March 10, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Mike Martin’s fifth-ranked Florida State baseball team has passed virtually every test through the first 13 games of the regular season. Now it’s time for the Seminoles to find out how they match up against their Atlantic Coast Conference peers.
The Seminoles (12-1) open their ACC schedule at Dick Howser Stadium with this weekend’s three-game series against Boston College, which opens Friday at 6 p.m.
“We’re excited to be playing the game the way we are now and we know that it’s a different game now that we’re playing against the ACC,” Martin said, after completing a two-game sweep of Maine on Wednesday. “We’re anxious to get started and looking forward to playing Boston College.”
Martin’s club opens the season as the defending ACC champions. Reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week Sean Gilmartin will try and improve on his 3-0 season. The Seminoles’ left-hander will square off against Boston College right-hander Mike Dennhardt (1-1, 5.79) on Friday.
Florida State leads the all-time series 14-3. The Seminoles have won three in a row, capped by their 12-2 ACC Tournament victory in Greensboro, N.C., which propelled them to the championship game. Surprisingly, two of the Eagles three series wins came during their 2009 visit to Tallahassee.
Boston College brings a deceiving 6-5 record into the series. Four of its losses have come against nationally ranked opponents, including three at No. 1 Florida, all of which were competitive games. The Eagles have yet to play a home game and their trip to FSU comes at the back end of a 10-day swing through the Sunshine State, which began with a four-game winning streak.
UCF snapped that streak with an 18-0 rout Wednesday night in Orlando.
As FSU senior designated hitter Stuart Tapley knows all too well, the early portion of the season is merely preliminary to the main event – conference play.
“I’ve done nothing really yet,” said Tapley, who blasted his way out of an early-season slump with a pair of homers against Maine. “We still have a lot of games to go before the last pitch of the game is thrown in our season. Hopefully we’ll have a national championship under our belt. We can’t really reflect on what we’ve done in the past.
“What’s done is done … We’ve got a job to do this weekend and we’re not going to settle for anything.”
The Seminoles plan to send left-hander Brian Busch (1-0, 3.55) to the mound on Saturday, where he will face BC left-hander Nate Bayuk (2-0, 1.69) in a 6 p.m. contest. Sunday’s 1 p.m. match-up will pit FSU right-hander Scott Sitz (2-0, 1.65) against the Eagles’ right-hander John Leonard (2-1, 2.75).
Both of the Saturday (FoxSports Florida) and Sunday (SunSports) games will be televised.