March 13, 2000 - by

No. 1 Baseball Takes On South Florida

March 13, 2000

Tuesday, March 14

Dick Howser Stadium


#1 Florida State (23-2)

Florida State, the No. 1 team in the country in all three polls for the
fifth straight week, improved to 23-2 with a three-game sweep of Duke in
the first ACC series of the season. The Seminoles have now won 17
straight, dating back to a 2/12 loss to Stanford, and are off to their best
start since the 1986 squad started the year 26-2.

Head coach Mike Martin picked up his 1,100th victory in FSU’s 17-0 win
over Duke on Friday. Martin became just the 16th NCAA Division I coach to
win 1,100 games. Only Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson reached the victory
total quicker than Martin.

Starters Jon McDonald (6-0), Mike Ziegler (5-0) and Blair Varnes (4-1)
each picked up wins vs. Duke over the weekend. FSU pounded the Blue Devils
for 20 hits, including a school record nine doubles, and 27 runs in the
17-0 win on Friday. The Saturday and Sunday contests were a little closer
as the Seminoles won 8-3 and 9-6. Pichi Balet had a pair of home runs
against Duke in the series and Scott Boyd hit .777 (7-for-9) with four RBI
and six runs scored vs. the Blue Devils.

Through 25 games, FSU has been equally impressive on the mound and at the
plate. The pitching staff boasts a 2.91 ERA and has 250 strikeouts (10.0
per game) against just 89 walks. Offensively, the Seminoles are hitting
.333 as a team and averaging 9.8 runs scored per game.

South Florida will start RHP John Vigue (3-2, 5.35 ERA) on Tuesday
against FSU LHP Matt Lynch (3-0, 2.40 ERA). Lynch won last Tuesday vs.
St. Joseph’s, alowing one run in six innings while striking out eight. FSU
is 16-2 against right-handed starters this season.


South Florida (11-9)

The Bulls have won seven of their last nine and come to Tallahassee after
taking a three-game series from Massachusetts over the weekend. USF won
8-4, 9-4 and 10-4 in the three wins over the Minutemen. Chris Cuccia leads
the Bulls with a .422 batting average and 22 RBI. As a team, USF is
hitting .315 and has an ERA of 4.53.


The Series

FSU leads the all-time series 61-15-1, dating back to 1969. The Seminoles
won 5-2 a year ago in Tallahassee with Blair Varnes earning the victory.
FSU won 8-4 at South Florida in 1998 and defeated the Bulls 6-5 in NCAA
Regional play in Tallahassee in 1997. Mike Martin is 33-14 all-time vs.
USF.


Radio and TV

There will be no television coverage of Tuesday’s game with South Florida.
The game will be carried live on Sports Radio 1270 (WNLS-AM). Lee Bowen
and Jim Crosby begin coverage 15 minutes prior to game time. Broadcasts
are also available via the internet at www.wnls.com.


Probable FSU Starters
Pos No Player Cl B/T
C #32 Blair McCaleb So. R/R
.333, 16 Runs, 12 RBI
1B #27 Ryan Barthelemy So. L/R
.303, 7 HR, 35 RBI
2B #31 Marshall McDougall Sr. R/R
.315, 4 HR, 31 Runs
SS #1 Brett Groves Jr. R/R
.381, 3 HR, 34 Runs
3B #26 Scott Boyd Jr. R/R
.378, 1 HR, 11 RBI
or #18 Pichi Balet Jr. R/R
.276, 3 HR, 20 RBI
LF #8 Mike Futrell So. R/R
.308, 3 HR, 23 RBI
CF #9 Karl Jernigan Jr. R/R
.359, 4 HR, 29 Runs
RF #15 Chris Smith So. L/L
.388, 6 HR, 29 RBI
OF/DH #39 John-Ford Griffin So. L/L
.436, 3 HR, 23 RBI
LHP #46 Matt Lynch Fr.
3-0, 2.40 ERA, 14K

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