By Sunday, the Florida State athletic year could be over.
Three programs remain in action for the 2018-19 athletic year and two of those are set to end their seasons on Saturday. The other program will hope to keep its season alive.
As the summer nears, here’s what to keep an eye on over the next week in FSU athletics:
1. The Baton Rouge Super Regional
After a stunning showing of dominance in Athens, Georgia, Florida State baseball will try to advance to the College World Series for the final time in legendary head coach Mike Martin’s tenure. To do so, FSU will have to take down No. 13 national seed LSU in the best-of-3 Baton Rouge Super Regional. The Tigers handed the Seminoles both of their losses the last time that FSU made it to Omaha two years ago.
FSU was stellar in Athens, going 3-0 with a pair of wins over No. 4 national seed Georgia by a combined 22-4 score. The starting trio for the Seminoles of pitchers Drew Parrish, C.J. Van Eyk and Conor Grady were nothing short of outstanding. The Seminoles also had solid offensive outings from the likes of Mike Salvatore, Drew Mendoza, Nander De Sedas and unlikely contributions from Carter Smith and Tim Becker.
LSU also swept through regional play by going 3-0. The Tigers opened with a 17-4 victory over Stony Brook before notching a pair of victories over Southern Mississippi to advance. Josh Smith and Antoine Duplantis headline an LSU offense that is hitting .274 as a team.
Smith is hitting a team-best .346 to go with a team-high 68 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. Duplantis played a major role in helping supplant FSU two years ago and was a second-team All-SEC selection. He enters the Baton Rouge Super Regional with 11 home runs and 64 RBIs — both team-highs — to go with a .319 batting average.
Freshman Cole Henry was an All-SEC Freshman with a 4-2 record and 3.51 ERA to go with 69 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. Closer Devin Fontenot is holding opponents to a .186 batting average and has seven saves to go with a 5-2 record. At the back end of the FSU bullpen is 2-way player and All-American J.C. Flowers, who is just the second player in program history with 10 home runs and 10 saves in the same season.
The Super Regional gets underway on Saturday afternoon before resuming on Sunday evening. They teams will play the deciding third game on Monday night, if necessary. Against common opponents this season, FSU was 2-3 compared to 3-3 for LSU.
2. The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
The season for both the Florida State men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams will come to an end on Saturday in Austin. On the men’s side, the 4-by-100-meter relay team is one to watch, headlined by senior Andre Ewers and freshman Bryand Rincher. Both will compete in the 100 and 200 meters, respectively. Ewers didn’t qualify in the 100 meters after finishing with an NCAA bronze last year. Senior Armani Wallace could make some noise in the triple jump.
The FSU women come in ranked third, per the USTFCCCA Ratings Index. The Seminoles have talent on both the track and in the field. In the field, Lauri Paredes (javelin), Jogaile Petrokaite (long jump) and Shanice Love (discus) all had strong performances in the NCAA East Preliminaries in Jacksonville. Cortney Jones will look to build on a solid bronze medal performance in the 100-meter hurdles in last year’s NCAA Championships. Sprinter Ka’Tia Seymour is a force to be reckoned with in both the 100 and 200 meters.
The NCAA Championships get underway on Wednesday in Austin, Texas and will last through Saturday. The FSU men finished 11th at the NCAA Championships last year. The FSU women finished 14th.