NoleGameday

Series Preview: Pittsburgh Panthers

When: March 18 – March 20

Where: Charles L. Cost Field Pittsburgh, PA

Friday Match-up: RHP Mike Compton (3-1 2.28ERA) vs. Josh Falk (2-0 2.45ERA)

Saturday Match-up: RHP Drew Carlton (3-0 3.38ERA) vs. Aaron Sandefur (1-1 2.35ERA)

Sunday Match-up: RHP Cole Sands (3-0 2.71ERA) vs. TBD

Player to Watch FSU: RHP Mike Compton

Player to Watch PITT: OF Nick Yarnall

 

Florida State is coming off of a 6-0 loss at the hands of their rival the University of Florida Gators. The Seminoles were pretty soundly beat, however that is not too unexpected as the Gators are the number one team in the country. Florida State heads up north to Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers this weekend.

The Seminoles are currently undefeated in ACC play after defeating Georgia Tech last weekend. The team looks continue the ACC hot streak as they try to steal an away series for Pittsburgh. The offense struggled mightily on Tuesday night, being shut out for the first time this season. The offense looks to rebound against Pittsburgh and rejuvenate the offense. Look for senior John Sansone to lead the way for the offense. The Pennsylvania native has stolen the show for the FSU offense this season, as he leads the team in batting average (.271) and hits (32). Dylan Busby is also riding a hot streak as he hit .500 with two home runs over the past four games for the Seminoles.

The key player to watch for Florida State is Friday starter Mike Compton. Compton is coming off back to back outstanding performances. Against St. John’s he pitched five innings of one hit baseball and last outing against Georgia Tech he pitched into the eighth inning. Compton has been the ace for the Seminoles this season and there is no reason to expect that he slows down now. This is Florida State’s first road weekend series of the year so it will be important for Compton to get the team set off on the right foot.

Drew Carlton will be looking to rebound after a rough outing last weekend for the Seminoles. He gave up five runs and 10 hits in only 3.1 innings of work during his last start, but he was bailed out by the 14 runs scored in the game. He struggled with his command of his offspeed pitches last outing. Look for Carlton to locate his fastball early and go to his offspeed for the strike out, most of his success this weekend hinges on the location of his fastball and the ability to throw changeups and breaking balls for strikes.

Freshman Cole Sands is making his first road start of his career on Sunday. Coach Mike Martin has had a lot of confidence in Sands in the early part of this season and I expect Sunday to be no different. Sands’ final numbers on Sunday were not outstanding but his stuff was the best I’ve seen so far this season. Sands will have to have poise on the mound and get ahead in counts in order to have the Panthers batters behind the whole game. Because his stuff is so nasty, once he gets to two strikes he shouldn’t have any problems putting batters away.

Photo Mar 17, 3 10 37 PM

The key player to watch for Pittsburgh this series is Nick Yarnell who leads the team in batting average (.419) and home runs (5). Yarnall was the second ranked outfielder in Pennsylvania for his high school recruiting class per Perfect Game. Yarnell has clearly started the year off on a power hot streak as not only does he have five home runs, in only 11 games started, his slugging percentage is also off the charts at .791. Second on the team with home runs (4) is catcher Alex Kowalcyzk. The Pittsburgh lineup has a lot of pop throughout the order so the starters will have to do a good job this weekend locating their pitches and limiting mistake pitches.

The starting times for each game is 6PM for Friday, 3PM for Saturday, and 1PM for Sunday.

Vinnie Cervino
Lead Baseball Writer, Perpetually Pessimistic Sport Fan, Proprietor of My Own Delusions and Fallacies, 80 Grade Takes. Twitter @cervino_vinnie.

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