The Florida State Seminoles are coming off of a great opening weekend of ACC play where they swept the Golden Eagles of Boston College. Games 1 & 3 were both close victories, with game 3 being won in the last at bat in the bottom of the 9th. Play by play can be found here and here. Game 2 was a blow out and the play by play can be found here.
Sean Gilmartin continued his dominating 2011 campaign by pitching 7 strong innings striking out 11 and walking only 1. Year to date Gilmartin has an outstanding 35:3 strikeout to walk ratio, he has pitched better this season than last but unfortunately I will still reserve judgment on his status as an elite pitcher until he starts facing above average offenses. Saturday saw another disappointing outing from Brian Busch, he lasted less than 5 innings and labored through all of them. Pitching coach Jamie Shouppe accredited his poor performance to bad breaks but when you are throwing only 53% of your pitches for strikes on the year there are bigger issues than bad luck. Despite a rough 2nd inning Scott Sitz pitched well in Sunday’s finale going 6.2 innings with Daniel Bennett cleaning things up pitching the last 2.1.
Games 1 and 3 were offensive struggles for the Noles managing just 7 runs combined. They struck out as much as they walked (9:9) and had only 5 extra base hits. On Saturday the offense recorded 15 hits (6 for extra bases) and walked 13 times which resulted in 15 runs, 11 scored with 2 outs. Mike Martin continued to baffle viewers with inexplicable bunt attempts with guys that should never be bunting, this might not hurt you against competition of BC’s caliber but I guarantee it will hurt when the talent on the other side of the field is better.
Inside we will look at tonight’s game against Florida and what else happened in the ACC this past week.
Florida State currently holds 1st place in the Atlantic Division thanks to a Virginia sweep against the Clemson Tigers. Unfortunately for FSU they travel to UVA this weekend as Clemson plays Duke giving them a great opportunity to gain some ground. In a bit of a surprise Wake Forest took a series against North Carolina while a struggling Miami team swept Virginia Tech.
Before this weekend’s action the Noles travel to Gainesville to take on the Gators. FSU’s Gary Merians was expected to get the start but is battling an injury right now so it seems that Hunter Scantling would be the next choice. Scantling hasn’t had much experience as a starter in his career but so far in 2011 he has looked good, not allowing a run in 9 innings while walking none and striking out seven. If he can hold his own tonight fans would hope to possibly see him as a weekend guy given that Busch is pitching on borrowed time. UF will counter with Junior Alex Panteliodis who faced the Noles earlier this year and was roughed up in his 2.2 innings pitched.
The Gator offense is coming off of a series against Rhode Island where scored 31 runs. Florida State pitching is obviously better and if they can keep the walks to a minimum they should be able to limit the Gator offense that has still yet to turn it on. If Mike Martin stays out of the way and lets the offense hit they have proven in the past that they can put runs up on the Gator pitching staff. For what it’s worth and it’s not much the Gators are 3-0 all time at home versus FSU under coach Sullivan, this game really means nothing other than the pride that comes with beating your rival.
Florida State plays the toughest competition to date this week, going 4-0 would be phenomenal, 3-1 would be great, 2-2 would be expected, 1-3 would be understandable and 0-4 would be damn frustrating. Tonight’s game starts at 7PM and is broadcasted on Sun Sports. Come back and join us live.