These teams played a week ago today with the Gators winding up victorious, they played a good game and the Seminoles couldn't capitalize on the many base runners it had. In the preview we said that Florida was a good team this season, they have a solid pitching staff but an awful offense which will allow them to make the postseason again but not do much more. Florida State is an elite, well rounded team that has a legitimate shot to win their elusive first College World Series.
Since Florida allegedly "righted the ship" after last week's win they traveled to Texas A&M and lost a close series where the pitching was solid and the offense wasn't, scoring only 12 runs over the three game stretch. While the elite team traveled to Clemson where they had not done well in recent seasons and took a series over a top fifteen ball club with both excellent pitching and an consistent offense.
Florida State is still scoring more than twice as many runs as the Gators. Florida's offensive approach is a disaster, they don't walk, they can't steal bases and they give away outs with bunts, 27 on the season to the Noles' eight. Only 30% of runners that reach base for the Gators score while Florida State plates nearly 43% of their runners who reach. There were only 4 runs scored the first time around as the Noles had plenty of base runners but were just running in to some bad luck.
The pitching staff is the only reason this Gator team has a shot at making the postseason. As you can see the numbers are very comparable to the Noles and it showed last Tuesday night. If Florida State is able to pressure UF pitching like it did last time around I can almost guarantee they will score more than one run.
Peter Miller is starting for the Noles and he was solid the last time out. Against the Gators in Gainesville he allowed only 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 over 5.1 innings. Justin Shafer was once one of the Gators best hitters, this season he had regressed and pitched extremely sparingly. Florida is probably in "all hands on deck" mode as the bullpen was used a lot this past weekend. If I was coaching this team I would use the pen very sparingly tonight with LSU on deck this weekend.
Florida State is the better ball club but unfortunately the better ball club doesn't always win. The matchup is obviously in their favor and a win would take back some bragging rights.
Game time is at 6PM and airs on Sun Sports where you have the pleasure of listening to the ineptitude of Nick Belmonte. I know many of you were exposed to him for the first time last week and I am sorry. See everyone here for the live thread.