If you were unaware there was a new baseball implemented this season in college and halfway through the year the NCAA posted an article comparing last year.
The trends compared the use of the raised seamed baseball that was used by institutions in 2014 to the flat-seamed baseball used in 2015. The biggest statistical change from 2014 to 2015 is an increase in home runs that is up more than 39 percent from 0.36 per game in 2014 to 0.50 per game in 2015.
I think college baseball did it right, the new ball allows for more homeruns without final scores looking more like a low scoring football game. Runs per game is only up 5.25% while batting average has remained about the same. Florida State already has 30 homeruns on the season after only hitting 26 all of 2014 and are an explosive offensive team. That puts them in a tie for 8th in the country while they rank 3rd in scoring and because they walk so much, 46 more walks than second place they lead the country in on-base percentage as well.
The Wolfpack offense is one of the best in the conference leading the ACC in batting average, second in slugging and fourth in on-base percentage and scoring. Preston Palmeiro, son of former major leaguer Rafael Palmeiro, is the Pack's best hitter while Logan Ratlidge leads the team in extra base hits which includes four homeruns on the season.
On paper the NC State pitching staff is better but they have hardly faced the same competition that Florida State has. Forty percent of the Noles games this season have been against teams with an RPI in the top 50, 80% of the teams in the top 100. While 63% of the Wolfpack's games have been against teams with an RPI outside the top 100 which gives them the 107th best strength of schedule.
This season the Pack won a series against Clemson, split a series with Boston College, swept Pitt and were swept by an excellent Miami team. Florida State has not dropped a conference series all season and are currently two games behind Louisville in the Atlantic. In other Noles baseball news pitcher Taylor Blatch is out for the season with an arm injury. To be honest this isn't a huge blow because he has never been a contributor and after last season I was not expecting him to ever produce. Friday starter Mike Compton has been throwing and is hoping to pitch in some capacity next weekend in the Notre Dame series. Having him back in the rotation would be a huge boost.
All games are televised this weekend on ESPN3 so enjoy and if you can't watch you can always follow along here.