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FSU Weekend Series Preview: Louisville

Haylee Blitch

FSU baseball is coming off their 5th straight weekend series win, a sweep of Richmond, leading to a boost in all of the polls this week. But FSU was handed 2-midweek losses, to Jacksonville and Stetson, which dropped their RPI ranking to 57. Last weekend was a weekend of celebration at Dick Howser Stadium, as Mike Martin walked off the field that bears his name for the final time. But there is still a lot of work to be done for the Noles. FSU, who sits at 34-18 and 16-11 in the ACC, heads to Louisville this weekend, where they will take on the toughest team they have faced this season. The Cardinals are ranked in the top 10 in every poll and number 7 in the RPI. The Cardinals are coming off a series loss to UVA, a team that FSU took down twice in Charlottesville earlier this year. Dan McDonnell’s team is carried by a deep lineup and a strong weekend pitching staff. The Cardinals currently sit at 41-12 and 19-8 in the ACC, for tops in the conference. FSU has a tall task this weekend, but the Noles can match the Cardinals’ talent on the diamond.

Louisville top hitters:

SS Tyler Fitzgerald: .338/.936 OPS/7 HR/60 RBI

3B Alex Binelas: .326/1.116 OPS/11 HR/45 RBI

1B Logan Wyatt: .303/.975 OPS/8 HR/47 RBI

Thursday, 6:00 PM: LHP Drew Parrish vs. LHP Reid Detmers

Drew Parrish looked sharp last Friday against Richmond, only making one bad pitch that resulted in an HR. In 6 innings, Parrish only gave up 2 hits and struck out 8, while allowing 2 runs. Parrish relies on his 3 pitch mix of a fastball that sits in the low 90’s, a plus curveball, and an above average changeup. If Parrish can hit his spots and keep the ball on the corners, he should be in for a good outing. Reid Detmers has been the Cardinal’s backbone all season long, with a record of 10-2 on the season. Detmers is a big lefty, standing at 6’2 and weighing 210. Detmers has much of the same arsenal as Parrish, with his fastball just sitting a touch higher. Detmers has a season ERA of 2.59 over 83.1 IP. The lefty poses a problem for some of FSU’s best hitters, lefties Drew Mendoza, Reese Albert, and Robby Martin. It will be interesting to see how 11 uses Robby this weekend in the DH spot.

Friday, 6:00 PM: RHP CJ Van Eyk vs. LHP Nick Bennett

CJ Van Eyk has really shown off his power stuff in his last couple of outings, racking up 18 K’s in just 10 innings. Van Eyk’s season ERA now sits at 4.01, as he has continued to throw quality innings for the last month or so. Van Eyk has some of the best stuff in the nation, with a fastball in the mid to high 90’s, a plus curveball, and a changeup. Van Eyk is one of the most electric pitchers to watch in college baseball, especially when he is throwing strikes. If Van Eyk throws strikes, he can be nearly unhittable. Nick Bennett is another big lefty for the Cardinals, standing at 6’4 and weighing 210. Bennett hasn’t thrown since 4/27, but he is slated to get the 2nd start against the Noles this weekend. Bennett’s arsenal consists of a 90-92 mph fastball, 74-76 curveball, and 77-79 changeup. This weekend’s series will feature some of the top lefties in the nation.

Saturday, 1:00 PM: RHP Conor Grady vs. RHP Bobby Miller

Conor Grady will make his 3rd career weekend start this weekend. Last Sunday was the sharpest Grady had looked for a while, as he only gave up 3 hits and walked none. Grady, like Parrish, only made one bad pitch, resulting in a 2-run HR. Grady has shown he can be one of the best pitchers in the country when he is on, winning ACC pitcher of the year earlier this year. Grady will sit in the low 90’s with his fastball, but work off his plus offspeed pitches, a nasty biting slider and a running changeup. Bobby Miller is a big lanky RHP, standing 6’5 and weighing 210, that throws in the low 90’s with a nasty slider and a changeup. Miller, like Grady, often works off of his slider. Miller started the ACC Championship game against FSU last year, in which he threw 2.1 IP, and gave up 5 runs and getting the loss, as the Noles won the ACC title.

 

FSU will definitely be up against a great team this weekend, but when FSU plays their game, they’re as good as anyone in the country. The Noles have as much talent as any other college baseball team, but the key to their game is just doing the easy things. If FSU throws strikes, plays good defense, and works quality at-bats, they could take the series from the Cardinals. 2 years ago, FSU was in the same situation, on the brink of the NCAA tournament, and a down year in the regular season. FSU went to Louisville and swept the Cardinals, which boosted them all the way to Omaha. FSU must take these games as the start of their postseason run, every game from here on out means everything to Mike Martin’s one last run.


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