FSU baseball vs. No. 1 Wake Forest: How to watch and starting pitchers


Riding a four-game win streak, the Florida State Seminoles (19-28, 6-18) face their toughest task of the season in the final home stand as they host the No. 1 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (40-7, 18-5).

Traditionally known as “Rake Forest,” the Deacs have found exceptional pitching to complement their offense. Wake leads the country with a 2.56 ERA, and their Friday starter Rhett Lowder ranks in the top five among all pitchers with a 1.67 ERA. They also lead the country in strikeouts per nine innings, averaging about 12 per game, while walking just over two batters per game.

However, Wake Forest’s pitching success hasn’t come at the expense of defense or hitting. With a WHIP of 1.03 and a .977 fielding percentage, opposing batters rarely make it to first base when they put the ball in play. Wake Forest walks nearly seven times a game, boasts a team average of .307, and slugs at a .551 clip, resulting in a top-10 scoring offense. They are an incredibly well-rounded team, especially this season.

FSU faces a monumental challenge this weekend. To have a chance at making the post-season play, they need to win at least one game and receive some assistance to stay alive for the ACC Tournament. Realistically, they need to win the series, which would mark the first time Wake Forest has lost a series this year.

How to watch and starting pitchers

Deacs run rule ‘Noles

Watch: ACC Network Extra

Listen: Seminoles Radio Network

FSU: RHP Jackson Baumeister (4-4, 4.67 ERA)

Wake Forest: RHP Rhett Lowder (10-0, 1.67 ERA)

Florida State (19-29, 6-19) fell to Wake Forest (41-7, 19-5) 10-0 in eight innings. Jackson Baumeister wasn’t terrible in his start but much like the rest of the team was just overmatched by the top team in the country.

After a 1-2-3 first inning Baumeister ran into trouble in the top of the second with a lead off triple by Brock Wilken. Wilken would score on a sac fly. After a single and walk it looked like Baumeister might get out of the inning as he struck out the next batter but a double scored another run giving Wake a 2-0 lead after two.

After another 1-2-3 inning Baumeister quickly found himself in trouble with a lead off single and double followed by a three run shot by Danny Corona. A single to the next batter would go by the way side for Wake though as FSU ended the game with a double play.

Former Demon Deacon Brennen Oxford would take over with two runners on and one out in the fifth and quickly ended the inning with two quick outs. Oxford pitched well in his 2.2 innings of work giving up just a solo home run.

Brandon Walker took over in the top of the eighth but failed to record an out walking the first batter on four pitches followed by a single. Ryan Denison took over for Walker and struck out the first batter he saw. Unfortunately he gave up three singles and a double leaving FSU in hole needing a run in the bottom of the inning to keep the game from ending at 10-0.

The FSU offense did not score a run. The FSU offense never really took the field as they recorded just four singles and eight strike outs but no walks. Florida State once again swung wildly at the first strike they saw continuously making weak contact and doing little to prevent Rhett Lowder from going deep into the game. To be fair Lowder is one of the best pitchers in the country so it wasn’t like the Seminoles were likely to get a bunch of hits or runs but the offensive approach has been pretty bizarre this year.

Florida State comes undone in final inning

Watch: ACC Network Extra

Listen: Seminoles Radio Network

FSU: RHP Conner Whittaker (4-6, 4.68 ERA)

Wake Forest: LHP Josh Hartle (9-2, 2.09 ERA)

Connor Whittaker took the bump in game two of the series and pitched quite well against one of the best teams in the country but a lack of offense and shaky pen work were the big problems for FSU. The ‘Noles (19-30, 6-20) fell to the Deacs (42-7, 20-5) 7-3. Whittaker went 7.2 innings with just a couple of home runs marring his day. Unfortunately for FSU Wake Forest starter Josh Hartle matched Whittaker in almost. every way going six innings and giving up just two runs.

It was all zeros until the bottom of the sixth when Jaimie Ferrer tripled to start the inning and came in on a Cam Smith single two batters later. Wake Forest also woke up a bit and started the top half of the seventh with a home run to tie the game at one. That’s when the ping pong game started. The ‘Noles used an error, walk and a RBI single by DeAmez Ross to pull ahead 2-1. Wake took serve the next inning with a two out single and home run to take the 3-2 lead and end Whittaker’s day. The ‘Noles struck back when James Tibbs started the bottom of the eighth with a home run to tie the game at three.

From there things unraveled for FSU. Doug Kirkland, who took over in the bottom of the eighth loaded the bases on a couple of singles and a walk and exited the game after pitching just 0.1 innings. Andrew Armstrong entered the game and gave up two runs by hitting back-to-back batters on 1-2 pitches and then two more on a single and fielder’s choice. FSU was unable to get a base runner in the bottom of the ninth and fell 7-3.

Friday 6:00

Watch: ACC Network Extra

Listen: Seminoles Radio Network


Wake Forest: TBA

Up Next: FSU hosts Kennesaw State for their final home game of the year on Tuesday before closing out the season at Louisville in a series with a Thursday start.

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