FSU/Mercer Baseball Preview

After successfully sweeping Brown University this past weekend, the sixth ranked Florida State baseball team now has a tougher task at hand. The Seminoles will once again find themselves playing against the Bears but this time they will be representing Mercer University. This is the first of three opponents the Seminoles will face from the Atlantic Sun conference.

The (14-1) Seminoles will match up with (10-7) Mercer for the first time in four years. These two teams do have a history though because between 1974 and 2002 they played every single year besides two. The bears might not have such fond memories of the series in the past since the Seminoles were victorious in the last 20 meetings.

For Florida State, Michael Hyde will take the mound for his second start of the season. In his last appearance, Hyde gave up only two runs in five innings and held opposing batters to an average of .207 in a win over Minnesota. Overall, the pitching staff so far has had an amazing start to the season. Led by Bryan Henry, who is 4-0 with a 0.85 ERA, the Seminoles have pitched 3 shutouts this season which is either equal to or more than they have had in eight of the ten past years.

Hitting so far this season has also improved compared to this point last year and there is no reason why it should change soon. For the first time in six years, the Seminoles have more than 20 homeruns through 15 games. Every batting statistic is up this season for FSU except for doubles and the possibility of hitting 90 home runs this season which has not been accomplished since 1999 still is very high. Last year at this time Florida State had nine homeruns, this season they have already smashed 21.

One of the most impressive players for FSU has been Sophomore Dennis Guinn. Playing first base, Guinn has upped his average to .415 and is leading the team with 11 extra base hits. His five homeruns are second on the team to only Jack Rye. Guinn has also been able to get a hit and an RBI in 11 straight games which is the second longest streak in FSU history. Tuesday he has a chance to tie Nick Rogers for first with 12 if he continues this streak against Mercer.

In the history of the series, FSU holds a 52-7 advantage and have scored at least nine runs in the last 14 games played against the Bears. This game has the making to be much closer because of Mercer's solid play showed in upset wins this season over both Clemson and Florida when were then ranked number one. At the same time, they have posted losses to FAMU, Georgia Southern, and VMI.

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