With Florida State's sweep of the Tallahassee regional, most outstanding player James Ramsey can now safely look forward to a week that has seemingly become an annual rite of passage for FSU's top baseball players.
James Ramsey's first career grand slam highlighted a weekend performance that earned him Most Outstanding Player honors.
It's Super Regional week – in which FSU is making its fifth consecutive appearance – and it's also time for the annual Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Ramsey labored over a decision to go pro or return to school for his senior season. He said that he already knows he made the right call, but in the coming days, he'll finally get to learn if he'll be rewarded for it.
“James Ramsey is approaching one of the biggest weeks of his life,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “And he ain't thinking about the draft. He's thinking about his team. And that's why our team is what it is.”
Ramsey confirmed his head coach's assertion – he knows that his college career his winding down, but still has goals left to achieve.
“The reason you came to this program is to be a big-leaguer, and you start that dream,” Ramsey said. “But we're focused on Omaha all the way, and that's definitely been the message from all our players.”
Johnson, Travis combine for defensive gems
It's hardly the first time that they've combined for a pretty double play, and it likely won't be the last. But third baseman Sherman Johnson and second baseman Devon Travis were at it again Sunday, turning two 5-4-3, inning-ending double plays that helped preserve FSU's 5-2 victory over Samford and a spot in next week's NCAA Super Regional.
The first came at a crucial time, when, after sputtering for the first four innings, the Bulldogs' offense kicked into gear striking for two runs that sliced into the Seminoles' lead and still batting with a runner on, just one out and leadoff hitter Zeth Stone at the plate.
A ground ball to third, toss to second and quick turn and throw to first later, the Seminoles had escaped the inning, keeping the Bulldogs at arm's length and bringing an emotional reaction out of pitcher Mike Compton.
“It definitely got me pumped up,” Compton said.
“That was a big play, no question,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “They had a little momentum going, and the guy that hit … is a very difficult guy to double up.
“It's something we really needed at the time.”
The two weren't quite finished though. In the top of the sixth, they turned a double play that looked almost identical to the one before after Samford led off the inning with a single.
Johnson, Delph, Leibrandt join Ramsey for All-regional honors
James Ramsey, Sherman Johnson, Josh Delph and Brandon Leibrandt were all named to the All-regional team Sunday night, matching Mississippi State for the most selections.
Ramsey hit his first career grand slam Saturday night, lifting FSU to an 8-1 win. Johnson had a solo home run Saturday and freshman Delph posted a two-run single Sunday that staked the Seminoles to an early lead.
Leibrandt turned in the finest performance of his career in Saturday's win. He threw eight shut-out innings, surrendered only three hits and did not issue a walk.
2012 Tallahassee regional/All-regional team
C - Mitch Slauter, Miss State
1B Wes Rea, Miss State
2B Matthew Britton, Miss State
3B Sherman Johnson, FSU
SS Adam Frazier, Miss State
OF James Ramsey, FSU
OF Brandon Miller, Samford
OF Josh Delph, FSU
P Brandon Leibrandt, FSU
P Charles Basford, Samford
DH C.K. Irby, Samford
Most Outstanding Player - James Ramsey