Florida State Baseball vs. Pittsburgh: Series Preview


Fresh off a huge walk-off win over bitter rival Florida, the Florida State baseball team is back in action this weekend as the ‘Noles host the Pittsburgh Panthers. First pitch takes place Friday night at 6 pm inside Dick Howser Stadium at Mike Martin Field, followed by games at 6 pm Saturday and 1 pm Sunday.

The ‘Noles traveled to South Bend, Indiana last weekend and got swept by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, losing 5-2 Friday, 4-1 Saturday and 2-1 Sunday. So, needless to say, the 4-3 walk-off win over #8 Florida Tuesday night was a much needed confidence booster for this young ball club. Coming into this series, the ‘Noles are sitting in 2nd place behind #4 Louisville (27-8, 16-2) in the ACC Atlantic standings with a series against the Cardinals still to come May 8th-May 10th. But after dropping three ACC games a weekend ago, a series sweep this weekend could be crucial for the ‘Noles as they look to continue their 8-year streak as ACC Atlantic champions.

True-sophomore righty Boomer Biegalski (2-3, 3.41 ERA) will take the mound Friday night for game one of this weekend series. Boomer has been one of the many new guys this year who has had to step up when his name was called, and he’s done just that. When Boomer was called upon earlier this season, as FSU traveled to play Virginia, he was asked to pitch his first Friday night game as a Seminole, and he showed what he was capable of, pitching 6.1 innings with 9 Ks (he struck out half the batters he faced), yet he did not factor into the decision after reliever Dylan Silva gave up four runs and the ‘Noles went on to lose 8-4. (FSU went on to win that series). Biegalski has shown that he is young and makes mistakes, but the potential he’s shown is something Seminole fans should be excited about for years to come. Boomer will face Pittsburgh right-hander T.J Zeuch (3-4, 3.74 ERA).

Saturday night, true-freshmen Drew Carlton (2-2, 3.86 ERA) gets the start vs. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Sandefur (1-5, 4.23). Carlton is in the same position as Biegalski: both are new guys trying to prove they deserve their shot, and Carlton is making a name for himself. Having a 3.86 ERA as a freshmen (this kid was in high school 12 months ago) is nothing short of impressive. The two wins he has to show for that is deceiving, but if DJ Stewart (.298 avg, 38 runs scored, 9 home runs, 32 RBI) and the Seminole offense can get the bats going early and often on Sandefur, then Carlton should factor into the decision Saturday night.

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Redshirt-junior Mike Compton (1-1, 1.63 ERA) is back on the mound Sunday for his second straight weekend start after he missed significant time due to injury. Seeing Compton on the mound in the Sunday-gold Seminole jersey is something FSU fans should look forward to, considering he is a veteran presence in the middle of a very young ball club.

Given Florida State has beaten Pitt 19 times in a row, a crucial 3-game sweep should be within reach. Another reason that a sweep isn’t unreasonable is plain and simple: this year’s team balls out at home, hitting a solid team average of .284 with 54 doubles and 24 home runs vs. a .224 average with 17 doubles and just 12 home runs on the road. It is worth noting that Florida State currently sits at #7 in the RPI rankings, meaning if the post season began today they could have home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which is clearly beneficial to this young team.

Courtesy of head-coach Mike Martin, Friday night at the top of the 4th inning there will be a recognition of the students, staff, and police that were involved in the shooting at Strozier Library back in November 2014. You can read more about this event, as well as how to donate, here