Colin Abbey

Top-Ranked Noles Face No. 5 Florida, No. 22 FGCU

Seminoles.com | March 13, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 1 Florida State (13-3) will face the first ranked opponents of the season when it takes on No. 5 Florida (12-5) and No. 22 Florida Gulf Coast (14-3) on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Fresh From Florida Sunshine Showdown against the Gators will be in Gainesville Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., and Wednesday’s game at Florida Gulf Coast will also start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. That game will take place at JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers, the minor league home of the Boston Red Sox.

The matchup with Florida will stream live on SEC Network +. Eric Luallen will provide play-by-play for both games and can be found on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee or nationwide through the FSU Gameday App.

FSU leads the all-time series with Florida, 128-112-1, dating back to the first meeting in 1956. The Noles are 7-3 against Florida Gulf Coast, having first played in 2009.

The Seminoles are coming off a 4-1 week, including a 2-1 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play against Boston College. After dropping the series opener on Friday, the Noles outscored the Eagles 24-1 in Saturday’s doubleheader, including a 13-0 win in the series finale. It was FSU’s largest shutout victory in the ACC since 2003, when it beat Duke by a similar margin. In the 26 years in the league, it ties for the second-largest shutout in conference play (17-0 vs. Duke, 2000).

FSU jumped to the top spot in the D1Baseball poll after being No. 3 in each of the first four rankings this season. Florida fell to No. 5 after being at No. 2 each of the first four weeks. The Gators went 2-3 last week, including getting swept by Florida Gulf Coast and taking two of three against Seton Hall.

Thanks to its sweep of Florida, FGCU jumped to No. 22 in the D1Baseball poll.

The Seminoles are looking to exact revenge on both these programs. In 2016, Florida won five of six games against FSU, including two of three in the Super Regional that propelled the Gators to the World Series. FSU won the first game 3-0 behind a two-hit performance from Drew Carlton, who is now FSU’s closer.

Florida Gulf Coast won the only meeting between the teams last year, 11-8, and has won two in a row in the series. This is the first meeting outside of Tallahassee.

The starter against Florida this week will be Andrew Karp (0-0, 2.41 ERA). He is still in search of his first result after being pulled after just four innings against UCF last week in the Noles 5-2 win.

Offensively, FSU hit .316 against the Eagles this weekend, with four home runs (two from Taylor Walls) and 11 extra base hits. The Noles were also patient at the plate, accounting for 26 walks and eight hit by pitches, resulting in an astounding .485 on-base percentage. On the season, FSU’s 123 walks are nearly 20 more than the next closest team.

The Seminoles have not yet announced a starter for Wednesday’s game against Florida Gulf Coast.

After playing Florida Gulf Coast, the Seminoles will fly to Blacksburg, Va., for a three-game series against Virginia Tech beginning Friday. Florida State’s next home game is Tuesday, March 21, against Jacksonville.

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