FSU Baseball Preview: Noles Host Mid-Week Matchup vs. USF


FSU Baseball will look to build on their opening weekend series victory as they host South Florida at Dick Howser Stadium on Tuesday.

FSU Baseball got their 2017 season underway this past weekend taking two out of three games against the VCU Rams. It was a shaky start to the weekend as the Noles severely underwhelmed in the opening game of the series. The Saturday and Sunday games looked much more like we expected them to, and the Seminoles were able to win the opening series of the season.

The opening day loss was the first one for Mike Martin and FSU baseball since the 1999 season when FSU fell to Notre Dame 10-1 in a neutral site game at the Walt Disney World Sports Complex. The Noles went on to reach the College World Series that season – so if you’re superstitious as many baseball fans are, maybe you can consider it a good omen. Sunday’s victory was a mile-stone as No. 11 recorded his 1900th career victory, truly remarkable.

FSU has a quick turnaround from their opening series as in-state foe South Florida will visit them on Tuesday. The FSU offense will look to stay hot and the pitching staff will want to build on an impressive opening weekend.

The Last Time We Saw FSU

As mentioned above, the Noles surprised their fans with an anemic offensive performance to start the season last Friday. VCU’s Friday starter, Sean Thompson, had his way with the FSU lineup as he held them to one hit through five innings. The VCU bullpen finished the job for the 3-0 victory. Drew Carlton had a solid season debut allowing three runs in his 5.2 innings of work.

Saturday was much more of what we expected from this FSU offense as they exploded for 12 runs. FSU used their trademark patience to rack up nine walks along with 12 hits. Jackson Lueck had a great day at the plate going 3 for 4 with with two RBI’s. JUCO transfer Rhett Alpin luanched his first home run as a Seminole and true freshmen JC Flowers and Nick Derr introduced themselves with two hits a piece. Cole Sands had a similar season debut to Carlton has he gave up two runs (neither of them earned) in 5.2 innings while picking up the win.

Sunday was more of the same from the FSU offense as they were the catalyst to an 11-3 victory. Junior short stop Taylor Walls led the way, going 2-4 with 3 RBI. JC Flowers came up big again with another two hits and two RBI to go along with them. Quincy Nieporte hit his first home run of the year with a monster shot off the scoreboard. Sophomore lefty Tyler Holton got the start on the mound and impressed by going six innings, giving up only three hits one earned run and striking out eight.

Opponent Preview

Like the Noles, South Florida won their opening series two games to one. USF baseball faced off against Iowa at home, winning the opener before dropping Saturday’s game and then finally clinching the series in Sunday’s rubber match. USF’s star shortstop Kevin Merrell had a nice series going 4-10 on the weekend scoring four runs in the process.

USF’s three-hole hitter Luke Borders- son of former MLB catcher and World Series MVP Pat Borders – had a monster weekend as he racked up six hits and six RBI’s to start off his 2017 campaign. USF benefited from an explosive inning on Friday as they fell behind early and then dropped a nine spot in the eight inning to snag what looked like a decisive victory.

Starting pitcher Andrew Karp will look to prevent the Bulls from exploding for a big inning on Tuesday. The Bulls offense was held in check in the Saturday game as they fell 4-2. Sunday saw an impressive performance from USF’s pitching and defense as four pitchers combined for the shutout and the defense committed zero errors on their way to a decisive 6-0 win.

How to Watch

First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. You can make your way to Howser for some afternoon baseball or you can catch the game on ACC Network Extra.