Florida State rotation is set
Florida State head coach Mike Martin announced the weekend and weekday starters on Thursday. Senior Mike Compton will be the opening night starter for the Seminoles. Compton posted a 4-4 record last season with a 3.55 ERA in 71 innings. He had 70 strikeouts and allowed just 12 walks.
Sophomore Drew Carlton will get the Saturday start. Carlton was the Seminoles Sunday starter last season. He went 5-5 on the year with a 4.04 ERA in 71.1 innings. He had 60 strikeouts and allowed 19 walks.
Freshman Cole Sands will get the Sunday start. Sands was rated as the No. 60 overall prospect in last years draft by Perfect Game, and was a Perfect Game 1st team All-American. His senior year at North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee he went 5-1 with a 0.32 ERA in 66.1 innings. He had 73 strikeouts, and only allowed 32 hits all season.
Freshman Tyler Holton will be the Seminoles midweek starter. Holton comes to Florida State from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, and as a pitcher posted a 6-2 record in 47.1 innings with a 0.74 ERA. He struck out 64 batters, and allowed just 26 hits all season.
Quincy Neiporte To Serve Suspension
Following a December 3, 2015 arrest, Florida State designated hitter Quincy Neiporte will face a six game suspension to start the season. Mike Martin announced that this was a University policy. Neiporte will miss the opening series against Rhode Island and will miss the following series against the College of Charleston, who the Seminoles hosted in the Tallahassee regional last season.
Neiporte hit .297 last season with 7 home runs and 48 RBIs. He struck out 19 times and walked 22 times. His home run in the bottom of the 12th inning against rival Florida gave the Seminoles a 2-1 regular season record against the Gators last season.
Catcher Cal Raleigh Mature Beyond His Years
Freshman catcher Cal Raleigh has the tough task of being the starter at one of the most important positions on the team in his first year. Raleigh has to build a relationship with each member of the pitching staff and learn how they need to be handled.
“I think it’s going good," Raleigh said. "I don’t have a say in who’s pitching and who’s not. I just try to take it one day at a time. Learn each pitcher and who they are, what they like to throw, and how they need to be handled. It’s just part of the job of being a catcher. You have to know how people like to be handled. How they react to certain situations."
That's a tough task with so many pitchers being in the rotation, but Raleigh believes he's up to the challenge.
“It’s hard because there are so many of them," Raleigh said. "We have so much pitching this year. Especially in the bullpen. We’re so deep there and the starters are deep too. It’s going good. I just talk to them everyday after their outings. I talk to coach Bell too. He lets me know what to do in certain situations with certain guys. It’s a challenge, but it’s coming along nicely."
Florida State head coach Mike Martin knows how tough the task that he handed Raleigh is, but says that's why he's been named the starting catcher.
"What Cal brings to the table is a great knowledge of the game," Martin said. "His daddy was a head coach at Tennessee for a period of time. Four years if I'm not mistaken. He was also a coach at Western Carolina for about ten if I'm not mistaken. He has that knack for knowing what's going on in a pitchers mind. He'll go out and say some things, and he'll turn around and come back. Very mature above his years. Well in front of his years for a catcher, and that's one of the reasons that he will be our starting catcher, good lord willing, on opening day."
Raleigh has already built a strong relationship with one of the weekend starters since they've been roommates.
“It's real good," freshman starter Cole Sands said. "We’re roommates and we’re always together. We always talk and give each other feedback if we want to change something, or if we want to go to a pitch more than another. I think we’re starting to build a good relationship."
Raleigh will also hit in either the three or four spot in the lineup according to coach Martin.
Tyler Warmoth To Close
Coach Martin announced that Redshirt senior transfer Tyler Warmoth will likely be the closer for the Seminoles. Warmoth is a graduate transfer from Stetson University. He pitched three seasons for the Hatters where he posted an 11-6 record with a 3.05 ERA. He threw 133 innings with 124 strikeouts. He had 22 saves.
Coach Martin praised his approach during recent practices as the reason he will get the first crack as the closer.
"His approach," Martin said. "He's not intimidated when he comes in the game. He understands the game. He's got command, and pitched very well yesterday. We put him in a no out situation in the ninth inning, and he went right through the guys. Stuff like that."
Lineup Spots Still Up For Grabs
All but two of the starting positions have been set for the Seminoles now with the left and right field starters still up for grabs. The batting lineup is still a big questio for the Seminole coaching staff. According to head coach Mike Martin JUCO transfer second baseman Matt Henderson will lead off for the Seminoles, and freshman catcher Cal Raleigh will his in the middle of the lineup. Everything else is up for grabs.
"I like one or two spots," Martin said. "I really do. The Henderson kid will lead off for us. Pretty sure of that one. Cal Raleigh is going to hit in the middle of our lineup, 3 or 4. I know we’re going to probably put more people in motion this year than we have in the past. But there again, we have to be better base runners than we’ve shown. I really don’t know. I’m anxious myself to see how the season goes on so we start moving people around. You may not see the same lineup twice in a row until April, in all honesty."