FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State University and Seminole Baseball announced on Wednesday, October 2 the schedule for the 2014 season. The Seminoles will open the year with a three-game home stand against Niagara University inside the friendly confines of Dick Howser Stadium on Mike Martin Field, February 14-16.
Eleven teams on this year’s schedule recorded 30 or more wins a season ago. Seven schools earned a bid to participate in the 2013 NCAA Regional, while five teams finished the season ranked in the top 25.
“I don’t think there is any question that this is one of our toughest schedules that we have had during my time at Florida State,” head coach Mike Martin said. “Anytime you are playing Miami and Georgia in a non-conference series, you have definitely improved your schedule. Over the years, we have been very proud of our strength of schedule.”
FSU and Florida will once again square-off three times as each team will host a game sandwiched with a meeting in Jacksonville at the Baseball Grounds on March 25. This year’s schedule also features non-conference weekends in Tallahassee against Georgia and Miami in weeks two and three, respectively.
“We are just very glad that the ACC and the coaches voted to have a permanent partner in the future so that way we will always play Miami as part of our conference schedule,” Martin said. “We will never get into a situation again where we will skip the University of Miami. It is too important for both schools to play each other.”
The Seminoles will face seven schools from the state of Florida in 2014 for a total of 16 games against in-state rivals. FSU will visit both USF (March 4-5) and UCF (March 11-12) for a pair of mid-week series in March. The Noles will also face Jacksonville (2 games), Stetson (3 games) and Florida Gulf Coast (1 game).
“Playing against other schools from Florida is great for this state,” added Martin. “We have some outstanding ball clubs in the state of Florida and it gives our fans a chance to come and see us play. It is also great for us to showcase our program in certain parts of the state that we haven’t been to in a very long time.”
The Seminoles, who have won seven consecutive ACC Atlantic Division titles, will once again compete in a 30-game conference schedule. With the addition of two new baseball schools to the league in Pittsburgh and Notre Dame (Syracuse does not sponsor baseball) in 2014, Florida State will play 10 of the 13 schools that will count toward the league standings.
FSU opens its ACC schedule on Friday, March 7 in Tallahassee against Maryland. The other four conference home series features CWS participant NC State (March 14-16), Notre Dame (April 4-6), Virginia (April 25-27) and Duke (May 15-17) in the final week of the regular season.
The Seminoles’ conference road slate includes Clemson (March 21-23), Boston College (March 28-30), Georgia Tech (April 11-13), Wake Forest (April 18-20) and CWS participant North Carolina (May 9-11).
Florida State will not face Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech in 2014, while the three-game series against Miami (Feb 28-March 2) will not count toward the conference standings.
“With the addition of Pitt and Notre Dame, it will definitely make our league more difficult,” Martin said. “The expansion of the ACC will only create more excitement for the league. We are very proud that these teams are coming on board and I see nothing but great baseball for the league in the future.”
Florida State’s final non-conference showdown features a late three-game series at home against the University of Minnesota, May 2-4.
The ACC Baseball Tournament returns to NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C., May 20-25, for the third time in five years. FSU’s last league title came in Greensboro when the Seminoles defeated the NC State Wolfpack, 8-3, in 2010.