Baseball Preview - Florida State

The Hoos are on the road at FSU this weekend.

Tonight’s game, streamed through ACC Network Xtra on the ESPN streaming platforms, begins at 6:00.

Both teams entered the season with high expectations. UVA has looked better to date but both lost their ACC opening series last weekend.

Someone is going to go 0 for 2 to start the year and that will be a disappointment. The difference is that FSU will have had both series at home while UVA will have been on the road for each. So it will look a bit worse for the Noles, but we were thought of more highly to begin the season.


As good as our pitching has been, our offense has been equally as poor.

We squandered a near historical pitching effort by the staff last night in a 2 to 0 loss to FSU.

Andrew Abbott struck out 14 in 5.2 innings while in total the staff limited FSU to 3 hits over the course of the game and recoded strike outs for 18 of the 24 batters retired.

Game 2 is a 2:00 today. Let’s hope the bats show some life today.


The top of the 3rd today was NOT good. :frowning:

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It was not. With such a small margin of error due to the offense, the pitchers have to be on point every inning for us to win right now.

FSU took the series 2 to 1.

We lost Saturday’s game 9 to 4. We spotted FSU a 9 to 0 lead after giving up 7 runs across the 3rd and 4th innings. We scored our 4 runs in the 7th to show some life.

Yesterday, we beat FSU 2 to 1 to avoid being swept. We scored the first 2 runs of the game (1 each in the 1st and 3rd innings) before the offense went back to sleep.

On Sunday, the starting pitcher (Mike Vasil) and closer (Stephen Schoch) were exceptional but the middle relief put the game in jeopardy. We had to bring in Schoch in a bases loaded with no outs situation in the 7th after FSU had scored a run already. Schoch and the defense worked some magic to get us out of the jam and he relatively cruised the rest of the way to nail down the save.

This week we play Richmond at home on Tuesday. And then host Notre Dame for three on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


what is most frustrating is honestly i think half of our extra base hits throughout the year have been luck - pop-ups to random holes in the outfield or plays where their fielders took a bad angle (but didn’t “drop” the ball so they keep getting ruled “doubles” vs errors).

@KarlHess Karl you have been awesome with baseball knowledge across a number of sites for awhile - do you have ANY sense as to what the issue is? Something with our actual approach? A lack of ability? BOC spent the offseason hyping kids like Tappen and Ortiz and they have been objectively BAD (Tappen’s best hit on the year might be a foul ball that almost was an HR at UNC, which would have given us the lead in game 2). and Newell looks completely lost, all the prior comments about having a “long” swing seem accurate, he’s behind everything. Really everyone but Gelof and Kent has been BAD.

It’s all the more frustrating to watch an entire line-up of lesser touted/recruited players down in bburg take a series vs UNC right after us, and score a total of 22 runs after we scored 6 in our three games. We don’t even seem to square up many balls. it’s confounding, would love your thoughts.


Objectively, we have the worst performing offense in the ACC right now. There’s very little room for debate on that.

I think you described things above well.

For the season to get on track and improve, the offense has to be fixed. There’s very little left to squeeze from the pitching and defense. We could be a bit better on defense and the walks still need to come down. A few pitchers are driving that number up.

But the offense is the worst in the ACC currently.

What’s to blame? The players get the blame because they’re on the field. How much is the coaches fault? Good question.

The biggest issue is we’re striking out way too much. When we do make contact, it’s rarely a ball we’ve squared up and driven.

Plate discipline seems to be the biggest culprit. Too many players are letting good pitches pass and swinging at awful pitches instead.

I can’t tell you why that’s happening. Historically, we attack early count fastballs and compete really hard in at bats (fouling off close pitches, making the pitcher work by having a good eye) so that we force a pitcher into a hitter’s count if we don’t get the early count fastball. Anyone that’s watched more than a few innings this year can see that’s not happening.

I’ve heard nothing to suggest a change in strategy from the coaching side. We also have a ton of analytical data and some nice tools at our disposal (VR hitting product WIN Reality).

Eventually, we’re going to have to try something new in the lineup. We’ve got four regulars hitting .200 or worse (Cotier, Newell, Ortiz, Tappen). Another regular, Lebreux, is hitting below .225.

I’d keep Newell in the lineup because he can cover a ton of ground in the OF with his defense and he’s the highest potential player on the team. Lebreux is a really good defensive OF as well. We’ve got 6 OF on the team (Rivoli, Newell, Lebreux, Tappen, Sullivan, Burrow). Only Burrow hasn’t had a chance yet and he’s a first year. Sullivan has two starts (4 games total) and is only hitting .100.

I really like Cotier, and I think I read he has our best batting average across the six ACC games played. He probably gets a little more time but there are three first year guys that could play 2B as well (J Gelof, Coppedge, Hincks). Eventually you have to give them an extended look if things don’t improve there either assuming they can handle the defensive side.

I’m looking for the Richmond game to see if any changes happen. Eventually we can’t stay with the same guys and hope they turn it around. You have to give someone else a shot before we dig too big a hole.

On the flip side, I believe opposing batters are also hitting below .200 against our pitchers. So some modest batting improvements could go a long way if the pitching continues to be this good.

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Thanks! That’s very thorough, and somewhat disheartening. But agreed, hopefully it’s just marginal improvement (i.e., average 3-4 runs per ACC game) and we’d be winning series. with 12 acc series this year, if we can manage to only lose 2 more (but don’t get swept), and then win the other 8, even assuming no sweeps, we’d be looking at 20-16 which could be on the right side of the tourney bubble.

who knows, anyways thanks again!

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Also worth noting we had to go on the road each week to start the conference season.

We get three home series in a row now (Notre Dame, Pitt, Miami).

Notre Dame will be on the road in ACC play for the third week in a row. They won their first two series over Wake Forest and Clemson though.

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