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Florida State Seminoles Baseball Travels to Rival Miami Hurricanes

Two top 15 teams square off this weekend as Florida State (31-12, 14-7) travel to Coral Gables to face Miami (30-11, 15-6).

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Noles are coming off a needed sweep of Pitt keeping them within striking distance of division leading Louisville who is 5 games is ahead while moving closer to the 2nd best record in the conference. The Miami Hurricanes currently hold the 2nd best record in the ACC even after losing a tough road series last week at Virginia. This is the most complete team the Canes have had in some years as they are ranked in the top 15 in several polls and currently have the 3rd best RPI in the nation. The Seminoles are fighting their way back into the top 10 and an outside chance of a national seed bid if they can take a series this weekend.

Miami Florida State
Nat. Rk Stat Nat. Rk
28 0.299 BA 0.264 194
9 0.406 OBP 0.400 13
36 0.433 SLG 0.417 64
0.839 OPS 0.817
26 7.0 R/G 7.2 19
12.30% BB% 14.8%
16.80% K% 21.2%
86.40% SB% 72.3%
30 3.11 ERA 3.99 100
42 8.16 H/9 8.93 114
123 7.3 K/9 8.8 18
70 3.21 BB/9 3.40 90
79 2.29 K:BB 2.60 39
144 0.965 Field% 0.961 202

It is not very often that an opponent's offense is better than that of the Noles but that just might be the case this weekend as Miami is fielding their best lineup in years. The Canes are led by 3B David Thompson (.340/.430/.635) with his 10 homeruns and 50 RBI which is third best in the conference. Senior Garret Kennedy is having a breakout season and George Iskenderian (.360/.436/.472) are just a few other stars in the order that pose serious threats to the Noles pitching staff.

The Seminoles offense has not looked as elite as it did earlier in the year and that is cause for concern moving forward. In their last eight games against some of their weaker competition the Noles have scored just 5.6 runs per game and have a slash of .228/.332/.404 while striking out twice as much as they have walked. Some silver lining is that Florida State's BABIP in only .255 over that span, which is 75 points lower than their season average but I am not sure if that improve all that much given the pitching staffs that they are facing over the next two weeks.

Miami is far more aggressive on the base paths that Florida State and with better success. The Canes have attempted 19 more stolen bases with an excellent success rate. One aspect of the game that Miami just can't let go is their incessant need to give away an out with a sacrifice bunt, they have 37 on the season, that's 24 more than the Noles. Both teams are poor defensively.

Game 44 - at Miami April 24

First Pitch: 7:00 p.m. ET

FSU Starter: RHP, Boomer Biegalski (3-3, 3.38 ERA)

UM Starter: LHP, Thomas Woodrey (4-2, 2.57 ERA)

Radio: 106.1 FM - Tallahassee

TV/Internet: ESPN3

Game 45 - at Miami April 25

First Pitch: 7:00 p.m. ET

FSU Starter: RHP, Mike Compton (1-1, 1.87 ERA)

UM Starter: LHP, Andrew Suarez (4-0, 2.09 ERA)

Radio: 106.1 FM - Tallahassee

TV/Internet: ESPNU/Watch ESPN

Game 46 - at Miami April 26

First Pitch: 1:00 p.m. ET

FSU Starter: RHP, Drew Carlton (3-2, 3.55 ERA)

UM Starter: RHP, Enrique Sosa (5-3, 4.25 ERA)

Radio: 106.1 FM - Tallahassee

TV/Internet: ESPN3

There looks to be some great starting pitching matchups this weekend as the Florida State rotation is back to being healthy. It will be a test for the Seminoles starters as they have yet to face an offense as potent as Miami's, the Wake Forest lineup compares well to what they can expect to see this weekend. If you remember game one of that series, then Friday starter Mike Compton was scratched and it was bullpen by committee and current Friday starter Boomer Bielgalski threw an eight inning gem. Drew Carlton was not a weekend starter at that point but has delivered on everything you could ask for out of a Sunday starter. In four of five weekend starts the freshman has pitched at least six innings allowing three runs or fewer with 23 strikeouts and eight walks.

Miami's pitching staff has been excellent all season and especially as of late. In each of the starters last three appearances they have combined for 54.5 innings pitched, allowed 14 earned runs with 35 strikeouts and only 11 walks issued. Suarez is the only big strikeout arm for Miami as he averaging almost a strikeout per inning. It is not secret that Florida State scores runs because of their disciplined plate approach which results in over 7 walks per game, bad news this weekend is that Miami pitchers are very stingy with walks issued. The Canes Friday and Saturday starters have allowed 22 walks in their 94.2 innings, the Noles most used relief arm has allowed 23 walks in only 34.2 innings.

This should be an excellent series between rivals that are fighting for a top ten ranking, a national seed and even the top seed in the conference should Louisville stumble down the stretch. I do feel Miami is the better team this season and they are playing at home. If the Noles can steal the series that would be a great start to a brutally tough schedule to end the season. All games are available to watch this weekend and as always we will have the play by play right here for each one.

Go Noles!