March 2, 2000 - by
No. 1 Seminoles Conclude Nine-Game Homestand With Pitt

March 2, 2000

#1 Florida St. hosts Pitt

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, March 3-5

Dick Howser Stadium

#1 Florida State (15-2)

TALAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State, the No. 1 team in the country in all three polls for the
third straight week, improved to 15-2 with a pair of victories over
Charleston Southern on Tuesday (7-2) and Wednesday (12-1). The Seminoles
have now won nine straight, dating back to a 2/12 loss to Stanford, and are
off to their best start since the 1990 squad began the year 22-2.

RHP Blair Varnes improved to 2-1 with his best start of the season
against CSU on Tuesday, going six innings without allowing an earned run.
In the second game, freshman Matt Lynch made his first career FSU start and
went 5.0 innings for the win. Chris Smith had one of his best games as a
Seminole on Wednesday as he went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, three
runs scored and a career-high five RBI.

With Chris Hart out for the year at catcher, Coach Martin expects to
start Mike Futrell behind the plate in one of the three games against
Pittsburgh. Blair McCaleb has taken over as the everyday catcher and
Futrell has started 17 games in left field.

FSU continues to produce at the plate with a team batting average of .331
and 27 total home runs. Seven everyday starters are hitting over .310 and
those same seven have at least three home runs each.

RHP Jon McDonald (4-0) will start Friday’s game and RHP Mike Ziegler
(3-0) will start Saturday. RHP Blair Varnes (2-1) will get his second
start of the week on Sunday. The FSU staff has recorded 161 strikeouts and
walked just 67 for a ratio of 2.4 to 1. Ziegler leads the team with 36
strikeouts while Mike DiBlasi (13 K’s in 6.2 IP) and Daniel Hodges (16 K’s
in 11.1 IP) lead in strikeouts per inning.

Pittsburgh (3-0)

Pittsburgh has played just three games so far this season, sweeping a
three-game set at Mount St. Mary’s. The Panthers won a doubleheader on
February 26th by scores of 7-3 and 6-3 and won 20-6 on February 27th. Pitt
lost just five letterwinners from a 1999 squad that finished 27-27 and
11-15 in the Big East (T-7th).

The Series

FSU leads the all-time series 13-0, with all 13 games played in Tallahassee
from 1983-86. The first three years were three-game series and a four-game
series was played in 1986. FSU has won the 13 contests by an average score
of 11.8 – 2.1 and the Seminoles have scored in double figures in eight of
the games.

Radio and TV
There will be no television coverage of the Pittsburgh series. All three
games will be carried live on Sports Radio 1270 (WNLS-AM). Lee Bowen
(play-by-play) and Jim Crosby (color) begin coverage 15 minutes prior to
game time. Broadcasts are also available via the internet at

Probable Starters
Pos No Player Cl B/T
C #32 Blair McCaleb So. R/R
.275, 8 Runs, 7 RBI
1B #27 Ryan Barthelemy So. L/R
.311, 6 HR, 22 RBI
2B #31 Marshall McDougall Sr. R/R
.324, 3 HR, 21 Runs
SS #1 Brett Groves Jr. R/R
.397, 3 HR, 26 Runs
3B #18 Pichi Balet Jr. R/R
.283, 1 HR, 12 RBI
or #26 Scott Boyd Jr. R/R
.350, 2 2B, 6 RBI
OF #8 Mike Futrell So. R/R
.370, 3 HR, 19 RBI
OF #9 Karl Jernigan Jr. R/R
.322, 4 HR, 19 Runs
OF #15 Chris Smith So. L/L
.388, 4 HR, 17 RBI
OF/ #39 John-Ford Griffin So. L/L
DH .433, 3 HR, 16 RBI

RHP #41 Jon McDonald Jr. R/R
4-0, 4.30 ERA, 23K
RHP #35 Mike Ziegler Jr. R/R
3-0, 3.90 ERA, 36K
RHP #21 Blair Varnes So. R/R
2-1, 4.50 ERA, 24K

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