Florida State hit six home runs – including three in a seven-run third inning – as the Seminoles routed South Alabama 18-6 on Sunday night to win the Tallahassee Regional.
FSU won its 40th game of the season and wrapped up a dominating weekend, routing all three teams in the regional: Alabama State (18-6), Southern Miss (7-2) and then South Alabama.
The Seminoles will play the Florida-Georgia Tech winner in the best-of-three Super Regional. If the Gators win their regional, FSU will travel to Gainesville.
Dylan Busby had a pair of home runs, Jackson Lueck had a three-run homer, Cal Raleigh and Tyler Holton had two-run homers and Hayden Kelly added a solo home run as FSU (40-20) pounded out 19 hits.
It was the first time since 2003 (also against South Alabama) that FSU had six or more home runs in a game.
Freshman right-hander Cole Sands (6-6) gave up a leadoff home run to Travis Swaggerty but was nearly un-hittable after that. Sands pitched five innings, allowing two hits, striking out three and not giving up a walk.
South Alabama (42-22) added five runs in the final two innings. The Jaguars had eliminated Southern Miss 7-5 in the early game on Sunday.
FSU is making its 15th appearance in the Super Regionals and now has reached that round eight of the past nine years.
Florida freshmen grown up: There’s been a quiet confidence among the freshmen on Florida’s baseball team all season long.
You won’t see them making a lot of noise whenever they’re off the field, but once they step onto the field, and especially in the batter’s box, it’s hard not to hear them.
Through the first two games of the Gainesville Regional, the quartet of Jonathan India, Deacon Liput, Nelson Maldonado and Danny Reyes have led the bottom of the Gators’ lineup.
The return of Peter Alonso to the lineup has give a huge jolt of confidence and production after he missed three weeks with a broken hand. However, he’s different than the four freshmen.
Alonso is building a reputation of having bat flips whenever he crushes a home run, but when India hit his go-ahead home run in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 6-5 win over Connecticut, there was no bat flip. But the home run, and the at-bat, was just as big as the one Alonso hit earlier in the game.
Luis Torres contributed to this report.