FSU vs BC Preview: Not Your Average Weekend Series

This weekend’s three-game series against Boston College is about more than just baseball.

Every year Boston College hosts their ALS game to bring awareness to the disease and all of those affected. This event is put on to help their former player Pete Frates in his fight against ALS. This weekend marks the seventh annual ALS Awareness Game BC has hosted. The No. 18 Florida State Seminoles have been given the opportunity to play in the game against the Eagles with one common goal: striking out ALS.

You might remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that flooded your Instagram timelines a few summers ago. Well that was all started by Pete Frates. He is a BC baseball alumni who was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago. Boston College and pretty much everyone all over the country were quick to support by joining in on the Ice Bucket Challenge. To help keep this challenge relevant for more than the few months it was all over social media, BC decided they would host an annual ALS Awareness game. They have raised so much money for the cause and all of their proceeds from the game this year are going towards the Pete Frates Home Health Initiative.

The most exciting thing about being a part of this game is the fact it will be played at Fenway Park. Fenway is one of the most historically prestigious ballparks in America. It is almost every young baseball player’s dream to play in Fenway and maybe even hit a bomb over the Green Monster. Now the ‘Noles will have the chance of a lifetime to play there and it will all be for a great cause.

What to Look Out For

After going through a rough five-game losing streak, the ‘Noles got back on track with a two-game sweep this week against Stetson. A shutout on Tuesday and a home run parade on Wednesday gave FSU just the pick-me-up they desperately needed before heading back into ACC play.

Cal Raleigh is having an outstanding junior campaign and has been on fire lately both at the plate and behind it. In Wednesday’s game against Stetson, he hit two home runs. He has six on the year so far and you can expect to see many more as the tail end of the season approaches.

After starting the year strong and then getting himself into a bit of a slump, Drew Mendoza has also been playing extremely well this past week, having a career-high five hits in a single game in game two against Stetson. Mendoza recorded a 5-for-6 day with a home run and two doubles on Wednesday. Not a bad stat line heading into an important ACC series.

One player in particular that has shown tremendous growth over this season is Steven Wells. The senior reached base successfully in all eight plate appearances against Stetson. He went 6-for-6; 2 walks on Tuesday, and 4 hits on Wednesday, setting a new career high. He has also hit a home run in his last three games.

The bats were on fire for the Seminoles this week and they are hoping that will carry over to this weekend against a very good Boston College team with strong pitchers.

New Look for the Weekend Rotation

The pitching staff for Florida State has already faced many struggles this year but just wait, there’s more! Cole Sands is out for the weekend against BC with bicep tendinitis so that he can rest. While this is not a huge deal, it definitely shakes up the starting lineups quite a bit. Nevertheless, the ‘Noles are always ready for a challenge.

As announced by Coach Martin after the game on Wednesday, there will be a few changes to the starting pitching rotation for this weekend’s series.

First up will be Sophomore LHP Drew Parrish on the mound Friday night. Parrish was originally the Sunday starter but moved to the Saturday spot after the loss of Tyler Holton due to Tommy Johns surgery at the beginning of the season. Parrish has been the ‘Noles most consistent starter so far this year and you can expect to see him perform well in the opening game of the series Friday night.

Earning his second start and first-weekend starting role is Freshman RHP CJ Van Eyk. While it is a bit nerve-racking that his first-weekend start will be in Fenway Park, the freshman has shown true poise while on the mound in his ten appearances so far this season. Van Eyk’s strength and speed on the mound will be very important in the game for FSU on Saturday.

Working his way into the weekend rotation is Andrew Karp. This will be Karp’s first-weekend appearance but he has ten appearances on the season. In his outing on Tuesday, he earned nine K’s and zero walks over five innings of work. Karp is one of the ‘Noles strongest veteran pitchers and will be a crucial part of this weekend’s series against Boston College.

The Match-Ups

Friday: LHP Drew Parrish vs. RHP Jacob Stevens

  • Stevens – 3-5, 4.28 ERA

Saturday: RHP CJ Van Eyk vs. LHP Dan Metzdorf

  •  Metzdorf – 0-5, 4.70 ERA

Sunday: RHP Andrew Karp vs. RHP Brian Rapp

  • Rapp – 3-4, 3.55 ERA

Weekend Outlook

While Boston College may not have the best record ever, they are a team full of players who are always playing the game for something bigger than themselves. This weekend, especially Saturday’s game, means a lot to their program and you can expect the Eagles to be playing their best baseball yet. With both team’s seeming to finally figure out what works at the plate lately this series could have multiple high scoring games.

It will be a fun business trip for the ‘Noles in Boston this weekend but they will desperately need this series win to get back into good standings among the ACC. There is only a little over a month left of the regular season and two or three wins this weekend would be extremely beneficial. Mike Martin is also only six wins away from breaking the all-time wins record in NCAA baseball history. If the ‘Noles can win three this weekend, the record-breaking win could potentially come against Miami at home next weekend.

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