The Florida State Seminoles are coming off a huge victory against UCLA in which they eliminated the top-seeded Bruins by a convincing 4-1 score.
Before their last win, the Seminoles put on an impressive display of power and pitching en route to a 12-2 rout of the fan favorite Stony Brook Seawolves.
Prior to that win against the Seawolves, in their first game at the College World Series in Omaha on June 15, the Seminoles suffered a demoralizing 4-3 loss in 12 innings to the Arizona Wildcats.
Florida State will meet the Arizona Wildcats with their backs against the wall. The Seminoles are one loss away from being sent back to Tallahassee empty-handed.
Arizona has been the juggernaut of the 2012 College World Series so far. Manager Andy Lopez and his team have won seven consecutive games during their run through the regional, super regional and College World Series.
They say there's no better time to get hot than in the postseason, and the Wildcats are proving that statement true with what they have been doing lately. Arizona has themselves just three wins away from a national championship and no one—not even Florida State—is going to stand in their way.
Both teams will be starting the same pitchers as they did in their first matchup in the opening game of the College World Series, according to the Washington Post.
In that tilt, the Wildcats were able to tag Brandon Leibrandt for two runs in the third inning and one more in the fifth. Leibrandt, who had been pitching well of late, saw his ERA rise to paltry 2.65.
Wildcats' starter Kurt Heyer was much better, pitching 7.2 innings and allowing just one earned run while striking out eight.
The Seminoles won't be happy to hear that Heyer is back on the bump against them. He has pitched seven complete games this season and is first in the nation in innings pitched with 145.2
Who will come out on top?
Florida State typically relies heavily on their plate discipline to run opposing starters out of the game and get deep into their bullpen, but they won't be able to do that against Heyer. He's one of the best pitchers in the nation and seldom leaves the game early.
Arizona doesn't even need to rely on their pitching to win. It's just a luxury to them. The Wildcats are hitting .333 as a team this season, .51 points higher than Florida State.
Lopez's bullpen is one of the worst in the nation, but the relievers didn't pitch that way when the two teams first met. Tyler Crawford and Matthew Troupe combined for 4.1 innings of two-hit shutout ball to outlast the Seminoles.
All signs point to the Arizona Wildcats getting passed the Florida State Seminoles one way or another on Thursday.
The Wildcats are the more complete team in this match, and one of the most well-rounded in the remaining field. They should be able to get by Florida State in much more relaxing fashion than the 12-inning affair.