This weekend scares me and excites me all at the same time. Florida State is easily one of the top teams and arguably the best in the entire country. The Yellow Jackets will need to continue the strategy that they used this past week against Georgia Southern and Savannah State that seemed to work so well, that is score a lot of runs and don't allow many at all.
Coming into the series, the Yellow Jackets will have five regulars in the lineup hitting above .300. Sophomore LF Matt Gonzalez (.333), junior 1B Thomas Smith (.331), junior CF Daniel Spingola (.317), junior DH AJ Murray (.307), and freshman SS Connor Justus (.301) make up that group. Freshman OF Ryan Peurifoy and senior captain and 2B Mott Hyde are also both hitting above .290.
While the Yellow Jackets have not seemed to get a lot of home runs from any one player in particular, five players have hit more than one home run. More importantly, the entire team has combined to hit 89 extra base hits (64 doubles, 12 triples, and 13 home runs). Beesball has also driven in a combined 174 runs. The biggest threats in this category are AJ Murray, Matt Gonzalez, and Daniel Spingola. Murray has hit 10 doubles, two triples, and three home runs while driving in 17 runs. Gonzalez has hit 13 doubles, a triple, and a home run while driving in 24 runs. Spingola has hit four doubles, FOUR TRIPLES, and two home runs while driving in 23 runs and stealing nine bases.
As impressive as the Yellow Jackets' offense has been at times this season, Florida State's has been just as good, if not even better. The biggest threat in the Seminoles' batting order is sophomore OF DJ Stewart. Needless to say, he's been awesome. Stewart leads the Seminoles in almost every major batting category. He has hit .384 (1st) with a .687 slugging % (1st), and a .496 OBP (1st). He has scored 29 runs (1st) on 38 hits (1st) while driving in 26 (2nd). He also leads the team with six home runs.
Game 1 Friday, April 11, 7:30 PM - RHP Josh Heddinger vs. RHP Luke Weaver
Josh Heddinger has been decent so far this year. He will go into the weekend with a 1-1 record, with a 4.98 ERA, 27 strikeouts and 12 walks in 34.1 innings.
Junior RHP Luke Weaver (any relation Joey?) has had a good season for the Seminoles. He has pitched to a 5-2 record with a 2.83 ERA. Weaver has also struck out 46 batters and walked 12 in 54.0 innings pitched.
Game 2 Saturday, April 12, 2 PM - LHP Devin Stanton vs. RHP Mike Compton
Since joining the rotation, senior captain Devin Stanton has had a couple good games. He has pitched to a 2-1 record with a 3.06 ERA. Stanton has also struck out 27 batters while only walking eight in 32.1 innings.
Redshirt sophomore RHP Mike Compton has had a pretty good year too, though not as good as Weaver's. Compton has pitched to a 3-0 record with a 3.15 ERA and has struck out 27 batters and walked 10 in 40.0 innings.
Game 3 Sunday, April 13, 1 PM - RHP Matthew Grimes vs. TBA
Matt Grimes has had a pretty good season for the Yellow Jackets thus far, pitching to a 4-1 record and 3.21 ERA. Grimes has also struck out 16 batters and walked nine in 33.2 innings pitched this year.
As of 5:43 PM Thursday (aka when I wrote this), there has not been an announcement of who will be starting the last game of the series for the Seminoles.
This is a tough matchup for the Yellow Jackets. If they even win one game of this series, I will be so overjoyed I don't even know what I'll do. All the games this weekend are available on 91.1 FM WREK and Friday's and Sunday's games are available on CSS and ESPN3. Saturday's game can be seen on RSN (click here for your local listings) and on ESPN3.
How do we do in this series? Do we actually win a game at all? Do we pull of the miraculous sweep? (knocks on wood)