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No. 11 FSU baseball preview/game thread vs. undefeated Mercer: Tuesday, 4:00 PM

‘Noles look to hand Mercer first loss of the season.

With impending weather in Macon, Georgia, FSU’s midweek game against Mercer has been moved to Tallahassee for a 4:00 PM game today. Too bad, as I was really looking forward to that 3+ hour drive. Make it 12 straight home games to open up the season before heading to Duke this weekend.

The Seminoles will get a tough test with the Mercer Bears tonight. FSU swept Mercer early last season, outscoring the Bears 26-7 in three games. Mercer was also the #4 seed in the Athens regional, but didn’t face FSU as they were eliminated in two games. With an 11-0 record, the Bears come in as one of the last six undefeated teams in the nation. Offensively, Mercer has compiled a .307 batting average, .408 OBP, and .479 SLG. On the mound, the Bears have posted a 2.27 ERA and 0.98 WHIP that ranks 10th in the nation. Mercer has had some struggles in the field, with a .957 fielding percentage and 18 errors. It will be key for FSU to put the ball in play and make the Bears beat them on Tuesday night.

First pitch tonight is at 4:00 PM. I will have coverage in the game thread below as well as on my twitter. For more on today’s matchup, continue reading below:

Probable Starters: RHP Josh Farmer (1-0, 1.04 ERA) vs. LHP Bryce Hubbart (0-1, 8.31 ERA)

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

Bryce Hubbart will get another chance to prove himself as a starter tonight. The freshman struggled to settle in after two first inning homers in his first start. Hubbart has the stuff to be a dominant lefty, but he needs to locate the ball better and find the lower half of the zone more consistently. After throwing 56 pitches three days ago, Hubbart will likely be on a low pitch count tonight.

RHP Josh Farmer will get the start for the Bears. Farmer is a Redshirt Sophomore out of Bogart, Georgia. The righty has tossed 8.2 innings of one-run ball this season. He’s walked just one batter while striking out seven. Farmer has given up seven hits and a .212 batting average against.

Mercer top performers

Angelo DiSpigna has started off the season red hot at the plate. The left-handed hitting first baseman is hitting .375 with 15 hits in 11 games. He’s also drown 10 walks for a .510 OBP. Dispigna has drove eight of his 15 hits for extra base hits and a .700 slugging percentage.

Brandon Michie returned for his redshirt senior season this year after not playing the 2019 season due to injury. Michie hit .388 in 2018 and has picked up where he left off before the injury. The middle infielder is hitting .366 with 15 hits, including five extra base hits.

Colby Thomas has provided the pop for the Bears, with a team high nine extra base hits and three homers. The freshman out of Valdosta High has started his college career hitting .340 with 16 hits through 11 games. Thomas was the 4th rated OF in Georgia and Mercer’s top recruit for the 2019 class.

FSU headlines to watch for

Can FSU get consistent play out of 3B and SS?

It’s been an adventure all season long for FSU’s infield, and especially the left side. On Sunday, we saw a glimpse of consistency and what 3B and SS should be the rest of the season. With Tyler Martin at third and Nander De Sedas at short, the Seminoles made no errors on the left side of the infield. De Sedas had an error-free weekend as he looked to get back on track. Martin’s arm finally seemed at full strength and healthy enough to be the everyday third baseman. This combo gives FSU the best chance to win.

Are Florida State’s arms rested after a four-game weekend?

It was a long weekend for FSU’s pitching staff, throwing 38 innings in 3 days. FSU will have a quick turnaround after one day’s rest. Many of FSU’s top relievers threw multiple innings, Antonio Velez, Chase Haney, Jack Anderson, and Davis Hare all threw 3+ innings on the weekend. With Hubbart likely starting in the ‘opener’ role, Jimmy Belanger will have to get 6+ innings out of his pen. Dylan Simmons may be the top option after Hubbart, as he has the freshest arm out of the pack. Anderson threw just one more pitch than Hubbart on Saturday, so he should be available as well. It will be interesting to see how Mike Martin Jr. patches together nine innings on the hill tonight.