Baseball Preview: Noles vs. Canes

Last year, the Miami Hurricanes were the national champions. This time around, it's Florida State with the loftier ranking - No. 10. These two storied programs clash this weekend.

No. 10 Florida State Hosts Rival Miami Friday night (7:00 pm), Saturday (7:00 pm) and Sunday (1:30 pm) at Dick Howser Stadium.

#10 FLORIDA STATE (28-10, 3-6 ACC): Florida State, ranked No. 10 in this week's Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches Poll, takes a break from ACC action as in-state rival Miami visits Tallahassee. The Seminoles will host the Hurricanes in a three-game series this weekend before traveling to Coral Gables next weekend for three more. All-American third baseman Ryan Barthelemy (.417) had five hits and six RBI at Wake Forest Saturday and has hit safely in 51 of his last 54 games. He leads the team with nine home runs, 57 RBI and 15 doubles. Tony McQuade leads the team with a .422 batting average. Freshman Stephen Drew (.295), who has been out since Feb. 1 with a fractured left foot, returned as the starter at shortstop last weekend at Wake Forest. The FSU weekend rotation will be LHP Matt Lynch (5-1, 3.83 ERA), RHP Robby Read (5-1, 4.47 ERA) and RHP Blair Varnes (4-3, 4.03 ERA).

MIAMI (17-13): The Hurricanes fell to 17-13 on the season after dropping two of three to Elon at home last weekend. The 2001 National Champions are led offensively by 2B Javy Rodriguez (.369, 18 SB) and OF Jim Burt (.368, 5 HR, 29 RBI). UM will start three right-handers in Tallahassee - T.J. Prunty (4-1, 4.64 ERA) Friday, Dan Touchet (2-1, 4.28 ERA) Saturday and Kiki Bengochea (2-4, 6.21 ERA) Sunday. THE SERIES Florida State leads the all-time series with Miami 115-104-3, which dates back to 1951. FSU is 64-45-1 vs. UM in Tallahassee while the Hurricanes hold a 57-47-2 advantage in Coral Gables (FSU is 4-2 in neutral site games). The Seminoles went 1-5 in six games against the Miami last season.

TELEVISION, RADIO: All three games against Miami this weekend will be broadcast live by Sunshine Network. This weekend's series will also be carried live on the Seminole Baseball Radio Network, which consists of 12 affiliates across the state of Florida. Lee Bowen and Jim Crosby (WFLA News Radio 1270 of Tallahassee - FSU's flagship station) will begin coverage 15 minutes before game time.

FSU PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
1B Chris Hart (.294, 2 2B, 4 RBI) or Jerrod Brown (.330, 1 HR, 21 RBI)
2B Bryan Zech (.336, 2 HR, 20 RBI)
SS Stephen Drew (.295, 2 HR, 8 RBI)
3BRyan Barthelemy (.417, 9 HR, 57 RBI)
CTony Richie (.285, 4 HR, 30 RBI)
LFTony McQuade (.422, 10 2B, 20 RBI)
CFNick Rogers (.349, 4 HR, 33 RBI)
RF/DH Mike Futrell (.283, 4 HR, 13 RBI)
RF Richie Smith (.260, 3 HR, 14 RBI)/DH Blair McCaleb (.304, 2 HR, 16 RBI)

STARTING PITCHERS: Friday - LHP Matt Lynch (5-1, 3.83 ERA, 38 K), Saturday - RHP Robby Read (5-1, 4.47 ERA, 52 K), Sunday - RHP Blair Varnes (4-3, 4.03 ERA, 33 K).

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