OMAHA, Neb. — When the LSU baseball team faces Florida State tonight, it’ll be matching up against a pitcher who doesn’t give up many hits and an offense that doesn’t leave anything to chance.
Florida State’s offensive scorebook reads like a lazy infielder’s dream. Of the eight teams in the 2017 College World Series, Florida State has the most walks, the most home runs and the second-most strikeouts. Florida State’s 380 walks aren’t just the most of any team in the tournament, they led the nation.
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Add in Florida State’s 88 hit-by-pitches, third-most among College World Series teams, and the Seminoles have posted an absurd 1,043 plate appearances in which the baseball never entered the field of play. That’s roughly 39 percent of the Seminoles’ plate appearances in 66 games this season.
In other words, almost 40 percent of Florida State’s at-bats end with the defense standing idly as the ball either sits in the catcher’s mitt or sails over their heads.
To LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, Florida State’s national lead in walks presents the most direct challenge to LSU’s chances Saturday. In particular, the way Florida State extends at-bats could trap starting pitcher Alex Lange into throwing more pitches than he’s comfortable with.
“I just want to see Alex challenge the hitters more, not nibble on the corners but throw the ball over the white,” Mainieri said. “They’re not going to swing if you don’t throw strikes. They’ll…Read More