NoleGameday

Series Preview: Boston College Eagles

When: April 1 – April 3

Where: Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at John Shea Field

Friday Match-up*: RHP Mike Compton (3-1 4.02ERA) vs. RHP Mike King (4-1 2.82ERA)

Saturday Match-up*: RHP Drew Carlton (3-1 3.49ERA) vs. LHP Jesse Adams (2-3 5.54ERA)

Sunday Match-up*: RHP Cole Sands (3-2 2.92ERA) vs. RHP Jacob Stevens (2-0 0.53ERA)

Player to Watch FSU: OF Jackson Lueck

Player to Watch BC: RHP Jacob Stevens

*Note: All starters are considered Probable. These are those who are expected to start but coaches could change starters before/during a series.

Florida State baseball had a rough weekend when it looked as if it would rain for the foreseeable future, but they did *technically* sweep North Carolina State. After an 8-5 victory over the Wolfpack, the Seminoles dropped their second game of the season, and subsequently the season series, against the Florida Gators. This week they head north to take on the Boston College Eagles in their second road weekend series of the season. A side note: Florida State added two midweek games next week, April 5th and 6th, against Texas Tech in order to replace the two rain-outs against North Carolina State. Also, former Golden Spikes Award winner J.D. Drew was announced as a 2016 Class of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

The player to watch for Florida State this weekend is freshman outfielder Jackson Lueck. After starting the last two consecutive games, Lueck has worked his way into Coach Mike Martin’s good graces and has responded by hitting the cover off the ball. Darren Miller has scuffled as of late, batting average is down to .224 on the season, and the expectation is that Lueck will start every game this series, especially because Lueck never is at the platoon disadvantage with his switch hitting ability. In limited playing time this season, Lueck is second on the team in slugging percentage (.609) and first in batting average (.390). Another area of the Florida State team that will have to step up this series is the starting pitching. Mike Compton has given up four earned runs and perhaps more importantly has failed to get out of the fifth inning in both starts. Drew Carlton got roughed up a bit by Florida and Cole Sands has been electric thus far in his rookie season. The bullpen has bailed out the starters in almost every game this season but it is dangerous to expect a bullpen to be the dominating pitching factor on a team. Look for the starters to go deep into games this weekend in an effort to keep Florida State’s elite bullpen arms fresh heading into the second half of the season.

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The player to watch for Boston College is freshman phenom Jacob Stevens. The freshman from Connecticut has been outstanding thus far leading the Eagles in ERA (.53). Most impressive however, is the fact that Stevens has only given up 17 hits in 34 innings pitched, good for a 4.5 H/9 which is remarkable. According to Perfect Game, Stevens was the top pitcher to come out of the Northeast region in 2015 and Stevens was also drafted in the 33rd round in the MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. At 6’3″ 240lbs., Stevens is an imposing figure on the mound and has already struck out 36 batters in only 34 innings this season. The Boston College pitching staff has led the way this season for the Eagles, as in addition to Stevens junior right-hander Mike King has been very impressive for the Eagles this season as he leads the team in innings pitched (38.1). The hitting has not been that impressive for Boston College thus far but they are led by their senior captain Joe Cronin. The infielder from Maine leads the team in batting average (.360), RBI (22), hits (31), total bases (52), and slugging percentage (.609). Cronin has positional flexibility as he has seen time at both corners of the infield in the past. After Cronin, the offense gets a little weak. Michael Strem is also hitting above .300, but is only slugging (.393) so he is most likely getting a lot of singles. As a team Boston College is only hitting .277 on the season so, as I mentioned earlier, this could be a big series for Florida State’s starting pitchers to take advantage in ACC play.

Friday’s first pitch is 2:30PM, Saturday is at 1:30PM, and Sunday is at 1:00PM.

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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