Can FSU baseball take care of business on the road against Pittsbugh Panthers?

Ehsan Kassim/Tallahassee Democrat / USA

FSU baseball (36-10, 14-9 ACC) had a come-from-behind extra-inning win in their last outing against the Jacksonville Dolphins. The Nole will look for its third consecutive win when they travel to face the Pittsburgh Panthers in a three-game ACC series beginning on Friday. The Panthers (21-25, 6-18 ACC) won two midweek games earlier this week, scoring 20+ runs in each game after losing two of three against Notre Dame. The Panthers have not won an ACC series yet but have wins over ranked teams like Duke, Clemson, and Virginia Tech. Pittsburgh isn't a good team, but they have a decent offense and defense. Their biggest liability is their pitching staff. Pittsburgh hitters bring a .292 batting average and .409 on-base percentage into the series. They have hit 62 home runs, but strike out 24 percent of their at-bats. Pittsburgh pitchers bring a 6.16 ERA, with 398 strikeouts in 388.1 innings.

Opposing batters hit .291 and have hit 59 home runs against the Panthers. Defensively, Pittsburgh has a .969 fielding percentage. This series against Pittsburgh is one the Noles should win, if not sweep. The FSU offense matches up well against the Pittsburgh pitching staff, and the FSU pitching staff matches up well against Pittsburgh hitters. This series boils down to FSU executing and not beating themselves. FSU starting pitchers need to go 5-6 innings deep and avoid lead-off or two-out walks. I'd like to see better execution in pitcher counts instead of laying a pitch in the strike zone when up 0-2, 1-2. FSU hitters need to execute when they have runners in scoring position, and the defense needs to make routine plays. If they do these things, it should result in a series win for the good guys. Friday's game will begin at 6 p.m. and will air on ACCNX.

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