davis will look to get back to his regular season form after a sub-par outing against Eastern Carolina in the first game of the Super Regional.
The Gators are led by their All-American first baseman Peter Alonso, who is currently batting .370, also leading the team in home runs with 13, and is currently slugging at .644. JJ Schwarz also received All-American honors, and he leads the team with 60 RBIs, including a grand slam in a win over Florida State that gave the Gators a berth in the World Series. Florida will be looking to get their offense going, after scoring just 1 run against Coastal Carolina on Sunday evening.
Keys to the Game
In Florida’s 2 losses this postseason they were shut out and scored 1 against CCU. Davis Martin needs to be back to his Friday night Big 12 game form and retire the batters quickly and efficiently. When Davis is on his game, he pitches quickly, and batters do not get past first base. When we are at the plate, we need to make contact with the ball and limit how many strikeouts Faedo can get. Capitalizing when we have men on base, especially in scoring position, will be paramount to our success.
In the 3 games of the tournament when Tech has been on the verge of elimination, they have outscored the opponent 19-4 over 31 innings. They also have committed only 1 error in those games. If the team can play mistake free and have similar run production, we will fight to play another day.