March 13, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A top 10 ACC Atlantic Division showdown commences on Friday in Tallahassee as second-ranked Florida State (14-2, 2-1 ACC) hosts No. 7 NC State (14-2, 3-0 ACC) for a three-game series on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch for game one is set for 6 p.m. Game times for Saturday and Sunday are at 6 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
Florida State is coming off a two-game mid-week sweep at UCF and has won four in a row, while NC State enters the series winners of six straight since a 2-0 loss to UCLA. The Wolfpack have outscored the competition 52-9 during that stretch. This weekend’s series also marks the second straight year in which both schools are ranked in the top 10 at the time of the meeting.
FSU leads the all-time series 59-27 including a mark of 26-8 on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles have won eight consecutive series over the Wolfpack while never dropping a league series at home to NC State – a streak of 11 straight series victories in Tallahassee.
NC State’s last win in Tallahassee came in game one on May 17, 2012 – a 10-5 Wolfpack victory.
FSU enters the weekend winners of two in a row over NC State and four of its last five in the series. In fact, Florida State has won 16 of its last 23 in the series. Twelve of those games have been decided by four runs or less with the Noles leading 9-3 during that stretch.
In NC State’s last three trips to Tallahassee, the Seminoles have dropped the opening game only to win games two and three to take the series.
Friday’s game is a rematch on the hill of last year’s first game between FSU’s Luke Weaver and NC State’s Carlos Rodon in Raleigh. Weaver struck out what was then a career-high nine batters in 7.0 innings as he allowed three runs on eight hits in suffering the loss. Rodon gave up just one run on nine hits in 8.0 innings as he walked four and struck out eight to earn the win.
Both Weaver and Rodon were teammates this past summer as members of the USA Collegiate National Team. Weaver started five games for Team USA and posted an ERA of 2.14 with 17 strikeouts in 21.0 innings of work. Rodon was 3-0 in four starts with a 0.00 ERA as he recorded 21 strikeouts in 17 innings.
Last year, Florida State dropped the first game to NC State (1-3) only to respond with a 12-3 win in game two and then wrapped up the series with an 8-4 victory in game three. DJ Stewart paced the Seminole offense hitting .500 (5-for-10) in the series with two doubles, three runs, three RBI and five walks. The Seminoles hit .311 for the series. On the mound, both Weaver and Brandon Leibrandt pitched into the seventh inning. Leibrandt went 8.0 strong allowing one run and no walks as he struck out seven.
At the beginning of the year, FSU was picked to finish first in the ACC Atlantic Division behind NC State. The Wolfpack are coming off a season in which they advanced to the College World Series and finished in the top eight of the final national rankings.
All three games this weekend will air live on ESPN3 with Tom Block and Chip Baker on the call. Audio for the weekend series will be available through the Seminoles.com All-Access player. Locally fans can listen to the games on 1270 AM (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday & Sunday). As always, fans can receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Baseball team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUBaseball and to follow the team on Instagram (NoleBaseball). Live stats will be available via gametracker.