February 25, 2011 - by
Hosting Hofstra

Feb. 25, 2011

The eighth-ranked Florida State baseball team returns to action at Dick Howser Stadium this weekend, playing host to Hofstra for a three-game series, which opens Friday at 4 p.m.

Returning home following a Thursday exhibition game with the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla, the Seminoles (4-0, 0-0 ACC) will try and build on their fast start when they send junior Sean Gilmartin to the mound in Friday’s opener. Brian Busch is the scheduled starter Saturday (4 p.m.) against the Pride (0-3), which was swept last week at Florida Atlantic. Gary Merians gets the starting nod for the series finale, Sunday at 1 p.m. It will mark the last home game for head coach Mike Martin’s club until March 8.

  • A look inside the Hofstra series
  • Florida State leads the all-time series 10-0…this marks the third consecutive season and fourth time in five years the teams have met in Tallahassee;
  • The Seminoles swept a three-game series from the Pride in 2010, including a Feb. 27 double-header (13-1, 13-0) and 14-4 the following day;
  • FSU has outscored Hofstra 120-26 in the previous 10 meetings at Dick Howser Stadium;
  • The teams met for the first time in 2007, with a three-game set, and squared off four time in 2009;
  • Game No. 3 in the 2009 series marked the FSU starting debut of pitcher Sean Gilmartin, who earned the first of his 22 career victories in a 3-2 triumph. Gilmartin will make his third career start against the Pride on Friday;
  • Saturday starter Brian Busch also made his FSU debut against the Pride in 2009, with three relief appearances during the four-game set;
  • FSU’s deep pitching staff is sporting a 1.00 ERA out of the gate, limiting its opponents to a .203 batting average through four games. Seminoles pitchers have amassed 26 strikeouts and allowed just five walks through 36 innings;
  • Offensively, Martin’s club is batting .353 and averaging 10.25 runs per game.

`Noles savored Big League moment

The Seminoles traveled to Clearwater, Fla. to face the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday in an exhibition game. The reigning NL East Champions scored four runs in the first and cruised to an 8-0 victory in the first Grapefruit League game of the year. FSU sent eight different relievers to the mound for one inning of work and received solid performances from Robert Benincasa, Mack Waugh, Adam Simmons and Brandon Johnson. More important than the outcome, the `Noles had a chance to enjoy the Big League atmosphere.

FSU turns back Jacksonville

Florida State began the week with a 5-3 win over Jacksonville on Tuesday at Dick Howser Stadium. Devon Travis and Mike McGee collected two hits each, while junior starter Gary Merians earned his first career victory with five solid innings. Daniel Bennett worked the eighth and ninth against the Dolphins for a two-inning save as the Seminoles moved to 4-0 on the year.

A little poll vaulting

A season-opening, three-game sweep of VMI was good enough for the Seminoles to jump two spots in the three major college baseball national polls this week. FSU checks in at No. 8 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association rankings – its highest ranking – and Nos. 10 and 11, respectively, in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls.

ACC honors Ramsey

Florida State junior right fielder James Ramsey earned ACC Player of the Week honors for his season-opening performance against VMI. The Alpharetta, Ga. native batted .700 (7-for-10) with two triples, six runs scored, four RBI and a sterling defensive play to help preserve a shutout in the opening 12-0 win. It is the first weekly honor of Ramsey’s career.

Gilmartin, McGee on Spikes radar

FSU junior pitcher Sean Gilmartin and senior outfielder/pitcher Mike McGee have been recognized by USA Baseball as candidates for the top award in amateur baseball. Gilmartin and McGee are among the first 50 players named to the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, which is presented annually to the top amateur player in the country. FSU holds the distinction of producing four Golden Spikes Award winners – more than any college program in the country. Mike Fuentes, Mike Loynd, J.D. Drew and Buster Posey are past recipients of the treasured trophy.

Coming up next

The Seminoles travel to Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for Tuesday’s night’s Florida Four Classic showdown against rival Florida. Game time is set for approximately 7 p.m. as the `Noles and Gators will take the field at the conclusion of the opening game between Miami and USF…Next weekend Martin’s club travels to Athens, Ga. For a three-game set against the Georgia Bulldogs.

For more about the weekend series, go to the bottom of baseball page at Seminoles.com and click on the weekly release.

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