February 2, 2000 - by
No. 5 Seminoles Head West To Take On No. 22 Sun Devils

Feb. 2, 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State, ranked No. 5 in the USA Today Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches’
Poll, opened the 2000 season with a three-game sweep of Western Kentucky.
The Seminoles are led by preseason All-Americans Marshall McDougall and Jon
McDonald. McDougall, who led the nation in hits and RBI last season,
returns at second base and will hit third in the order. McDonald leads a
talented pitching staff and will start on the mound Friday. FSU ranked
third nationally in 1999 with a team ERA of 3.18. Blair Varnes, a freshman
All-American last season, opens as the No. 2 starter and JUCO transfer Mike
Ziegler completes the weekend rotation on Sunday.


All three starting pitchers had strong outings against WKU, with McDonald
and Ziegler each working six innings and giving up one run in picking up
wins in their first starts. Varnes pitched five innings and allowed one
unearned run in a no-decision in the second game. Ziegler recorded six
strikeouts while McDonald and Varnes had five apiece, the three starters
walked just one batter each. The Seminole pitching staff allowed just two
earned runs in the home series and boasts an ERA of 0.67.


After hitting .436 as a freshman in 1999, John-Ford Griffin continued where
he left off to start the 2000 campaign. The sophomore hit .417 in the WKU
series with a grand slam. Fellow sophomore Mike Futrell also got off to a
good start with the bat, hitting .444 over the first three games with one
homer and three runs scored. Newcomer Pichi Balet has played solid defense
at third base while also contributing at the plate (.300, 1 HR, 2 Runs).


#22 Arizona State (7-0)
Arizona State has gotten off to a hot start, winning its first seven games
by an average score of 12.6 to 3.4. The Sun Devils opened the season with
a three-game sweep of Utah before beating Florida Atlantic and Brigham
Young twice apiece last weekend. Left fielder Mitch Jones is hitting .346
with five home runs and 10 RBI to lead ASU at the plate.


The Series
FSU leads the all-time series 19-6, which dates back to 1987. The
Seminoles swept the Sun Devils in Tallahassee by scores of 4-1, 11-4 and
7-5- in the second week of the 1999 season. The Tribe played two games in
Tempe in 1998, winning 3-2 and 6-1. Arizona State’s last win over Florida
State came in an 11-10 contest in the 1998 CWS.


Radio and Television
Friday and Saturday’s games be televised locally in the Tempe area by Cox
Sports. All three games will be carried live on Sports Radio 1270
(WNLS-AM). Lee Bowen begins coverage 15 minutes prior to game time.
Broadcasts are also available via the internet at www.wnls.com.


Stanford Game Time Could Change
Friday’s (Feb. 11) game with No. 1 Stanford could be moved to 6:00 p.m.
depending on weather conditions. The game is currently scheduled for 3:30
p.m. and the decision will be made on Tuesday (Feb. 8) following the team’s
return from the Arizona State series.


Griffin’s Hitting Streak Reaches Nine Games
Sophomore John-Ford Griffin has extended his hitting streak to nine games
entering the ASU series. Griffin closed 1999 on a six-game hitting streak
through NCAA Super Regional play and the CWS. He hit safely in each of
FSU’s first three games against Western Kentucky. Through his last nine
games, Griffin is hitting .467 (14-30) with nine RBI, nine runs scored,
four doubles and a grand slam. Griffin’s streak would be longer if not for
a sacrifice fly in his lone at bat against Providence (5/30/99) in the NCAA
Regional. He had hit safely in the seven previous games before that.


Last Home Runs for FSU

PlayerOpponentGames Since
BaletWestern Kentucky (1/30)0
FutrellWestern Kentucky (1/30)0
GriffinWestern Kentucky (1/30)0
SmithWestern Kentucky (1/29)2


Grand Slams: Griffin (1/30)


McDougall & McDonald Receive Preseason Pub
Senior second baseman Marshall McDougall and junior righthanded pitcher Jon
McDonald were named first team Collegiate Baseball preseason All-Americans.
McDougall hit .419 with 28 home runs and 106 RBI as a consesus All-American
as a junior while McDonald went 9-3 with a 3.57 ERA and 123 strikeouts.
FSU’s No. 2 starter, RHP Blair Varnes, was recognized as a third team
preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball.


Hart Questionable at Catcher
Junior college transfer Blair McCaleb started for an injured Chris Hart
(hamstring) at catcher against Western Kentucky and hit .286 with two runs
scored and an RBI. Hart was slated to take over as the starting catcher in
2000. His status for the Arizona State remains uncertain.


Current Seminoles vs. Arizona State in 1999
FSU won three games against ASU in Tallahassee last season by scores of
4-1, 11-4 and 7-5. Listed below are what current Seminole players did in
those three games against the Sun Devils:


Position Players

Mike Futrell.167 (1-6), 2 Runs, 1 RBI
Brett Groves.300 (3-10), 2 Runs, 2 RBI
Chris Hart1.000 (1-1), 1 RBI
Karl Jernigan.300 (3-10), 2 Runs, 1 SB
Marshall McDougall.600 (6-10), 7 Runs, 1 RBI, 1 3B
Chris Smith.000 (0-1), 1 RBI
Bobby Spano.600 (3-5), 1 RBI


Starting Pitchers

Jon McDonald6.1 IP, 4 Hits, 1 Run, ER, 5 BB, 11K
Blair Varnes6.1 IP, 7 Hits, 5 Runs, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4K


Relief Pitchers

Mike DiBlasi2.0 IP, 5K, 1 BB, 2 Saves
Chris Ginn1-0, 1.0 IP, 1K
Chris Whidden1-0, 2.0 IP, 3K

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