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May 8, 2009

SCS.comIt is time to get serious as the college baseball season comes down the stretch. I know the Kentucky Derby was last weekend but I think those three words are appropriate for this weeks preview. Florida State heads to Atlanta to do battle with Georgia Tech. Both teams are trying to win their respective divison in the ACC; therefore, it will be a big series. This weekend's slate is full; so there is not much time to waste and lots of baseball to be played.

WEEKEND'S TOP SERIES - #6 FLORIDA STATE (35-12 overall, 18-7 ACC Atlantic) AT #8 GEORGIA TECH (31-11 overall, 14-7 ACC Coastal)

This series has been dominated by the Seminoles, who have taken the last six games in the series. Despite the six game slide in the series, Georgia Tech has won 14 out of the last 23 with the Seminoles. The Yellow Jackets will have bring it to the park as the Seminoles have outscored them 80-32 over that six game sweep. Florida State is on the nation's longest winning streak, 14 games, and that is not good news for the Jacket coaches and pitching staff. Who will come out on top this weekend? Lets take a look.

Coach Mike Martin is back in familiar territory being in the top 10, which has not been the case the past couple of seasons. His Seminole club is hitting at a .319 clip with 73 homers, 360 RBI, and 67 stolen bases. Leading the way at the plate is sophomore Tyler Holt with a .400 average and 27 of those steals. Sophomore Mike McGee has 15 blasts and a .376 average, while fellow sophomore Stuart Tapley has 12 round trippers. Coach Martin's pitching staff has an ERA of 4.62 but are limiting their opponents to a .256 batting average. The rotation will be freshman Sean Gilmartin (9-1, 3.15 ERA), freshman Brian Bush (4-2, 3.92), and sophomore Mike McGee (4-2, 4.22). Senior Jimmy Marshall leads the team with 8 saves. The staff is pretty efficient on the mound as they have only given up 118 extra base hits in 415 innings of work.

Coach Danny Hall has his Yellow Jackets back fighting for the conference crown. His team is hitting .328 with 89 homers and 377 RBI. Senior Luke Murton leads the way with is .394 batting average and 15 homeruns. Junior Tony Plagman leads the team in RBI with 57 and has 13 round trippers to his credit. Sophomore Jeff Rowland has 17 of the team's 44 swipes on the season. Did I mention that the Jackets pitching staff is going to have to step up this weekend? They have the same ERA as the Seminoles at 4.62 but have only given up 100 extra base hits in 384 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .261 but only have scored 233 runs against the staff. This weekend's rotation will see sophomore Deck McGuire (8-0, 2.51) take the hill Friday. Saturday's starter will be sophomore Brandon Cumpton (3-1, 4.47). Coach Hall has not announced a Sunday starter as of yet. Freshman Mark Pope has 7 saves and a 5-1 record but an inflated 8.35 ERA.

Nothing has come easy for the Jackets the past couple of seasons against the Seminoles. This weekend should prove to be the same despite the home field advantage. The Seminoles should come out of the weekend with another sweep and wrap up the Atlantic Division title.


#12 FLORIDA (34-15, 16-8 SEC East) at #4 LSU (36-13, 16-8 SEC West)

Last weekend, the Gators traveled to Athens and swept the Georgia Bulldogs. Their reward for doing so...taking a trip to Baton Rouge and facing the LSU Tigers. This series has major implications on the SEC Standings, regional hosting, and national seeding. Look for the Gators to continue to battle; however, the Tigers take the close series, 2-1.

#8 TEXAS (34-11, 15-8 BIG XII) vs. #15 TEXAS A&M (32-16, 13-8 BIG XII)

The Longhorns travel to College Station on Friday with a one game lead over the Aggies and Kansas State. Saturday and Sunday's game will be in Austin, which bodes well for the Longhorns. Both of those games will be on national TV, which the Longhorns are 4-0 in this season. Longhorns take the series 2-1, with the home team winning all the games.

#6 CAL STATE FULLERTON (34-12, 12-6 BIG WEST) at #19 CAL POLY (32-13, 10-5 BIG WEST)

With the UC-Irvine club leading the way in the Big West, this series may very well decide the second place team in the league. The Fullerton Titans are 9-1 in their last 10 with a five game win streak. Cal Poly has been coming along nicely but will see the Titans take home two wins.

#25 Ohio State (34-13, 13-5 BIG TEN) at ILLINOIS (31-14, 14-4 BIG TEN)

The Fightin' Illini lead the conference by a half game over Minnesota and a full game over Ohio State. The Buckeyes come in ranked but that might not even matter because Illinois is 8-2 in their last ten games. The Buckeyes have lost three straight overall and will lose this series 2-1.

Other series to keep an eye on

#11 Arkansas at #26 Alabama, #17 Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, #21 Kansas at Missouri, #24 Oregon State at Washington, #22 East Carolina at Houston, #28 Elon at Western Carolina

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