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Florida State Hosts Virginia Tech

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The top 10 ranked Florida State Seminoles (20-6, 7-2) begin a three game series tonight at 6PM when the face the Virginia Tech Hokies (14-12, 5-4).

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

As Florida State nears the halfway point in the season they are having tremendous success, definitely exceeding my preseason expectations. After losing an early series to Georgia on the road the Noles have yet to drop a weekend series, are steadily climbing up the polls and have the 2nd best RPI in the country per Warren Nolan. Extremely impressive since they have played the 10th most difficult schedule with a 7-1 record against the RPI Top 50.

Virginia Tech comes into town with a resume that is highlighted by a series sweep of then top five ranked Virginia Cavaliers and not much else. In their other two conference series they lost two of three games against Wake Forest and Clemson. The Seminoles haven't played Hokies since 2013 as they went 1-3 including a loss in the ACC Tournament. The last time the two teams met at Howser was 2012 and the Noles swept the series.

Virginia Tech Florida State
Nat. Rk Stat Nat. Rk
181 0.261 BA 0.269 144
153 0.353 OBP 0.421 3
119 0.387 SLG 0.441 28
0.740 OPS 0.862
136 5.4 R/G 8.2 4
10.1% BB% 17.4%
17.5% K% 21.7%
69.6% SB% 74.3%
149 4.42 ERA 4.13 122
104 8.69 H/9 9.2 142
91 7.9 K/9 9.1 18
85 3.36 BB/9 3.46 98
78 2.35 K:BB 2.64 49
105 0.968 Field% 0.956 238

The Florida State offense is very good, one of the best in the country good. What makes that fact even more impressive is that on any given day about half of the lineup consists of players who were not on the team last season. One player who was on the team last year is DJ Stewart, the All American outfielder is coming off of a three homerun week and ACC Player of the Week Honors. He is second all by himself in the country with 9 homeruns on the season.

For the Hokies 2B/SS Alex Perez (.333/.407/.476) and 1B Brendon Hayden provide much of the offense. The two have hit 9 of Virginia Tech's 17 homeruns and Perez has hit 5 triples on the season, 2 more than the Noles as a team. Scoring nearly 3 runs fewer than the Noles on the season they struggle to get on base as a team as they rank last in the ACC.

Game 27 - Virginia Tech March 27

First Pitch: 6:00 p.m. ET

FSU Starter: RHP, Boomer Biegalski (2-1, 3.15 ERA)

VT Starter: LHP, Sean Keselica (3-1, 1.58 ERA)

Radio: 106.1 FM - Tallahassee

TV/Internet: ESPN3

Game 28 - Virginia Tech March 28

First Pitch: 6:00 p.m. ET

FSU Starter: RHP, Drew Carlton (1-1, 5.59 ERA)

VT Starter: RHP, Aaron McGarity (2-2, 5.09 ERA)

Radio: 106.1 FM - Tallahassee

TV/Internet: ESPN3

Game 29 - Virginia Tech March 29

First Pitch: 1:00 p.m. ET

FSU Starter: RHP, Cobi Johnson (3-1, 5.65 ERA)

VT Starter: LHP, Jon Woodcock (2-1, 3.22 ERA)

Radio: 106.1 FM - Tallahassee

TV/Internet: ESPN3

Both of these pitching staffs look very similar on paper as they don't do anything really well. Both teams have solid Friday night guys, VT's Sean Keselica is coming off two great starts, a complete game against UVA and an 8 inning appearance against Clemson last week. The senior is not a big strikeout arm, his career high for a game was 6, done only twice in 23 career starts before last week when he fanned nine against Clemson.

Saturday's matchup features two hittable pitchers, Carlton has allowed 24 hits in 19.1 innings of work and McGarity has given up 35 hits in 35 innings. Neither pitcher should be considered a strikeout pitcher either, if the both teams can get five innings they would be extremely pleased.  The Noles Cobi Johnson finally had a start that made him look like he belonged in the weekend rotation as he threw 7 innings versus Virginia last weekend. While the Hokies Woodcock has been solid all season pitching 7 innings in three of his six starts on the season.

If Florida State continues their hot hitting I don't see how Virginia Tech can keep up as they are not very formidable with the bat. But neither was Virginia and the Noles bad bullpen and horird defense kept them in games. The Hokies are a good enough team where they shouldn't get swept. A series win by the Noles will keep them close to division leading Louisville who plays Georgia Tech this weekend.

All games are on ESPN3 and we will have all the threads and recaps available.

Go Noles!