Florida State has taken care of the business the last few weeks with huge series wins over NC State and Clemson securing their 7th straight division title and the two seed in the tournament. With those series wins and a strong showing against the #1 team in the nation for the majority of the year on Monday night the Noles are poised to earn a coveted national seed. Wth that national seed FSU is ensured of playing at home all the way to Omaha. Even with a showing similar to last season in the tournament, 0-3, I still think their body of work is good enough to get them in but thats not really the way you want to enter the playoffs. No doubt the Noles have a tough schedule ahead of them but that is what you expect when your tournament boast 8 of the top 20 RPI teams and 4 teams ranked in the top 10.
The Seminoles start the tournament against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets who they defeated two games to one back in March. That series gave the Noles a lot of confidence and proved to the nation that despite all of the losses from the 2012 team that they could compete with anyone.
To no ones surprise the Yellow Jackets have one of the best offenses in the country again because that is what they do in Atlanta. These two teams go about scoring lots of runs in slightly different ways, GT is famous for their "gorilla ball" and this once again holds true as they finished 2nd in the conference in slugging and led the team in homeruns with 54 total. With all that power comes decreased plate discipline, something that the Noles are still extremely proficient that which accounts for them ranking near the tops in the nation in walks and on-base percentage.
The top four batters in the Jackets lineup all have an OBP over .400 with the 3 and 4 hitters both slugging over .600 percent. Three of those top four hitters claimed All ACC honors this past week, Kyle Wren (.370/.437/.479) was a 2nd teamer and is the their biggest base stealing threat with 26 on the season. Slugger Daniel Palka (.344/.433/.665) had a team high 17 dingers on the season, more than 3 ACC teams while the other first teamer Zane Evans (.364/.430/.618) was second on the team with 14 homeruns.
While the Noles don't have any hitters who have reached the .600 slugging plateu their 3-4-5 hitters all are slugging over .500 and have combined for 21 of the Noles 29 homeruns. Catcher Stephen McGee (.294/.458/.525) earned a 2nd team All ACC award this past week along with OF DJ Stewart (.328/.438/.510) leads the team with 21 doubles. One big problem this season is the terrible baserunning that we have seen from this team, it is as bad as I have ever seen and doesn't seem to be improving as the season goes on.
Early when I said that FSU had lost one game earlier this season against GT, that was thanks in part to the dominating performance of 1st team All ACC pitcher Buck Farmer. Seven innings of two hit ball with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts was more than enough as the Noles were shutout in a 10-0 loss. The right hander did however struggle in his last start against Miami where he allowed 9 hits over 6 innings resulting in 5 earned runs.
Scott Sitz last pitched on May 13th against NC State where he didn't have his best outing as he scattered 7 hits over 5.2 innings allowing 3 runs. The fellow ACC 1st teamer has had a phenomenal season as his numbers match up well with Farmer but I still don't expect much of a pitchers duel given these two offenses. Both bullpens are pretty well rested but Florida State undoubtedly has the better one.
All 13 games of this year's 40th annual ACC Baseball Championship will be televised for the seventh straight year with RSN, a regional network that includes Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, FOX Sports Net South, FOX Sports Florida and New England Sports Network, providing coverage. Selected other games will be available via Sun Sports and SportsSouth. Check local listings for more details. Sunday's championship game will air on ESPN2 for the second straight year.
All games will live-streamed via the Internet by ESPN3. In addition, all 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. games will be broadcast via satellite radio on Sirius XM 85. The 7 p.m. Wednesday (May 22) and Thursday (May 23) games will be broadcast on Sirius 93/XM 190. The Friday (May 24) 7 p.m. game will be carried on Sirius 111/XM 190, and the Saturday 7 p.m. game will be carried on Sirius 158/XM 190. Sunday afternoon's championship game will be carried by Sirius XM 91 (College SportsNation).
Fans can listen to all three games on the Seminoles.com All-Access player. Locally, fans can listen to the games on 1270 AM (Wednesday) and 100.7 FM (Thursday & Saturday). Live stats will be available through gametracker.
We will have you covered with play-by-play right here, see you at 11AM