Jan. 30, 2003
#2 FLORIDA STATE
The 2003 Seminoles, ranked as high as No. 2 (Collegiate Baseball) in the preseason polls, open the season with a three-game series against VMI in St. Petersburg. Senior left-hander Matt Lynch returns as the Friday starter and he will be followed by junior right-hander Marc LaMacchia and junior lefty Trent Peterson in the rotation. Lynch is a preseason All-American and has compiled a 29-4 career record at FSU. Senior Daniel Hodges led the team with 12 saves last season and is back in his role as the closer. Sophomore shortstop Stephen Drew and junior catcher Tony Richie, who both earned preseason first team All-American honors, are expected to pace the Seminoles offensively.
VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE
VMI returns 24 lettermen as it looks to improve on a record of 10-41 in 2002. The Keydets will throw three right-handers at FSU with Duke Acors (2-11, 6.45 ERA in ’02) taking the mound Friday, followed by Phil Hendrix (3-10, 5.74 ERA) and Jimmy Thoms (0-1, 8.62 ERA). Catcher Andy Barden (.274, 5 HR) and second baseman Jason Annis (.308, 24 RBI) lead the way among VMI’s returning starters.
Florida State leads the all-time series 6-0, which dates back to 1990. FSU has outscored VMI 63-11 in those six contests, but two of the wins came in one-run games. The Seminoles swept a three-game home series in 1990 by final scores of 17-1, 3-2 & 8-0. FSU took three more in Tallahassee in ’92 (10-4, 20-0 & 5-4).
FOLLOWING THE ‘NOLES ON THE RADIO & THE WEB
All three games against VMI will be carried live by WFLA News Radio 1270 (FSU’s flagship station) in Tallahassee. Lee Bowen will begin coverage 15 minutes prior to game time. Live audio broadcasts as well as live stats can be followed via the internet at www.seminoles.com.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
Pos. Player (B/T) Ht. Wt. Yr. 2002 Stats
C Tony Richie (R/R) 6-1 215 Jr. .353, 13 HR, 75 RBI
1B Jerrod Brown (L/R) 5-10 200 Sr. .327, 4 HR, 56 RBI
2B Bryan Zech (R/R) 5-10 175 Jr. .294, 2 HR, 38 RBI
3B Eddy Martinez-Esteve (R/R) 6-2 200 Fr. First Year at FSU
SS Stephen Drew (L/R) 6-0 185 So. .402, 16 HR, 54 RBI
LF Tony McQuade (S/R) 6-2 205 Jr. .376, 6 HR, 46 RBI
CF Matt Sauls (R/R) 6-1 215 Jr. First Year at FSU
RF Blake Balkcom (R/R) 6-2 225 Jr. First Year at FSU
DH Chris Hart (R/R) 6-1 190 Sr. .262, 3 2B, 6 RBI
or Derrick Smith (L/L) 5-10 170 Fr. First Year at FSU