The fifth-ranked Florida State Seminoles (33-11) conclude their eight game home stand this weekend with a three game series vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers (22-16) on Mike Martin field inside Dick Howser stadium starting at 6 PM Friday night followed by games at 6 PM. Saturday night and 1 PM on Sunday afternoon.
Florida State is coming off an off-week due to course finals. The break was a much needed on after a heart-breaking series loss to top-ranked Virginia. The Seminoles were in position to win games one and three, but never put the clamp down on a great Virginia ball-club. But Florida State is still in prime position for the ACC tournament and a national seed come NCAA tournament time, so every game is still crucial here down the stretch.
Luke Weaver (6-3, 2.92 ERA) continues to improve throughout this season throwing a complete game shut-out vs. Wake Forest, and throwing 7 innings of 2-run ball vs Virginia last weekend before getting pulled in the 8th after giving up a game-tying homerun. The ‘Noles ace will have to bring his best stuff again Friday night vs. a solid Minnesota pitcher in Alec Crawford (4-1, 3.69 ERA).
Mike Compton (6-3, 3.27 ERA) perhaps put up his best outing of the season last Saturday vs. Virginia blanking the Cavaliers on 6.1 IP, 7 H and 1 K. Billy Strode came in with one out in the 6th and secured the 7-0 shut-out victory vs. the Cavaliers. Compton was dominant in this outing and did what he does best — get batters to hit ground balls. Coach Martin will need a similar outing from Compton as he takes on Minnesota’s Ben Meyer (4-2, 2.42 ERA) Saturday night.
A little note for the game here, Seminole head coach, Mike Martin (1803 wins), and Golden Gopher head coach John Anderson (1146 wins) are both in the top-10 category of most wins all time in NCAA coaching history. The Seminoles will look to get their bats going this weekend and pick up three huge wins vs. a quality opponent to build their tournament resume and finish this season out strong. Another huge three game series looms next weekend as the Seminoles take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, NC so every game counts.
Sunday’s pitcher is marked TBA, so Mike Martin will likely make that call in the coming days. This leaves room for speculation on Brandon Leibrants return, or could simply just be a decision between Billy Strode, Bryant Holtmann and Gage Smith.