The Florida State Seminoles are about to enter what might be the turning point in the season. So far they have been very successful with a 24-5 record and a #2 ranking in four of the five major polls. Despite a midweek loss against Florida Gulf Coast the Noles are 11-1 in conference and have a three game lead in the division. While record is not the end all be all with regards to talent the combined record of teams FSU has played in conference so far is 18-30 while the record of teams yet to play is 34-38. This weekend the Seminoles travel to Atlanta to face a Georgia Tech team that has been less than stellar in ACC play but still poses a threat as they are consistently one of the best teams in the conference.
Inside a brief preview of the offenses and pitching...
The Seminoles and Yellow Jackets are two of the best hitting teams in the conference year after year. As usual Georgia Tech is a team that relies on their power, slugging an impressive .442 but luckily for the Noles with that power comes poor plate discipline. Danny Hall's team strikes out more than league average and walks less which should bode well for Seminoles pitching who have done extremely well for such a young and experienced group. Players to keep an eye out for the Jackets are Sam Dove (.390/.420/.534) and Brandon Thomas (.365/.456/.539), both these players do extremely well on the bases too as they have successfully stolen 17 of 19 combined. The Florida State offense continues to do what they always do, lead the conference in walks as they exercise great plate discipline.
What is shocking is to see how poorly the Yellow Jackets have pitched this year. They usually have a good balance of pitching and hitting but so far this year they have struggled by their standards. Florida State and Georgia Tech are statistically identical this season which should give the edge to the better hitting team.
FRIDAY - Buck Farmer is coming of ACC Pitcher of the Week Honors where he outdueled Duke stud Marcus Strohman 1-0. Farmer allowed on 3 hits in a complete game where he walked none and struck out eleven. For the Noles, Brandon Leibrant is coming off his best start of the season although it was against one of the weaker teams in the ACC. A repeat performance of seven shutout innings will give Florida State a great chance of winning and taking the series advantage.
SATURDAY - Freshman Mike Compton had another great outing striking out eight and walking none in 7.2 innings. Florida State did a great job of recruiting this kid and he has done nothing but impress since walking on campus, he has the makeup of a Friday starter moving forward. Junior righty Luke Bard was recently inserted into the Saturday starting roll and has been solid albeit against Duke and Boston College.
SUNDAY - Peter Miller made it to the 5th inning for the first time in a long time last weekend despite pitching pretty mediocre. He will face Dusty Isaacs who is not impressive with a season total of 22 strikeouts and 21 walks. Just like last week this will be a high scoring affair.
At the beginning of the season I was dreading this matchup but as of right now the Noles have a great shot of winning this series. Friday and Saturday games are on ESPN3 while Sunday will be on CSS.
As always, Go Noles!