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Florida State baseball welcomes No. 4 Louisville for weekend series

The Seminoles and Cardinals meet for a trio of top-ten matchups in Tallahassee this weekend.

Mike Compton
Mike Compton
Jay Chantlos

As we hit the midway point of the season, the No. 8 Florida State baseball team (20-7, 7-1) plays host to No. 4 Louisville(23-5, 9-3), one of the most talented teams in the ACC, this weekend for a three-game set at Dick Howser Stadium.

The Seminoles welcome the Cardinals in the middle of what may be their toughest stretch of the 2016 season, fresh off a midweek split against the No. 22 Texas Tech Red Raiders. This series also starts a string of four straight games against top five teams as the series with UL is immediately followed by FSU's third and final game of the year against the top-ranked Florida Gators.

On the other side of things, Louisville arrives in Tallahassee in the middle of a hot streak. The Cardinals have bounced back from a 4-3 start in conference play with five straight wins over ACC opponents, taking sole control of second place in the ACC Atlantic after four weeks of conference play. Despite winning two more and playing four more ACC games than FSU, Louisville trails the Seminoles in the ACC Atlantic standings due to Florida State having the superior win percentage.

Offensively, there's little that Louisville does not do exceptionally well. The Cardinals possess a .331 team batting average (No. 3 in NCAA), a .505 team slugging percentage, the best in the ACC and seventh-best in the country, and have hit 26 home runs (third-most in ACC) 70 doubles (10th-most in nation), and average 8.6 runs per game, the seventh-most in the country. UL is led offensively by Corey Ray, who leads the team in a number of notable categories including home runs (9), RBIs (36), hits (41), runs (32), and stolen bases (26 steals on 30 attempts this season). However, the Louisville lineup remains very balanced top to bottom as nine different batters have knocked in 15 RBIs or more and eight have plated at least 15 runs.

Inconceivably, the Louisville pitching staff is even more impressive than the offense and assuredly ranks amongst the nation's best. The Cards' staff leads the nation in earned run average (2.23), hits allowed per nine innings (6.15), and shutouts (7). These excellent numbers are accented by team marks of 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings (No. 18 nationally, No. 3 in ACC) and a WHIP of 1.05, fifth-best in the nation.

Friday's series opener, scheduled for a 6 PM start, will see FSU's Mike Compton(4-1, 3.47 ERA) face off against UL's Brendan McKay (6-1, 1.70), who leads the ACC in strikeouts and fans 11.52 batters per nine innings of work. Saturday's 6 PM game brings a pitching matchup between Florida State's Drew Carlton (4-1, 3.38) and Louisville lefty Drew Harrington (6-1, 1.23). On Sunday, Seminole freshman Cole Sands (3-3, 4.56) duel Kyle Funkhouser (3-2, 4.29) in a 1 PM start.

All three games will be streamed on ESPN 3 and a radio stream will be available on If you are unable to watch or listen, Tomahawk Nation will be in attendance at each game this weekend, providing live updates.