The Daily Nole

FSU Baseball: Noles Hope for Better Luck vs. Irish This Time Around

Ross Obley/FSU athletics

Last season, Florida State won 44 games, the Atlantic Coast Conference and advanced to the Super Regional of the NCAA Tournament. FSU faced great competition last season, including Florida, Miami, Louisville and eventual national champion Virginia.

Throughout the course of the season however, the Seminoles only faced one team that it didn’t defeat. That team will be coming to Tallahassee this weekend.

FSU will open a 3-game set with Notre Dame at Dick Howser Stadium on Friday night. The Fighting Irish come in with a record of 23-12, but are just 6-7 away from home.

The Seminoles have been hard to beat at home this season. FSU is 20-6 at Howser as opposed to 5-5 everywhere else. Notre Dame is 9-7 this year against the ACC.

Senior Ricky Sancez and junior Cavan Biggio have jump-started the Notre Dame offense this season, but it’s been pitching that has propelled the Fighting Irish’s solid start and that’s what gave the Seminoles trouble a season ago.

FSU managed just four total runs in its three games in South Bend last season. Peter Solomon will take his 3-3 record and 3.82 ERA to the mound for the Irish.

Going against Florida State’s Drew Carlton on Saturday will be Sean Guenther. Guenther saved the first two games of last year’s series in South Bend, allowing just one walk in 3 2/3 shutout innings.

Connor Hale, Ryan Smoyer and Brandon Bielak also return for the Fighting Irish after picking up wins against FSU a season ago.

Over the weekend, Florida State will look to halt a bit of an ACC rut. After an 8-1 start in conference play, the Seminoles are just 2-3 in their last five ACC games. FSU took its first series loss of the season last weekend at Wake Forest.

The right side of the infield has been solid for FSU at the top of the order. Shortstop Taylor Walls and John Sansone are among the ACC’s leaders in multiple categories while freshman catcher Cal Raleigh has exceeded expectations in the power spots of the order.

The freshmen in the outfield have come on of late. Jackson Lueck has been red-hot while Donovan Petrey has also seen his bat get jump-started recently.

Compton, Carlton and Sunday starter Cole Sands will all each look to bounce back from lackluster starts last weekend against the Demon Deacons. Compton and Carlton each pitched well in starts against Notre Dame last season, but each took losses.

Jim and Ed Voyles have been outstanding out of the FSU bullpen as has Chase Haney and Alec Byrd. When the Seminoles have taken a lead this season, they’ve usually kept it.

That’s something Florida State wasn’t able to do against Notre Dame past the second inning of last season’s series opener. Facing a team nicknamed the Irish, it’s FSU that hopes for better luck this weekend. Friday and Saturday’s contests will start at 6 p.m. Sunday’s series finale will begin at 1 p.m.

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