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No. 16 Florida State baseball at No. 23 NC State: Preview, how-to-watch, game thread

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‘Noles ride five-series win-streak into Raleigh to face red-hot Wolfpack.

FSU sports information

No. 16 Florida State baseball (28-19, 19-14 ACC) travels to Raleigh for their regular season finale against No. 23 NC State (26-14, 17-13 ACC). The Seminoles have won their last five series, but no team is hotter than the Wolfpack in the ACC. After starting 1-8 in conference play, NC State has won 15 of their last 21 ACC games. The Wolfpack enter the weekend on a five-game winning streak after sweeping Pittsburgh last weekend. The ‘Noles are coming off a series win against Clemson after a comeback win in Sunday’s rubber match.

This weekend’s series will be a top-25 matchup. The Seminoles are now rated in the top-16 by all five major polls. NC State entered the top 25 in three of five major polls last week and are ranked 23rd by D1Baseball. The Seminoles are tied second in the conference standings while the Wolfpack are fourth. With a series win this weekend, the ‘Noles would secure a top-four spot in the ACC Tournament. A sweep would guarantee FSU the #3 spot.

NC State is carried by their high-powered offense and stellar defense. Five Wolfpack starters have season averages over .300. Six of their starting nine have at least seven homers. The Wolfpack are second in the ACC with 67 homers and eighth in the country with 1.68 home runs per game. NC State averages 7.3 runs per game and have scored at least six runs in 23 of 40 games. The Wolfpack lead the conference with a .290 average and .501 slugging percentage. They’re also second in the conference with 56 stolen bases. In the field, NC State is tied for the nation’s lead with a .985 fielding percentage. In 40 games, the Wolfpack have only allowed 17 unearned runs.

On the mound, NC State has struggled. The Wolfpack are 11th in the conference with a 5.04 ERA. They have had trouble staying away from the big hits, allowing 3.3 extra base hits per game. NC State has a thin staff, as just four pitchers have thrown at least 10 innings in ACC play. Those four pitchers have combined to throw 81% of the Wolfpack’s innings against conference foes. When NC State holds opponents to less than six runs, they’re 21-1. When opponents score 6+, the Wolfpack are just 5-13.

Florida State is 73-33 all-time against the Pack. FSU last traveled to Doak Field in 2019, when NC State took two of three from the ‘Noles. The Seminoles are 10-6 on the road, while the Wolfpack are 11-11 at home this season.

Here are this weekend’s probables:

Thursday 5/20, 6:30 PM

Probable Starters: LHP Bryce Hubbart (3.26 ERA, 60.2 IP) vs. RHP Reid Johnston (4.29 ERA, 65 IP)

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

Friday 5/21, 6:30 PM

Probable Starters: RHP Conor Grady (3.84 ERA, 61 IP) vs. RHP Sam Highfill (4.65 ERA, 62.0 IP)

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

Satruday 5/22, 1:00 PM

Probable Starters: LHP Parker Messick (2.78 ERA, 74.1 IP) vs. TBA

How to watch: ACC Network Extra

NC State top performers

  • JR. OF Jonny Butler: .387 AVG / .455 OBP / .704 SLG / 11 HR / 12 SB / 37 RBI
  • SO. INF Tyler McDonough: .327 AVG / .421 OBP / .625 SLG / 12 HR / 11 SB / 33 RBI
  • JR. OF Terrell Tatum: .318 AVG / .428 OBP / .553 SLG / 9 HR / 12 SB / 28 RBI

For more on the matchup and a recap of the Clemson series, check out the latest episode of Sunday Golds: A Florida State Baseball Podcast’s:

We’ll update this article with FSU’s lineup when it becomes available.

First pitch of game one is scheduled for 6:30 PM from Raleigh. The game will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra. We will have updates in the game thread below, and I’ll have updates on my twitter as well (@brettpn).