No. 5 Florida State (16-0, 3-0 ACC) passed its first road test of the season on Tuesday with a 4-1 win over Florida in Gainesville, Fla. Now the team will head to the University of Maryland (11-5, 1-2 ACC) for its first three-game series away from Dick Howser Stadium starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
|No. 5 Florida State vs. Maryalnd|
When: Fri. 6:30 p.m. ET, Sat. 1:30 p.m. ET,
Sun. 1 p.m. ET
Records: FSU 16-0, MD 11-5
Where: Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium,
College Park, Md.
Head coach Mike Martin was particularly pleased with how his young infield and junior college transfer closer Robby Coles performed in Gainesville.
"It's always fun to watch young guys play on the road for the first time," Martin said. "Robby Coles passed that test big time. I thought that our new guys (looked good), and if you look around guys we have basically four new infielders and we've got a new leftfielder if DJ (Stewart) or Marcus (Davis) play there, of course we've got returning guys in the outfield in (Seth) Miller and (Josh) Delph. It's always that challenge for us as coaches to try and prepare a guy to play on the road."
The Seminoles now hit the road with the news that senior shortstop Justin Gonzalez will be out for the rest of the season after having surgery on his right hip.
Giovanny Alfonzo has done an admirable job replacing Gonzalez in the field, but it has been a team effort to replace the senior at the plate. Six different players have double-digit runs driven in, with different players producing at different times in the season.
"I'm just pleased that our guys understand that we can't depend on one person," Martin said. "We've got to have production out of nine guys and I'm very, very excited to see guys like Giovanny Alfonzo get a chance and do what he did (on Tuesday). The guy had the big hit to drive in some runs for us, he made a very nice play and let's face he's our shortstop. What have we played 16 games? There's so much baseball left to be played."
Coles the closer
After using both Jameis Winston and Robby Coles in the closer's role early in the year, Coles has emerged as the Seminoles new stopper.
The Crawfordville, Fla. native who starred at Chipola Junior College the last two years, Coles picked up his second save of the year on Tuesday night against he Gators with a four-out save.
In seven appearances this season Coles, has allowed just two hits, four walks and hit one batter, while striking out 15 batters.
"I think we can honestly say that that's how we're going to approach the next few games and see how it goes from there," Martin said when asked if Coles was no longer sharing the closer's role with Winston.
"He's a guy that seems to be in need of the ball. You don't want to leave him out of two or three straight games. He loves to compete and the more he throws the more comfortable he becomes in the role. I think he's been on the mound in the last two of three games that we've played and he is the guy that we're looking to have the ball in his hand, very similar to the way (Robert Benincasa) did. The only difference is Benny didn't get in the eighth, we're going to give Robby the ball in the eighth if we have to, just like we did (Tuesday)."
Pitcher Bryant Holtmann, who left Tuesday's game with shoulder discomfort, is fine and will be available to pitch on Friday if needed. Trainer Cory Couture described the injury as just "muscle spams".
This will be the final trip for FSU to College Park, Md. before the Terrapins head to the Big 10 in 2014. FSU has never lost a series to the Terps, holding a 64-5 advantage in the series history.
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