No. 24 Florida State baseball (16-12, 11-10 ACC) travels to Gainesville for a midweek matchup against No. 18 Florida (21-11, 6-6 SEC). The Seminoles and Gators are both coming off series losses from this past weekend. FSU dropped a rubber match to the Louisville Cardinals on Sunday, while UF salvaged a win on Sunday at Tennessee. The ‘Noles will be going for the season sweep of the Gators after taking game one in Tallahassee by a score of 10-2. FSU jumped on Florida early with seven runs in the first two innings. Robby Martin led the way with two homers, the beginning of a National Player of the Week honor. After the 1-3 week, FSU is ranked 18th by Baseball America, 23rd by Perfect Game, and 24th by D1Baseball.
FSU’s offense has been pushed by their power production. The ‘Noles are 13th in the country and first in the ACC with 41 homers. In the field, the Seminoles have a .971 fielding percentage. Florida State is also top fifty in the country and first in the ACC with 141 walks. FSU has a team average of .242, .359 OBP, and .417 SLG%. Matheu Nelson is top 10 in the country with 13 homers and 39 RBI.
Florida State’s pitching staff has been up-and-down in recent weeks but is still the best in the ACC and one of the country’s best. The Seminoles have a 3.34 team ERA and a .214 average against. FSU is top 20 in the country with a 1.22 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, and 7.15 H/9. Chase Haney is first in the country with 20 appearances and is 10 appearances away from breaking Kevin Lynch’s record of 136 career appearances at FSU.
Florida has a .283 average, .371 on-base percentage, and .462 slugging percentage. The Gators, like FSU, have slugged 41 home runs. Three players have seven or more homers. Florida puts the ball in play at a high rate, striking out less than 8.5 times per game. UF isn’t active on the base paths, stealing just 16 bases in 32 games. In the field, Florida has a .968 fielding percentage. They’ve recently flipped starting SS Josh Rivera to 2B, with freshman Jordan Carrion taking over at short.
On the mound, the Gators have a 3.90 ERA and have allowed .234 average against. Florida attacks the zone at a high rate, walking just 2.96 batters per nine. They’ve struck out 299 batters in 290.2 IP. Like the Seminoles, UF has three shutouts in 2021.
Mike Martin Jr. is 2-0 vs. the Gators as a head coach. The Seminoles closed out Alfred McKethan Stadium with a 2-0 win last year. Tonight will be FSU’s first game at UF’s new stadium, Florida Ballpark. UF is 19-5 at home this season.
Here are tonight’s probables:
Tuesday 4/13, 7:00 PM
Probable Starters: RHP Carson Montgomery (3.66 ERA, 19.2 IP) vs. RHP Garrett Milchin (6.32 ERA, 15.2 IP)
How to watch: SEC Network
Carson Montgomery is yet to show his best stuff for a full outing this season. The closest he came to his best was the first matchup against Florida. Montgomery worked four hitless innings, before giving up two runs in the fifth inning. He finished with a final line of 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 9 K’s, 2 R. The stuff has been there all year. The freshmen has a 13.7 K/9. But the struggles with command have also been there, as he has a 6.4 BB/9. The slider release point and the ability to attack the zone with the fastball will be key for Montgomery. Tyler Ahearn or Jack Anderson will likely be the bridge to the bullpen if Montgomery struggles early.
Garrett Milchin will be back on the mound for UF despite his struggles in his first outing against FSU. The Seminoles jumped all over the tall RHP early. Florida State attacked fastballs early in the count and Martin took advantage of cement mixer breaking balls. I’d expect Milchin to look to attack Florida State with changeups and curveballs early in the counts this time around. The RHP posted a line of 1.2 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 R in the first matchup. Jack Leftwich, who was UF’s Saturday for the majority of the last two years, will likely be available out of the pen after throwing just eight pitches this past weekend. Leftwich would present a much different look than Milchin, as he holds a powerful arsenal with command struggles.
UF top performers
- Nathan Hickey has been the Gators’ leader on the offensive side of the ball. Hickey has recently moved into the two-hole for O’Sullivan and has been one of the best catchers in the country. Hickey leads Florida with a .345 average, 35 RBI, 26 walks, and a .619 slugging percentage. The catcher has smashed seven homers, to go along with eight doubles and a triple. Hickey has more free passes than walks. Hickey was 0-2 with two walks in the first matchup.
- Jacob Young is the table-setter for UF. Young is one of the toughest outs in the country and is a scrappy hitter at the top of the order. The outfielder is second on the team with a .341 average. Young leads the Gators with 12 doubles, nine stolen bases, 46 hits, and 34 runs. Keeping Young off the base paths will be key to a Florida State victory tonight. Young was 1-3 in the first matchup.
- Colby Halter has consistently been one of the best freshmen in the country. Halter came to Florida as one of the best freshmen to make it to campus, rated the state’s #4 shortstop, and has proven why early in his career. Halter is third on the Gators with a .314 average and 33 hits. The freshmen also has a .476 slugging percentage and posted a .943 fielding percentage while playing second and third base. Halter was 0-3 in the first matchup.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of Sunday Golds: A Florida State Baseball Podcast for a recap of the UL series and a UF preview.
We’ll update this article as lineups become available.
UPDATE, 6:10 PM
#FSU lineup at UF:— Brett Nevitt (@brettpn) April 13, 2021
1B T. Martin
3B L. Lacey
RF R. Martin
C M. Nelson
DH W. Crowell
LF E. Cabell
CF R. Albert
SS N. De Sedas
2B V. Smith
SP Carson Montgomery
First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM from Gainesville. 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).