On the FSU-FAMU game.
"It's going to be an exciting night. It's something I think that our community will really get behind -- I would like to see the stadium packed tomorrow night (Friday). I don't see why it shouldn't be. You have two clubs playing very well right now. Heck, you win any game on the road like Joe did (Wednesday at Mercer) you have to be feeling good. I know we have had a little trouble on the road. But this is an opportunity for both clubs to play against each other. Heck, Mike Futrell was really excited today about the fact that he gets the chance to compete against Brett Richardson. It was a fun thing for him, the memories he has from high school with Brett. Here I know the Rattlers are playing very well right now."
"I was talking to a couple of people that have played (FAMU). We are not going into this game blind. We had to check up, and they were very impressed (with FAMU's) talent. This is a club that has started to play well the last couple of weeks. There's always down periods in everybody's schedule, and certainly we have experienced those. The opportunity to go to postseason play is in front of both of us, and this really has the makings of an exciting night. We should have a great night for baseball.
"This is great for our community. You are going to get to see young men that competed against each other who never thought they would have the opportunity to compete again against each other. It's amazing what a year's difference can do in the development of players and here you have some playes who have been apart from each other for as many as three or sometimes, in this case, almost four years. You are going to see people that are adept to playing the game and I hope the fans in the surrounding counties will come out and cheer for their team."
How difficult is it playing this game because of your friendship?
"Yes it is tough. We've become good friends, we talk baseball all the time. Now you are in the same city and you are playing a friend, and it's difficult because you don't want to lose because we both enjoy eating. And you don't want to. ... if you get ahead and you have a chance to get a couple more runs, you don't want to do anything that might not show your true feeling to the other coach. But if you don't, you end up getting beat because you give them a chance to get back in the ballgame if that was to happen. I will be very honest with you. I really look for a close ballgame tomorrow night. I really do. Like I said, I've talked to a couple people and they've told me Florida A&M is a very competitive team. They went to South Alabama and lost a 3-1 ballgame. South Alabama beat us over here like it was ... and we needed that ballgame. That was a ballgame that we really, really needed. They have played Mercer, which is another common opponent, and have beaten them three out of five. This is not a game that you, as a coach of Florida State, think you are going out to win. I think we better go out and play well or we are going to get beat."
On FSU's recent play.
"We probably are playing as well as we've played all year long, there's no getting around it. I can't say enough about how pleased I am with the way we've played defensively. We've had some very good at-bats. We are just playing, good sound baseall. Everything revolves around the guy who has the ball in his hand. And, obviously, we have to continue to pitch and we have to continue to improve in other areas of the game. But everything revolves around that pitcher. If we can pitch well and pick the ball up and throw it over there, then certainly I like our chances. Our goal every year is to get to Omaha and to win the national championship. Those are very lofty goals but those are goals we are going to have as long as I am over there."
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED BY FSU SPORTS INFORMATION
Friday, May 3 • 7 p.m.
Dick Howser Stadium (5,000) • Tallahassee, Fla.
#3 FLORIDA STATE (41-12, 9-6 ACC)
The Seminoles, who have swept their last three weekend series (Miami, Georgia Tech and NC State), moved up to No. 3 in this Monday's Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches Poll. The Seminoles look to extend a seven-game winning streak against cross-town rival Florida A&M Friday night before hosting Duke and Maryland over the next two weekends. Florida State will then wrap up the regular season at No. 1 Clemson.
The Seminoles are led by senior third baseman Ryan Barthelemy (.374, 12 HR, 67 RBI) and junior left-hander Matt Lynch (9-1, 3.72 ERA). Daniel Hodges has emerged as the go-to guy out of the FSU bullpen, earning five of his seven saves against Miami (2), Georgia Tech (2) and NC State (1) over the last three weeks. Hodges leads the squad with an ERA of 2.49 and 24 appearances. His ERA in ACC games is an impressive 1.47. Freshman shortstop Stephen Drew is riding a career-long nine-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .512 (21-for-41) with two homers, three doubles and 13 RBI.
FLORIDA A&M (24-24, 10-8 MEAC)
The Rattlers come in 5-5 over their last 10 games after splitting a doubleheader at Mercer on Wednesday (5-2 & 2-5). Junior right-hander Mike Connell (6-2, 3.43 ERA) will start on the mound for Florida A&M. Senior shortstop Scott Holmes leads the team with a .378 batting average and 40 RBI.
Friday's meeting will be the first for the two Tallahassee teams since three games were played in 1979. The Seminoles lead the all-time series 12-0, which dates back to 1971. In 1979, Florida State won all three games at Dick Howser Stadium by scores of 13-1, 20-1 and 9-1.
TELEVISION, RADIO & THE WEB Friday's 7:00 p.m. game will be carried live by WFLA News Radio 1270 (FSU's flagship station) in Tallahassee. Lee Bowen and Jim Crosby will begin coverage 15 minutes prior to game time. Live stats can be followed via the internet at www.seminoles.com. The Sunday and Monday games against Duke will be televised live by Sunshine Network. FSU PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
Pos. Player (B/T) Ht. Wt. Yr. 2002 Stats
1B Jerrod Brown (L/R) 5-10 200 Jr. .338, 3 HR, 34 RBI
2B Bryan Zech (R/R) 5-10 170 So. .329, 2 HR, 26 RBI
SS Stephen Drew (L/R) 6-0 175 Fr. .382, 7 HR, 30 RBI
3B Ryan Barthelemy (L/R) 6-3 225 Sr. .374, 12 HR, 67 RBI
C Tony Richie (R/R) 6-1 205 So. .314, 6 HR, 45 RBI
LF Tony McQuade (S/R) 6-2 205 So. .393, 4 HR, 32 RBI
CF Nick Rogers (R/R) 6-1 195 Sr. .316, 5 HR, 46 RBI
RF Richie Smith (L/R) 5-11 200 Sr. .269, 6 HR, 21 RBI
or Mike Futrell (R/R) 6-0 180 Sr. .265, 5 HR, 17 RBI
DH Blair McCaleb (R/R) 6-0 205 Sr. .307, 5 HR, 38 RBI
Starting Pitchers (Friday vs. Florida A&M, Sunday-Tuesday vs. Duke)
Fri. RHP Robby Read 6-2 195 Jr. 6-1, 4.91 ERA, 67 K
Sun. LHP Matt Lynch 6-1 190 Jr. 9-1, 3.72 ERA, 59 K
Mon. RHP Marc LaMacchia 6-0 190 So. 8-1, 2.83 ERA, 48 K
Tues. RHP Blair Varnes 6-2 195 Sr. 5-3, 4.31 ERA, 48 K