The College World Series' ultimate Cinderella story came to a close with Florida State's 12-2 defeat of Stony Brook Sunday night.
The victory is lopsided, and you are probably thinking that Florida State did exactly what they were supposed to do.
But I don't think it's that simple.
Stony Brook had the best record in college baseball this year. Granted, the America East Conference is not the country's most rigorous grouping, but wins are wins.On top of that, the Seawolves knocked off Miami and LSU en route to their remarkable College World Series berth.
You can call that whatever you want, but it created one thing for sure.The Seawolves entered this year's competition as hot as anyone and with less to lose. That's a dangerous combination.
On paper, this game looks like a ridiculously easy pick.
Let's look at why Florida State proved more than you may think Sunday night.
Stony Brook's loss comes as a shock to no one. They shouldn't leave Omaha with their tails between their legs, and it does nothing to negate their improbable run to the mecca of college baseball competition.
But what if the Seminoles had lost?
That would have been viewed as unforgivable by Seminole faithful.
Regardless of Stony Brook's recent play, they are still Stony Brook. Florida State followers will place massive expectations on that game every single time.
Counting a team out before the game even starts is a dangerous idea. Stony Brook could have turned that disrespect into early momentum and transformed this game into a knock-'em-down, drag-'em-out brawl.
Instead, Florida State hung a run on Seawolves starter Brandon McNitt in the first inning and added six more in the third frame. The Seminoles' ability to counter Stony Brook's momentum with some early "mo" of their own should not be overlooked.
The Seminoles scored 12 runs for the third time in four games. The only time they didn't was last game, where they scored three runs against Arizona in a losing effort.
Florida State thumped 11 hits off four Seawolves' pitchers. They will need to double their efforts in their next matchup against the loser of the UCLA-Arizona game.
Proving their offensive mettle against Stony Brook was important. The Seawolves' pitching staff is not the same caliber of UCLA or Arizona, and Florida State needed to prove that their bats were still hot.
The Seminoles may have been expected to win, but they didn't walk away from this game without proving themselves. Ask any college basketball team how it is to play the Cinderella squad in March Madness action. This is no different.
It isn't easy, but Florida State got it done in decisive fashion.