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No. 18 FSU baseball vs. Mercer: Preview, how-to-watch, game thread

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Jack Anderson making third career start.

FSU sports information

Florida State baseball (12-8, 8-7 ACC) will look for a bounce back week after dropping their series against Wake Forest this past weekend. Despite the series loss, the Seminoles are still a consensus top-25 team, ranked as high as #18 by D1Baseball and Baseball America. The Seminoles will start the week with a re-scheduled game against Mercer tonight. Mercer comes into tonight with a 13-10 record and are coming off a series win in their first weekend of SoCon play.

At the plate, FSU has a team average of .250, a .368 on-base percentage and a .420 slugging percentage. Florida State has slugged thirty homers and 29 doubles. FSU’s fielding percentage is up to .971. FSU has 13 stolen bases on 17 attempts. Matheu Nelson has led the way for FSU, hitting .343 and posting a .814 slugging percentage on 10 homers. The Seminoles were without two starters for most of the past weekend as Logan Lacey missed all three games and Nander De Sedas was injured in two games. Their statuses will be important to follow this week.

FSU is coming off their worst weekend on the mound, in which they gave up 12 runs on Sunday’s rubber match. Their team ERA is up to 3.28. They’re still allowing a minimal average against of .206. The Seminoles have struck out 249 batters in 184 innings of work.

Mercer is carried by their high-powered offense. The Bears are top-forty in the country in four major category. Mercer is 17th in the country with 31 homers, 27th in runs, 29th in slugging percentage, and 39th in hits. Mercer has scored at least seven runs in 13 of 23 games, but they’ve struggled mightily on the bump. The Bears have a team ERA of 5.73 and have allowed a .275 average against. They have also allowed 36 homers in 201 innings. Mercer has been strong in the field with a .974 fielding percentage.

FSU is 47-8 against Mercer and has won 25 straight. Last season, Florida State handed Mercer their first loss of the season on a Tyler Martin walk-off.

Here are tonight’s probables:

Wednesday 3/31, 6:00 PM

Probable Starters: RHP Taylor Lobus (5.28 ERA, 29.0 IP) vs. RHP Jack Anderson (2.16 ERA, 8.1 IP)

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

Jack Anderson will make his third career start for the Seminoles today. Anderson didn’t throw this past weekend but has been at the top of his game as of late. He hasn’t given up an earned run in his last four innings of work. In 8.1 innings, he’s allowed seven hits and walked three. He’s also struck out nine batters. Anderson goes as his slider goes. When he has it down in the zone, he gets lots of ugly swings and easily keeps hitters off balance. FSU will look for some valuable innings from the RHP, after using a large portion of their staff against Wake and just one day of rest before their next series. The Tampa native was one of the final candidates for a weekend spot in preseason and was built up to 60 pitches.

Taylor Lobus started the season as a weekend starter for the Bears but moved to the midweek after early struggles. The redshirt senior is in his sixth season at Mercer. Lobus is a 6’1, 190-pound RHP from Woodstock, Georgia. Over 119 career innings, he has a 6.35 ERA. He’s compiled a 5.28 ERA in 29 innings this season. He’s allowed a .236 average against and 11 walks, while striking out 30. He’s been prone to the big hit, allowing six homers.

Mercer top performers

  • Brandon Michie has raked ever since he stepped on Mercer’s campus. The redshirt senior, who hails from Australia, has hit .365 in three years as a Bear. This year, he’s hitting .349 through 23 games. He’s slugged a team-high six homers and driven in 23 runs. He also leads the team with 24 runs scored.
  • Bill Knight is having a breakout sophomore year at Mercer. The Perkins, GA native is hitting .344 and has started every game. He leads the team with 31 hits. He has also slugged five homers and has a .589 slugging percentage. He leads the team with 26 RBI.
  • Garett Delano is a two-way player for Mercer that has been strong at the plate when given the chance. In 18 starts at the plate, he’s hitting .322 with a .576 slugging percentage. He has a team-high .446 on-base percentage. Delano has slugged four homers and driven in 18 runs.

We’ll update this article as lineups become available.

UPDATE, 3/31, 5:00 PM:

No Matheu Nelson, Nander De Sedas, or Logan Lacey for FSU tonight.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM from Dick Howser. The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra. We will have updates in the game thread below, and I’ll have updates from the stadium on my twitter as well (@brettpn).