This weekend the Florida State Seminoles (28-8) head to Winston-Salem, NC to take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (24-15). The series starts at 6 pm Friday night on Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park.
This series is huge for FSU, as they head down the home stretch of the season and look to lock up yet another ACC Atlantic crown. Wake Forest comes into the series three games behind the Seminoles in the Atlantic division. Wake Forest has a 11-7 conference record, while the ‘Noles tout a 14-4 ACC resume.
Luke Weaver (5-3, 3.10 ERA) comes into the game Friday night looking to start fast and limit those early-inning runs. Last week, Weaver gave up five earned runs in the first inning of play vs. Georgia Tech but stayed in the game and tossed six consecutive scoreless innings after the first. Weaver will face Jack Fischer (3.32 ERA) tonight.
Mike Compton will go into Saturday’s match-up after suffering his first loss of the season last Saturday vs. Georgia Tech on 3.2 innings pitched, five runs (four earned) and six hits. Compton has had an impressive season following the Tommy John surgery that ended his sophomore campaign just a year ago. He currently holds a 3.71 ERA and a 3-1 record overall, so last week’s outing came as a surprise to most. Compton will need to regain his early season form, as he matches up against John McLeod (1.96 ERA).
It comes as a surpise to not see Brandon Leibrant on the card for a third straight start, but the ‘Noles move on, and Bryant Holtmann (3.14 ERA) will get the start Sunday vs. Connor Kaden (4.60 ERA). Holtmann has an impressive 5-0 record, mostly as a week-day starter, however.
Despite DJ Stewart’s lingering ankle injury, he still leads the team in batting average (.374) and will continue to anchor the Seminoles’ line-up. Senior captain Justin Gonzalez comes into this weekend with a .250 average, which is the third lowest among starters, and one home run. John Nogowski (.298, 4 HR) and Casey Smit (.349) look to continue their tear at the plate and lead the Seminoles through a huge weekend series. As the Seminoles continue their hunt for another ACC Atlantic division title, every ACC game is crucial, especially this one vs. second-place Wake Forest.