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Reviewing expectations for the 2018 FSU baseball season

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Reviewing the break down from the beginning of the season to see how the ‘Noles did.

Louisville @ Florida State
Florida State takes on Louisville
Steve Johnson

Before the season we broke down how we thought Florida State would fare. We broke down the schedule by grouping the games together.

Early Season Non-Conference Games

We noted a 10-3 record would be solid here but the Seminoles upped the ante with a 13-0 record. Neither Xavier nor Kansas would turn out to be as good as we had thought as Xavier is rebuilding and Kansas just couldn’t seem to get much traction but mid-week wins against USF and Jacksonville helped keep FSU’s RPI up entering ACC play. The ‘Noles also won 5 straight games early on in the season which can be difficult to do no matter the opponent.

Opening ACC Play

FSU started ACC play well with a 7-3 win over Wake Forest but dropped both games in the next day’s double header. A loss in Ganesville combined with dropping the opening game of a home series against Notre Dam soured Florida State’s start the ACC play.

Wake Forest was actually pretty good at home in ACC play, only dropping 1 series but the Seminoles had a legit shot at taking that series as they lost game 2 on a 9th inning home run. A problem FSU had throughout the year was sweeping teams. While they won every ACC home series the lack of sweeps prevented them from having a shot at the division title.

We set a goal for 7-2 but 4 straight losses put FSU at 5-4. However, they did take both mid-week games from UCF, which is a solid RPI booster.

The Meat of the Schedule

Florida State rebounded well and took the last 2 games in the series at North Carolina, who ended the year atop the ACC. They then returned home to a top 25 (at the time) Louisville team and beat them. However, things took a dive during a road trip to Atlanta. The Seminoles started off with a convincing win over the Yellow Jackets but back-to-back losses turned into a home loss to Florida (their 3rd of the year) and 2 losses to Duke. The games against Georgia Tech stung most of all as that’s a series Florida State should have easily been able to handle, on the road or not.

Not much was expected from the ‘Noles and a record of 6-8 (the Sunday game against Duke was rained out) is not a far cry from the 8-7 projected record but the timing of the losses and a 5 game losing streak soured this portion of the schedule.

Finishing up

Just like most every year FSU came alive in the stretch. The final portion of the season started off with 2 wins over a Stetson team looking to host a regional this year followed by the 1st, and only, ACC sweep in Boston had the ‘Noles climbing back into the national hosting discussion.

Once again Florida State couldn’t finish off series, dropping the final mid-week game to Stetson in DeLand and the Sunday game to Miami at home. A golden opportunity slipped through the ‘Noles fingers as an extra inning win in Clemson was the only one they’d get that week but they did finish strong taking the series from then top 5 NC State.

All-in-all FSU finished about how we thought they might going 15-5 in the final stretch. We projected 14-5 (Florida State ended up playing 4 games against Mount St. Mary’s due to the previous Duke rainout) meaning the Seminoles once again closed strong as expected.

Heading into the post season

While FSU didn’t perform quite as well as we thought in conference play (16-13 vs. an expected 19-11) they performed a bit above what we expected out of conference and ended the season exactly how we thought they would going 39-17 on the year. FSU once again won the ACC Tournament and earned a top 8 seed in the progress.