Florida State fired its two best starting pitchers at Indiana, but they couldn’t quiet the Hoosiers’ explosive offense.
Indiana beat the Seminoles 11-6 at Howser Stadium to sweep the best-of-three super regional series and advance to its first College World Series, which begins Saturday in Omaha, Neb. The Hoosiers are the first Big Ten team to get there since Michigan in 1984.
“There’s unbelievable tradition at Florida State, and I could not be happier that it happened here,” Indiana coach Tracy Smith said. “It makes the statement that it’s not a fluke. Our team is pretty good. We do play good baseball up north.”
FSU, the No. 7 seed nationally, hadn’t been knocked out of an NCAA tournament super regional in two games since 2009.
Indiana (48-14) had little trouble with Seminoles starters Luke Weaver and Scott Sitz, each of whom came into the series with an ERA under 2.00. The Hoosiers rank in the top eight in hitting, scoring, home runs and slugging percentage among teams from major conferences.
Sitz (10-2) got off to a rough start Sunday and couldn’t recover. A week after throwing 7 1/3 shutout innings to win a regional game, he gave up six earned runs and didn’t escape the fifth against Indiana.
“They’re a good hitting team,” he said. “That’s all I can say.”
Sitz owned a 1.59 ERA and hadn’t allowed more than four earned runs in a game in the past two years. The Hoosiers’ six earned runs tied the most the senior allowed in a game in his college career.
The day before, Indiana scored five earned runs on Weaver in six innings and held on for a 10-9 victory.
Sitz made his final appearance for FSU. In four seasons, he pitched in two College World Series and finished 23-7 with a 3.56 ERA. The Detroit Tigers picked him in the 28th round of last week’s draft.
The Seminoles (47-17) made it interesting in the ninth. Trailing 11-5, they scored when Casey Smit was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. There was only one out at that point, but Indiana reliever Ryan Halstead struck out Josh Delph and FSU’s D.J. Stewart lined out to left to end it.
“Looking at the season, it was a real credit to the way our guys battled,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “Even there in the ninth inning, down six, we’re still fighting. It was a fun year.”
Other games Sunday
South Carolina 8, North Carolina 0: Jordan Montgomery pitched a four-hitter as the Gamecocks (43-19) beat the Tar Heels (56-10) in the Chapel Hill, N.C., super regional and forced a decisive game Monday. North Carolina is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
Louisville 2, Vanderbilt 1: Jeff Thompson allowed one run in seven innings, and the Cardinals (51-12) completed an upset sweep of the Commodores (54-12) in the Nashville, Tenn., super regional. Vanderbilt was the No. 2 overall seed.
LSU 11, Oklahoma 1: JaCoby Jones had four hits, including a homer, and drove in two runs to help the Tigers (57-9) beat the Sooners (43-21) to sweep the Baton Rouge, La., super regional and advance to the CWS a 16th time.
UCLA 3, Cal State Fullerton 0: Nick Vander Tuig and three relievers combined for a shutout as the Bruins (44-17) defeated the Titans (51-10) to sweep the Fullerton, Calif., super regional.
The Associated Press contributed to this roundup.