FSU Baseball Preview: Noles Travels to UF, FGCU For Midweek Battles

Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; a general view of a baseball bat and glove on the field during New York Mets spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; a general view of a baseball bat and glove on the field during New York Mets spring training workouts at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

FSU baseball will be spending spring break on the road. Tuesday the Noles are at Florida and on Wednesday they’ll be at Florida Gulf Coast.

Spring break is here and it’s a sign that the college baseball season is heating up. FSU baseball will be spending their spring break on the road this season.

Tuesday the Noles will travel to Gainesville to take on the rival Florida Gators. On Wednesday FSU will make their way down to Fort Meyers to take on Florida Gulf Coast, just a day before the two schools’ basketball programs meet in the NCAA tournament.

When the Noles hit the road, they’ll do so as the number one team in the country according to the d1baseball.com poll. After a 4-1 week FSU made the jump from number three to number one.

Last Time Out

FSU opened ACC play with a three game series against Boston College last weekend. The series didn’t start to plan for FSU as they dropped the first game 8-5 on Friday. Due to the threat of inclement weather on Sunday, the teams decided on a double header to finish the series on Saturday. FSU took both Saturday games by scores of 11-1 and 13-0.

FSU’s starting pitching impressed again in the weekend series. Except for one ugly inning on Friday, the FSU staff was able to hold Boston College in check.

FSU’s three starting pitchers combined to go 18 innings, allowing five earned runs on 16 hits with 15 strike outs to five walks. Six of the 16 hits and all five earned runs allowed came in the third inning of Friday’s game.

The FSU bullpen was remarkable against Boston College. In nine innings of work the pen allowed just one earned run and recorded 13 strikeouts.

As it always is with FSU baseball, patience was crucial to Saturday’s success. The Noles accumulated 19 walks between the two games in the double header.

Taylor Walls led the way for FSU at the plate. Walls went 5-11 on the weekend with two home runs, six RBI, seven runs, and four walks. Other stand outs for the FSU offense were sophomore catcher Cal Raleigh and freshman center fielder JC Flowers.

Raleigh was 6-12 on the weekend with three RBI and two runs scored. Flowers was 4-11 with five RBI and two runs, two of Flowers four hits included a deep home run and a triple.

Opponent Preview

The degree of difficulty takes another step up for FSU baseball this week as they hit the road to take on UF and FGCU. FSU’s last two seasons have ended in Gainesville with the Gators beating them in Super Regionals to advance to the College World Series. FSU will look to make a statement when they go to McKethan stadium to face the fifth ranked Gators.

UF won’t be the only ranked opponent FSU faces this week. Florida Gulf Coast moved into the d1baseball.com top 25 at number 22 after their impressive home of the Gators last week.


It’s been an interesting start to the season for UF. The Gators are one of the most talented teams in the country every year, this year is no different. UF has gotten plenty out of their pitching staff but it’s been somewhat of a struggle so far offensively.

A 2-3 week, including two mid-week losses at FGCU, brought the Gators record to 12-5 and saw them drop from number two to number five in the d1 baseball poll.

UF’s starter for Tuesday is freshman righty, Nate Brown. Brown has pitched just four innings on the season and has an ERA of 6.75. Brown has seven strike outs to three walks. FSU’s Andrew Karp will be facing off against Brown.

UF comes into the game against FSU batting .249 as a team. Junior second baseman Dalton Guthrie stands out for the Gators with a .328 average and 14 runs scored.

Freshman Keenan Bell is off to a nice start for UF with an average of .353 and two home runs in 34 at bats. Senior Ryan Larson is swinging a hot bat for the Gators, his two solo home runs lifted them past Seton Hall on Saturday for the series victory.

More from FSU Baseball

Florida Gulf Coast

You may have heard that the FSU hoops team has a big game on Thursday against FGCU. Thursday’s basketball game won’t be the only marquee matchup between the two athletic programs this week.

It will be a top 25 battle when top ranked FSU baseball visits number 22 FGCU on Wednesday. FGCU’s debut in the d1baseball poll is partly due to their mid-week sweep of UF last week. The Eagles took down the Gators 7-3 at home and then 3-2 in Gainesville the next day. The Eagles followed their mid-week sweep by taking two of three from Ohio State on the weekend to improve their overall record to 14-3.

Mario Leon is likely to start on the mound for FGCU while FSU can be expected to use a plethora of pitchers on Wednesday. On the season Leon is 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA and has 11 strike outs in 14 innings.

Junior short stop Julio Gonzalez is off to a great start in 2017. Gonzalez has a batting average of .368 through 17 games with 18 RBI and 11 runs scored. Not far behind Gonzalez is outfielder Eli Lovell. Lovell is hitting .328 with 17 runs and 12 RBI on the season.

How to Watch

It should be a fun week for FSU baseball fans with a rivalry game against a top five opponent on Tuesday followed by a top 25 matchup on Wednesday. To see how the number one ranked Noles in action you can tune in to the SEC Network for Tuesday’s game or listen locally at 106.1 FM, the radio broadcast will also be available on the FSU Gameday app, first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM. Wednesday’s game unfortunately will not be televised but you can listen to the call locally on 106.1 again or via the FSU Gameday app .