FSU baseball: Will 'Noles look like a different team against Butler Bulldogs in 2024 season opener?

Florida State v Florida
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FSU baseball will open up the 2024 season in Dick Howser Stadium on Friday evening against the Butler Bulldogs. It'll be a three-game series over the weekend, with Cam Leiter getting the start on the mound Friday. Jamie Arnold will start Saturday's game, and veteran Conner Whittaker will get the nod on Sunday afternoon. FSU will look to rebound from missing the post-season for the first time in over 40 years just a few days after legendary FSU coach Mike Martin Sr. had a celebration of his life on the field after passing away recently. FSU finished 23-31 in 2023 after starting the season, winning seven of their first eight.

However, the middle stretch of the season was brutal, including losing 19 of 20 games at one point. However, the Noles finished the season winning seven of their final 10 games, including a win over No. 1 Wake Forest. The Butler Bulldogs were even worse in 2023. They finished their season 12-43, 5-16 in the Big East Conference. They batted .243 and had an on-base percentage of .331, with 30 home runs and struck out 27 percent of their at-bats. Butler's pitching had an 8.00 ERA, with opposing offenses batting .301. They had 318 walks against 401 strikeouts in 471.2 innings. Butler pitchers allowed 68 home runs, and the Butler defense had a .952 fielding percentage. 

I'm not sure what Butler added via the transfer portal or high school recruiting. However, FSU baseball improved their talent and depth across the board and should get off to a promising start in this three-game series. FSU would have been the favorite had the two teams played last season, and they are definitely favored to win this series. I hope to see solid starting pitching, defense, and an offense that puts up big numbers against a pitching staff that gave up a ton last year. The first pitch will be at 5:00 p.m. ET. The game will stream here, or you can listen here.  

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