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NCAA tourney begins for Georgia Southern

NCAA tourney begins for Georgia Southern

NCAA tourney begins for Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern outfielders Stryker ...

    The Georgia Southern Eagles know plenty about third-seeded Kennesaw State, because the teams play every year.
    They know a little bit about Alabama, because pitching coach B.J. Green pitched and coached there.
    When it comes to top-seeded and No. 4 ranked Florida State in the NCAA regionals, they only know one thing -- the Seminoles are good.
    “I don’t know a lot about them from a team standpoint,” Green said. “I just know that they’re always extremely well-coached, they swing the bat well, they play good defense and they can really pitch it. We’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
    The No. 4 seed Eagles (39-21) face FSU (43-15) today at 6 p.m., in Tallahassee, Fla.
    The winner will play the winner between KSU and Alabama on Saturday, and the losers will play an elimination game.
    This is business as usual for Florida State. It’s the 31st time the Seminoles have hosted a regional, the most of any team in the NCAA tournament.
    The Eagles, after playing five-straight elimination games to win last week’s Southern Conference championship, don;t really care who they have to play in the NCAA tournament.
    “We’re excited to be anywhere in any regional,” senior left fielder Stryker Brown said. “Baseball’s one of those games where it doesn’t matter who’s playing who. Anybody can win. We feel confident no matter who we’re playing. If we play our best ball we can play with anybody. We’re going to go down there and fight like crazy, like we did last week, and we’re going to let the chips fall where they may. We’re not ready to be done playing baseball, so we’re going to scratch and claw and fight.”
    While the Eagles don’t know much about FSU, they know the same thing everybody in the country knows — they may end up facing Seminoles closer Jameis Winston, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who led Florida State to the 2013 BCS national football title.
    “That’ll be fun,” GSU catcher Chase Griffin said with a laugh. “ I’m looking forward to it. I really don't know what to expect from him, but we’ll go out there and do our best.”
    The only program in the four-team regional GSU has a winning record against is Kennesaw State (37-21), but the Owls beat the Eagles twice during the regular season.
    Alabama (34-22) finished fifth in the SEC Western Division with a 15-14 record.
    “They’re all good teams,” Griffin said, “but I like our odds.”

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-4908.

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