TALAHASSEE, Fla. – Continuing its longest stretch away from John Sessions Stadium of the 2018 campaign, the Jacksonville University baseball team continues play with a mid-week contest against a Sunshine State foe. The Dolphins (31-16, 8-6 ASUN) battle #16/16 Florida State (32-16, 14-12 ACC) for the third time this season Wednesday evening, with first pitch set for 6:00 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee.
JU vs. Florida State: Florida State leads, 126-37
JU vs. Florida State at FSU: Florida State leads, 79-10
JU vs. Florida State at JU: Florida State leads, 46-22
JU vs. Florida State at Neutral: Florida State leads, 5-1
Probable Starting Pitchers
RHP Austin Temple (2-1, 4.32 ERA) vs. RHP Austin Pollock (3-4, 5.58 ERA)
The Dolphins fell victim to ASUN rival Stetson on the road, losing both contests of a weekend series that was shortened by a game due to weather. After falling in a tight pitcher's duel, 2-1, in Friday's contest, JU could not keep up with the Hatters' early lead,falling 8-2 in the Saturday evening affair. Chris Gau's complete game loss on Friday marked the tenth time this year the right-hander has gone longer than seven innings in a start, while Sam Armstrong launched his fifth home run of the season.
- Nine different 'Phins have launched a home run so far this season, the most since 2016. Chris Lehane, Connor Stephens, Mike Cassala and Duncan Hunter each launched their first-career big-flies, while Jacob Southern and Evan Fernandez have set season-highs in the category.
- The Dolphins have swept four opponents in weekend series this season, the most since taking down five in 2011.
- Rookie reliever Chris Mauloni has emerged as the number to call out of the pen in save situations this season. The River City product picked up his 17th save of the season last Wednesday against Bethune-Cookman, furthering the JU single-season record. Mauloni is tied for the most saves in the country, and is on the chase for the NCAA record for saves in a season (24 - David Berg, UCLA, 2013)
- The Dolphins lead the league in walks as a team (89), and rank second in ERA (3.84), fielding percentage (.972), hits (442), on-base percentage (.374) and WHIP (1.36).
- Having already knocked off No. 1 Florida this season, the team will attempt to become the first Dolphin squad to defeat both the Gators and the 'Noles in the same year since 2008.
- JU has emerged victorious in its first seven home series' for the first time since 1972, when the team posted a 25-5 home record and advanced to the its first-ever NCAA Tournament.
- As of May 3, Jacksonville has made its way into the postseason discussion with several major media outlets. The Dolphins are now projected to be a 2 seed in the Greenville, N.C. region of the 2018 NCAA Tournament according to Baseball America, and a 2 seed in the Gainesville Region via D1Baseball.com. CollegeBaseballCental.com ranked JU #4 on the latest edition of its "Mid-Major 12" last Wednesday.
Scouting the Seminoles
- The No. 16 ranked team in the nation, FSU enters an eight-game home stand to close out the year, with the next five contests coming in non-conference fashion. at 14-12 in ACC action this season, the team has dropped three of its last four, including the latter two contests in a weekend series at Clemson.
- Playing in its final med-week game of 2018, FSU stands at 4-1 in matchups against ASUN foes this year, taking two games each from the Dolphins and Stetson already, while losing to the Hatters on the road on April 24, 5-3.
- Despite falling short in their fourth ACC weekend affair of the year, Friday's win over Clemson came with celebration, as skipper Mike Martin became the all-time winningest coach in collegiate baseball, passing Texas's Augie Garrido with his 1976th career victory.
- Florida State has been active on the base paths this year, leading the nation in walks (300), and ranking 42nd in on-base percentage (.386). Two 'Noles, Cal Raleigh and Rhett Aplin, sit 12th and 13th respectively in free passes gathered. Additionally, the pitching staff is eighth in the NCAA in strikeouts per-nine innings, averaging 10.2 a contest.