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College baseball: Florida State expects ‘exciting’ series with Indiana

Indiana's DustDeMuth lays down bunt along third base line during fifth inning an NCAA college baseball tournament regional game against

Indiana's Dustin DeMuth lays down a bunt along the third base line during the fifth inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament regional game against Austin Peay on Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

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DeMuth picked 23oth in draft

A big weekend for Dustin DeMuth became even more memorable on Friday.

The Indiana University junior infielder from LaPorte is in Tallahassee, Fla., with his teammates for the NCAA Super Regional best-of-three series against Florida State that begins on Saturday.

On Friday, DeMuth became the second local player to be selected in this year’s Major League Baseball draft, going to the Minnesota Twins in the eighth round. He was the 230th overall pick and joins Indiana State lefty Sean Manaea (34th overall to Kansas City on Thursday) in the current Northwest Indiana draft class.

DeMuth leads the Hoosiers in batting with a .396 average. The 6-2, 190-pounder also has 22 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 40 runs batted in.

Rounds 11-40 of the three-day draft will be Saturday beginning at noon Central time.

Other possible selections include Andrean right-hander Zac Ryan; Indiana infielder Scott Donley, a Crown Point grad; Valparaiso University righty Karch Kowalczyk; Notre Dame right-hander Adam Norton from Andrean; and Carson-Newman catcher Kevin Franchetti, another 59ers grad.

Updated: July 9, 2013 6:22AM



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Anytime a college baseball team from the North has an impressive season, it is met with skepticism.

Florida State coach Mike Martin knows better.

Martin is well aware that Indiana has earned its spot in the best-of-three super regional with a resume that includes a Big Ten regular season championship, conference tournament title and a 3-0 mark in the Bloomington Regional. The Hoosiers (46-14) also won two of three regular-season games against Louisville, a top-10 team that is also in a super regional this weekend.

But Martin has a measuring stick closer to home that he can use: Earlier this season Indiana also won two of three against Florida in Gainesville.

Martin and the Seminoles play at Florida once each year, but the Seminoles last won in Gainesville in 2007.

“We don’t have a lot of success in that ballpark,” Martin said. “And you go in there and beat them two out of three. I know that this is setting up to be a very exciting weekend.”

It could be a great weekend for pitchers.

Indiana will use left-hander Joey DeNato (9-2, 2.65 ERA) on Saturday and 6-foot-10 right-hander Aaron Slegers (9-1, 1.94 ERA) on Sunday. DeNato and Slegers have good control, as they have combined to allow only 49 walks in 184 innings.

Florida State (47-15) will counter with right-hander Luke Weaver, who is 7-2 with a 1.95 ERA and is coming off a 14-strikeout game in a win over Troy in the Tallahassee Regional. Weaver has allowed just six earned runs and recorded 58 strikeouts in the last 422/3 innings. In the second game on Sunday, the Seminoles will look to right-hander Scott Sitz, who is 10-1 with a 1.59 ERA.

Indiana and Florida State both have plenty of offense, too.

The Hoosiers, led by LaPorte graduate Dustin DeMuth at .396 and Kyle Schwarber with 17 home runs, feature a lineup where six regular starters are hitting over .308. And the Seminoles, powered by DJ Stewart at .363, have a lineup with five regular starters hitting .283 or better.

The key for the Seminoles is taking pitches, working the count and getting walks. Florida State is third nationally with 345 walks.

“They’re very disciplined at the plate,” Indiana coach Tracy Smith said. “Philosophically that’s a big part of what they do. It’s key for Joey not to walk people.”

Indiana is playing in its first super regional in only its third NCAA postseason appearance. Florida State is in a super regional for a nation-leading sixth straight time. The Seminoles are attempting to earn their 22nd trip to the College World Series.

Both coaches say postseason experience matters. Smith said his team has gained experience by playing on the road this season and won’t be deterred by Florida State’s enthusiastic home crowd.

“Every step we take, every game we play, every pitch that we make past this time is history for this program,” Smith said. “We’re thrilled to be here. We think it’s a great challenge. But our guys aren’t satisfied. We’ve set out with one goal in mind, and that’s to get to Omaha and do some damage in Omaha. And I think our guys have a great mindset on that.”



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