There are two major rules a college baseball team–or any type of college team for that matter–must abide by in the final stretch of post-season play:
1. Leave any arrogance at the door before you enter
2. Leave mistakes at the door too.
#3 Florida State came into last night’s contest against Arizona in the College World Series with little to worry about, and you could tell by Florida-State-Will-Breeze-by-Arizona fan blogs, by the looks on the Seminoles’ faces and by the ESPN2 commentary that noone–and I mean noone–but Arizona took Arizona seriously.
Result: Arizona is still in the winner’s bracket. Florida State is not
Kurt Heyer limited an offense that put up 35 runs against Stanford last weekend to three runs, two of which came after a debatable error by third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean that would have ended the inning. After leaving in the 8th inning and throwing almost 130 pitches, Heyer and his performance were honored by relievers Tyler Crawford and Matt Troupe, both whom didn’t allow any runs for five more innings. The bullpen might have been the most impressive of the night, overcoming a mountain of criticism (myself included) all season long and getting the job done.
There is little margin for error in the College World Series, and Florida State had its fair share of them. Florida State’s shortstop alone muffed a couple of grounders, muffed a throw during a pickle and got picked off at first in the 11th inning with the game on the line. In the bottom of the 10th, a Seminoles’ baserunner got thrown out trying to steal second after a failed hit-and-run-go-for-the-jugular attempt.
But the biggest error of all–the one that sees Florida State facing Stony Brook tomorrow afternoon instead of UCLA–was breaking rule #1.