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April 26, 2013

FSU hopes to regain momentum against Wake Forest

Florida State's bus ride home from a 9-0 win at Jacksonville on Tuesday had to be infinitely more enjoyable than its trip home from Charlottesville, Va. after being swept by UVA last weekend.

The the ninth-ranked Seminoles (32-19, 13-8 ACC) look to regain conference footing and hope that it's Wake Forest (24-20, 7-14 ACC) that has a long ride home after the three-game series starting Friday night at 6 p.m. ET.

"We played pretty bad in Virginia, we kind of got that out of our system Tuesday, but we want to keep it going," freshman outfielder DJ Stewart said. "Keep playing well and keep our pitching and offense going as well."

After scoring just four runs in three games against UVA, FSU belted out nine runs on 14 hits Tuesday, albeit against much weaker starting pitching. Stewart drove in five runs by himself on two hits.

FSU's offense should keep rolling this weekend against the Demon Deacons and their team ERA of 4.22. Head coach Mike Martin said his team was determined to get back on track Tuesday night and it wasn't just the offense that led the way.

"They didn't like what happened at Virginia," Martin said. "They were intent on getting it done. Earl Weaver is right, 'Momentum is your next day's starting pitcher.' Peter Miller went out there and controlled the game and just did an outstanding job of keeping everything right where it was."

Martin hopes that his starting pitchers can continue to build momentum against Wake. Last weekend both Luke Weaver (4-1, 2.54 ERA) and Scott Sitz (7-1, 1.60 ERA) were touched up for their first losses of the season, while Brandon Leibrandt (5-4, 4.17 ERA) threw a complete game in a 2-0 loss.

It was the second straight start that Leibrandt went seven innings or more with one earned run or less after a rough start to his sophomore season.

"To see him go out and right the problems that he was having, and it seems that he has done that, it's extremely important to me as a coach," Martin said. "You want everybody to have success and it excites all of us to see him pitching like he has."

After losing all three to UVA, FSU likely needs to win each of its reaming series this season to have a shot at a national seed in the NCAA Tournament.

"After getting swept last weekend it kind of put a little hurting on our record," Sitz said. "I feel like we have to win this series just to keep everything going."

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