The Seminoles travel for the first time this season and fortunately it is to a campus that they have had tremendous success at. Florida State leads the all-time series 64-5 including a mark of 28-2 inside Turtle Smith Stadium. The Noles last lost in College Park in 2011 and prior to that you have to go all they way back to 1993. Florida State took 2-of-3 from Maryland in Tallahassee last year winning games one and two by a combined scoring margin of 19-5 before falling in the series ﬁnale 8-5.
Maryland is coming off a season with a winning record but that was thanks in part to a really soft schedule. The Terps also have a new head coach this season after Erik Bakich left for Michigan. Don't be fooled by the 11-5 record they currently have, the Terrapins opened the season by being swept at LSU and most recently lost 2 of 3 against the Virginia Cavaliers. In the ten other games played this season Maryland had an eight game winning streak, but that came against the likes of James Madison, Oakland and Princeton. This Maryland doesn't appear to be any different than those from years past.
Maryland's offense has been pretty good to start the season but again this has been against weaker competition, in the six games versus LSU and UVA they only averaged 2.3 runs per game. In their ten other games they scored 9.5 runs. If Maryland didn't play elite teams their offense would actually walk more than they strikeout. Maryland does play elite teams and in the two series against the elite Terps' batters struckout 51 times and only managed 8 walks which is why they only managed to score just over two runs per game.Florida State does almost everything better than Maryland does offensively. The Terps have only hit two homeruns on the season and lucky for the Noles they like to bunt a lot, they lead the league with 26 sacrifices, seven more than Virginia who ranks second. What Maryland does do better than anyone else in the league is steal bases, they have stole 31 more bases than the Noles have attempted and with a success rate of over 80% that is something that they should take advantage of.
The Maryland pitching staff has a respectable 2 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio, albeit versus the weak competition mentioned above. Against the likes of LSU and UVA the Terrapins have actually walked 28 batters and struck out 27, that is not good. The Seminoles have the best plate discipline in the country and should be able to work the Maryland pitchers just as much if not more as the Tigers and Cavaliers did.
In his last start Brandon Leibrandt flirted with a no hitter. Jimmy Reed lasted only 4.2 innings versus Virginia allowing nine hits, walking two while striking out five. On the season Reed has a respectable 26 to 8 strikeout to walk ratio but 29 hits in 22 innings won't cut it against the Noles.
Scott Sitz finally allowed his first run of the season versus BC but other than that he pitched well going 5.2 innings striking out five and walking only two. Brady Kirkpatrick has a phenomenal .127 BAA, that number is no good when you walk 14 batters in just 25 innings though. Last Saturday the righty walked seven Cavaliers and only struck out three.
Peter Miller did a better job of cutting down the walks in his last outing walking only two over 5.2 innings. TBA for Maryland, that is usually a bad thing but it worked out for the Terps last week as they went with a all hands on deck scenario. Four Terrapin pitchers went at least two innings in the 4-2 win against Virginia.
No TV this week, tonight's game is on TerpsTV and I'll have the play by play if you can't watch. One other note, playing baseball in the cold sucks and as you can see the resident meteorologist is letting us know it will not be ideal weather this weekend.
See ya'll back at 6:30 tonight.