March 9, 2000 - by
Top-Ranked Seminoles Open ACC Play This Weekend

March 9, 2000

TALLAHAASSEE, Fla. – Florida State, the No. 1 team in the country in all three polls for the
fourth straight week, improved to 20-2 with a pair of mid-week wins over
St. Joseph’s and Siena in Daytona Beach. The Seminoles have now won 14
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.

Chris Smith continues to hit the ball well and has upped his average to
.409 and his home run total to six heading into the weekend. In FSU’s win
over St. Joseph’s, Smith became the first Seminole to hit for the cycle
since Jeremy Salazar accomplished the feat on April 26, 1996.

A pair of true freshman started on the mound for FSU in Daytona and
responded with a pair of victories. Matt Lynch improved to 3-0 on the year
after allowing one earned run in 6.0 innings and striking out a career-high
eight vs. St. Joseph’s. Robby Read (1-0) went 5.0 innings against Siena,
striking out seven and giving up two runs (one earned).

FSU has been very impressive at the plate so far this season with a team
batting average of .325 and 32 total home runs. The seven players that
have started at least 20 games are hitting .319 or better and have hit
three or more home runs apiece. Those seven (Griffin, Smith, Groves,
Jernigan, McDougall, Barthelemy and Futrell) are hitting a combined .364
with 29 home runs.

The Seminoles posted an ACC-record 22-2 regular season conference mark a
year ago and have won eight straight regular season contests, dating back
to a 3-2 loss at Georgia Tech on April 30, 1999. FSU has not lost a
conference opener since joining the ACC.


Duke (5-14)

The Blue Devils have lost five straight games heading into this weekend’s
series in Tallahassee. Duke lost a tough game Tuesday when No. 21 East
Carolina rallied for a 7-6 win. Shortstop Jeff Becker leads the team with
a .406 average and 16 RBI. RHP Jeff Alleva (0-2, 4.58 ERA) will start for
Duke on Friday with the final two starters yet to be determined.


The Series

FSU leads the all-time series 38-15, which dates back to 1954. The
Seminoles swept Duke by scores of 11-3, 9-1 and 7-0 last year in Durham.
FSU has won eight straight over Duke and owns a 21-6 record against the
Blue Devils since joining the league in 1992. Head coach Mike Martin is
24-6 all-time vs. Duke.


Radio and TV

Sunshine Network will televise Sunday’s game with Gene Deckerhoff
(play-by-play) and Link Jarrett (color) providing the commentary. All
three games 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 Starters
















PosNoPlayerClB/T
C#32Blair McCalebSo.R/R.275, 13 Runs, 8 RBI
1B#27Ryan BarthelemySo.L/R.321, 7 HR, 32 RBI
2B#31Marshall McDougallSr.R/R.325, 3 HR, 29 Runs
SS#1Brett GrovesJr.R/R.381, 3 HR, 32 Runs
3B#26Scott BoydJr.R/R.278, 1 HR, 7 RBI
or#18Pichi BaletJr.R/R.264, 1 HR, 13 RBI
LF/C#8Mike FutrellSo.R/R.319, 3 HR, 22 RBI
CF#9Karl JerniganJr.R/R.354, 4 HR, 25 Runs
RF#15Chris SmithSo.L/L.409, 6 HR, 26 RBI
OF/DH#39John-Ford GriffinSo.L/L.425, 3 HR, 19 RBI
RHP#41Jon McDonaldJr.(5-0, 3.82 ERA, 32K)
RHP#35Mike ZieglerJr.(4-0, 3.34 ERA, 47K)
RHP#21Blair VarnesSo.(3-1, 4.34 ERA, 27K)

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