FSU to open with FAU in Athens Regional

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The streak is alive.

Florida State earned a No. 3 seed and will travel to an NCAA Regional in Athens (Ga.) and open against No. 2 seed Florida Atlantic (40-19) on Friday at noon (game will stream on ESPN3). Other teams in the regional include No. 1 seed Georgia (44-15) and No. 4 seed Mercer (35-27). The Bulldogs are the No. 4 seed in the nation.

FSU (36-21) has had a spot in the NCAA postseason in 42 straight seasons, including all 40 since Mike Martin took over as head coach in 1980.

“We had our ups and downs but this is the second season,” Martin said. “We know that we’re going into a very tough situation. The University of Georgia is obviously an outstanding team. We know how good Florida Atlantic is from talking to people in our state. And I can tell you – anything can happen. Georgia is not on our mind right now, no pun intended. Florida Atlantic is on our mind.”

The Seminoles did just enough to ensure that Martin would have another trip to the NCAA Postseason in his final season. FSU is on the road for a regional for the first time since 2010.

Left-hander Drew Parrish (7-5, 4.81 ERA) will pitch against FAU on Friday.

Projections by Baseball America and D1baseball.com had FSU in the regional field of 64 but there was still some nail-biting until the Seminoles saw their name officially in the bracket. ESPNU cameras quickly turned to Martin and FSU players, who cheered on when they saw the announcement.

“I thought that our 17 wins in the league was something that had always indicated you qualified for a regional,” Martin said. “But we needed that ballgame (Friday win over NC State) probably more than I realized. And our players knew that if we could win that one it would certainly put us in a better position than we were in and the way that we went out and got it done is a credit to our young men.”

FSU has not played FAU since 1998. The Owls reached the Conference USA title game on Sunday, losing to Southern Miss.

The winner of the Athens Regional will play the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional.

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