Jan. 29, 2004
#18 Florida State (0-0)
Florida State opens the 2004 season ranked No. 18 in the preseason Baseball Weekly/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Seminoles must replace all three starters in the weekend rotation along with their closer, two outfielders, two infielders and a catcher. Back for his junior season is shortstop Stephen Drew, who is regarded as the top player nationally at his position and is listed as a player of the year candidate. Sophomore Eddy Martinez-Esteve, who led last year’s team with a .371 batting average, has moved from third base to right field and was named a preseason second team All-American by Baseball America. Florida State will have numerous alumni back for Saturday’s opener and the re-dedication of Dick Howser Stadium. Included in that group are FSU’s three Golden Spikes winners – Mike Fuentes, Mike Loynd and J.D. Drew.
Pitching RotationHunter Jones (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 K) Sun. Sr. RHP Eddie Cannon (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 K) Mon. So. RHP Mark Sauls (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 K)
Virginia Military Institute (0-0)
VMI returns 17 lettermen, including seven starters, from a 2003 team that finished 24-28 overall and 16-14 in the Southern Conference. The winning conference record was the first for the Keydets since 1969. Right-hander Duke Acors (6-5, 3.78 ERA) is the top returning pitcher and will start Saturday.
Pitching Rotation Sat. Jr. RHP Duke Acors (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 K) Sun. So. RHP J.J. Hollenbeck (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 K) Mon. Jr. RHP Jimmy Thoms (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 K)
Florida State leads the all-time series with VMI by a 9-0 margin, including a three-game sweep in St. Petersburg, FL last season by scores of 12-4, 5-1 and 10-3.