TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State announced Tuesday its 2013 baseball schedule. Games against in-state opponents Florida, UCF, USF and Miami are part of the springtime slate. Also part of it are 15 straight games at the start of the season at FSU's Dick Howser Stadium.
"It’s always important that we play as many games as we can at home early in the season because our weather is perfect to play baseball at that time of year,” coach Mike Martin said in a news release. “The main thing is with a young club that we have got to find out what this team can do and what better way to do that than to find out at home."
Among the Seminoles' notable losses off last year's College World Series-contending team were seniors James Ramsey, Sherman Johnson and Hunter Scantling, and juniors Devon Travis and Jayce Boyd. Along with closer Robert Benincasa, the veteran group was all drafted in June's Major League Baseball Draft.
Sophomore pitchers Brandon Leibrandt and Michael Compton anchor a young pitching staff this season. Senior Justin Gonzalez also returns, anchoring an infield that will be in transition with the departures of Johnson (third base), Travis (second base) and Boyd (first base).
FSU's season begins Friday, February 15 with a three-game weekend series against Rhode Island. The Seminoles then host Jacksonville in a mid-week game before a three-game set against USF.
UCF comes to Tallahassee on May 3 for a three-game series. Last year, the Seminoles traveled to Orlando to play the Knights. The year before, the teams met in the NCAA Tournament Regionals in Tallahassee. FSU won the Regional before losing in the Super Regional that year to Texas A&M.
On March 12, the Seminoles travel to Gainesville for the first game of a three-game season series against their rival Florida Gators. It will be their first road game of the season. On March 26, the teams meet in the annual Sunshine State Showdown in Jacksonville. Two weeks later, on April 9, the series concludes in Tallahassee.
Home series against Presbyterian College, Boston College, Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia Tech, Duke, Wake Forest and Clemson, also are on the schedule.
South Alabama also comes for a mid-week game in the middle of the season.
FSU will go on the road for series against Maryland, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina State and Stetson. The Seminoles will play the Hatters a total of four times during the season.
For the second straight season, North Carolina was left off the schedule.
"One of the biggest disappointments is not playing the University of North Carolina,” Martin said. “But we have Miami down there, will visit a very good NC State ball club late in the season, and host Georgia Tech and Clemson, so we have a very, very competitive schedule as usual.”