February 15, 2018 - by
Fifth-ranked Noles Open Season vs. Xavier

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida State hosts Xavier this weekend to open the 2018 baseball season at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles and Musketeers have never met on the diamond.

Friday, February 16 – 4:00 p.m. – ACC Network Extra
Saturday, February 17 – 1:00 p.m. – ACC Network Extra
Sunday, February 18 – 1:00 p.m. – ACC Network Extra

Friday – LHP Tyler Holton (FSU) vs. LHP Trevor Olson (Xavier)
    Holton – 10-3, 2.34 ERA in 2017; Olson – True freshman
Saturday – RHP Cole Sands (FSU) vs. LHP Nick Zwack (Xavier)
    Sands – 6-4, 5.40 ERA in 2017; Zwack – True freshman
Sunday – LHP Drew Parrish (FSU) vs. RHP Damien Richard (Xavier)
    Parrish – 6-3, 4.52 ERA in 2017; Richard – 4-3, 4.84 ERA in 2016

Florida State finished 2017 ranked sixth in the country after reaching the College World Series for the 22nd time in school history. FSU finished 46-23, won the ACC Tournament for the seventh time and played in the NCAA postseason for the 40th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the country.

FSU won 40 games for a 40th-straight season as well, including all 38 under head coach Mike Martin. The next longest active streak of 40-win seasons is six by Louisville and LSU. FSU won the Tallahassee Regional and swept Sam Houston State in the Tallahassee Super Regional before going 1-2 in the CWS with a win over Cal State Fullerton to stave off elimination.

After bringing in a top-five recruiting class (D1Baseball) and returning four players that are preseason All-Americans, Florida State is ranked in the top five of all six preseason polls – Baseball America (3), Collegiate Baseball & NCBWA (4) and D1Baseball, Perfect Game and USA Today (5).

FSU has never played Xavier and is 7-2 all-time against teams currently in the Big East – 4-0 vs. Villanova, 1-0 vs. Butler, 2-1 vs. St. John’s and 0-1 vs. Seton Hall.

Head coach Mike Martin enters the 2018 season just 32 wins shy of becoming college baseball’s all-time winningest coach. Martin’s 1,944 wins trail only Augie Garrido (1,975) for the most wins ever. Additionally, Martin’s .737 win percentage (1,944-694-4) is the best among active coaches.

Juniors Tyler Holton (pitcher & utility), Cal Raleigh (catcher) and Jackson Lueck (outfielder), and sophomore Drew Mendoza (third base), are all preseason All-Americans by at least one publication. Holton, Raleigh and Lueck are among 55 players nationally on the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list, given to the nation’s top player. FSU’s four Golden Spikes Award winners are the most in the country.

FSU welcomes 14 newcomers in 2018 – eight true freshmen and six transfers. Among the freshmen, pitcher CJ Van Eyk (16), outfielder Reese Albert (36), pitcher Tyler Ahearn (76) and pitcher Conor Grady (87) were on Perfect Game’s Top 100 incoming freshmen list. D1Baseball (5) and Baseball America (7) rated FSU’s incoming class among the top 10 nationally.

Of the transfers, Mike Salvatore is among five junior college transfers, while Rafael Bournigal is a fifth-year transfer from Belmont. Bournigal is the son of former Seminole Rafael Bournigal, who played under Martin in 1987.

For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).

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