Florida State Seminoles Baseball in the ACC Tournament: Preview and Game Threads

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The Florida State Baseball team is coming off a disappointing regular season finish being swept at Clemson and losing the divisional title. After the loss the team decided to stay in the Carolina's instead of traveling home and hopefully got the opportunity to rest up and work out whatever it was that saw their offense go to sleep against the Tigers.

The ACC Tournament starts today and runs through Sunday and for those who are not familiar it is not your typical tournament style of play. The top 8 teams in the conference make the tournament and then are divided into 2 separate pools. Florida State has been paired with Miami, Virginia and Boston College in Pool A while the team with the best record advances to the finals on Sunday.

Inside we will preview each game and how the Seminoles matchup...

GAME 1 - #5 Florida State Seminoles vs. #4 Miami Hurricanes

Wednesday May 26th - 4 PM - Greensboro, NC

Radio: 1270 the Team/94.3 FM XM: 190 Sirius: 215

TV: RSN; Sun Sports (Live) - Direct TV Channel 656, Dish Network Channel 450; FS Florida (Tape Delayed at 10:30 p.m.) - GameTracker

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For the ‘Noles Sean Gilmartin will get the start and hopefully can limit the damage as he did in his last start against Clemson and allow the FSU bats to keep them in the game. Due to injuries the ‘Canes will throw Eric Whaley who has primarily been a bullpen guy all season and only has 1 start which was in non-conference play. Whaley's most recent appearance was against the Cavaliers last weekend where he pitched 4 shutout innings in relief.

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Florida State and Miami are pretty similar offensively. The key for FSU pitchers is to keep players off base when Yasmani Grandal comes to the plate. Grandal is arguably the best hitter in the country and has put up Buster Posey like numbers this season with a ridiculous 1.403 OPS in conference play. The ‘Noles need to have their key hitters (Holt, McGee and Tapley) snap out of their recent funk if the Seminoles have a shot to win.

GAME 2 - #5 Florida State Seminoles vs. #1 Virginia Cavaliers

Thursday May 27th - 4 PM - Greensboro, NC

Radio: 1270 the Team/94.3 FM XM: 190 Sirius: 215

TV: RSN; Sun Sports (Live) - Direct TV Channel 656, Dish Network Channel 449; FS Florida (Tape Delayed at 10:30 p.m.) - GameTracker

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Note: Above numbers for Busch are in a starting role only.

You would think missing Virginia's ace Danny Hultzen would significantly increase your shots of winning but UVA's Robert Morey has been excellent all season and scoring runs will come at a premium. After Brian Busch's most recent start and season totals there isn't much hope that he can keep Florida State in this game. Depending on the outcome of Game 1 I could see Mike Martin leaving Busch out there despite a bad outing in an effort to save pitchers for what could be a crucial Game 3.

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As expected the Virginia offense is every bit as good if not better than Florida State's. Expect them to score runs off of the ‘Noles troubled pitching. Since allowing 9 runs to FSU two months ago UVA has played 27 conference games and in only 5 have offenses scored more than 5 runs.

GAME 3 - #5 Florida State Seminoles vs. #8 Boston College Golden Eagles

Friday May 28th - 12 PM - Greensboro, NC

Radio: 1270 the Team/94.3 FM XM: 190 Sirius: 215

TV: RSN; Sun Sports (Live) - GameTracker

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Note: Above numbers for Gast are in a starting role only.

Florida State's best shot at winning unfortunately comes in their last game against a BC team that they beat 2 times this year. John Gast gets the start for the Noles and he is coming off an awful start where he had very little control. The Eagles will throw John Leonard who as you can see by his numbers has not fared well on ACC play, the ‘Noles offense saw Leonard less than a month ago and totaled 9 runs (7 earned) in just 4 1/3 innings.

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The Seminoles clearly have the offensive advantage to BC, they get on base better and hit for much more power than BC. I totally expect this game to be a high scoring affair where hitters take advantage of seldom used bullpen guys.

Florida State really hurt their shots of hosting a Regional last week and without a strong showing in the Tournament they could be hitting the road for the first time since 2006. If Florida State can beat Miami in the first game without completely exhausting their pitching staff they have a good chance of winning 1 of the next 2 games and advancing to Sunday. An appearance in the Championship game or a win in the 3rd place game with some help for other out of conference schools could help the Noles host next weekend.

Hope to see everyone back here at 4:00 PM

Go Noles!

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