College Baseball World Series 2012: Stony Brook's Fairy Tale Will End Tonight
All good things must come to an end.
That statement will ring true when the Stony Brook Seawolves meet the Florida State Seminoles in this evening's elimination game at 5 p.m. ET in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Seawolves made waves in the Coral Gables regional when they beat Miami, Missouri State and the University of Central Florida, teams that were ranked No. 12, No. 35 and No. 22, respectively.
Matt Senk's club then moved on to the Baton Rouge Super Regional and disposed of the No. 7 LSU Tigers by winning the last two games of a best-of-three series.
But most Cinderella stories don't last forever.
Stony Brook got walloped by the No. 1 overall UCLA Bruins in its first game of the 2012 College World Series to the tune of a 9-1 result. That's the least of their worries, though, because Mike Martin's Florida State Seminoles are up next.
Martin's team is ranked No. 3 nationally and grabbed a No. 1 seed in the CWS after posting a 43-15 record that led to a regular season Atlantic Coast Conference title.
While it would be a great thing to watch, and something I would thoroughly enjoy seeing because I live around the block from the Stony Brook campus, it seems highly unlikely that the Seawolves will be able to "Shock the World" one more time.
LSU has an impressive baseball program, loaded with tradition, but the Tigers aren't as good as the Bruins are, and the Bruins aren't as good as the Seminoles are.
One of Stony Brook's best pitchers, Tyler Johnson, was tagged for seven earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched in the team's CWS opening game. Johnson was so good during the regular season that he left the game with a 2.52 ERA despite his abysmal opening frame.
The Seawolves will turn to Brandon McNitt against a Florida State team that lost a heartbreaking 4-3 game to the Arizona Wildcats in 12 innings.
Mike Compton takes the bump for Florida State. Compton. The freshman has posted an 11-2 record to go with a 2.86 ERA so far this season.
We see this kind of situation all the time, the perennial powerhouse against the underdog program. Everybody pulls for the underdog, but it seldom turns out that way.
Take the NCAA basketball tournament for example. Butler had its storybook run deep into the tournament two years in a row, but lost to Duke in 2010 and Connecticut in 2011. Virginia Commonwealth has reached similar heights, but lost late as well.
There's a reason why these teams are deemed perennial contenders for the national championship. The Seminoles have qualified for the NCAA tournament every year since 1978, while this is Stony Brook's fifth appearance in the tournament.
Yes, Stony Brook has posted better numbers this season, but that came against inferior competition.
What's your prediction for tonight's game?
FSU ran the gauntlet that is the Atlantic Coast Conference and still finished as the No. 3 team in the nation. They've been here plenty of times before and should be able to take care of business and put a stop to the Seawolves heartwarming run deep into the NCAA tournament.
It'll be a close one, and Stony Brook won't fold no matter what happens over the course of nine frames, but the Seminoles should be able to exert their influence over the Seawolves and send them back to Long Island.
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