Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State starting pitcher Andrew Karp has been moved into the weekend rotation, starting Sunday Apr. 22 at Boston College. He was originally scheduled for Sunday, Apr. 15 against Duke, but rain forced the teams to cancel the game. It will be the junior’s first weekend start since last year, where he made two such appearances, combining for a 6.43 ERA in 7 innings against the University of Virginia and University of the Pacific.
The decision comes in the midst of freshman Austin Pollock’s recent struggles. Pollock was originally put into the Sunday spot in the rotation when FSU’s ace, Tyler Holton, suffered a season-ending injury on opening day. Pollock is posting an 8.87 ERA in five conference starts.
Karp has been the main starting pitcher for weekday games, including pitching in each of the last six games against the Florida Gators over the last 2 seasons. With his six starts against UF, FSU coach, Mike Martin said that he thinks the experience could help him adapt to the brunt of ACC play.
“Any time you’re given the ball three straight times against a team that’s as talented as Florida, and you pitch as well as he did, you’ve got to feel ‘I don’t know what [The ACC teams] have, but I know what Florida had, and I know what I can do,” Martin said.
Karp, who has a 2.88 ERA and a team-leading 65 strikeouts, credits his progress to staying in Tallahassee after the College World Series last year.
“I stayed here right after Omaha. I stayed here and I lifted everyday with coach Seth [Diters], and definitely got my body in position where I’m able to go out there every week and compete,” Karp said. “I wanna throw as many innings as possible. I wanna go deep into games, save our bullpen, and give our team a chance to win.
Coach Martin said that he first noticed Karp was a weekend-caliber starter last year, in one of his starts against UF.
“Lost on a check swing. Pitched very well against them all three outings this year. Lost a one-run ballgame in Jacksonville. So I would say going back to that game is when I said, ‘This guy’s got a good chance to pitch in our rotation,'” Martin said. “He’s earned it, I’m anxious to see how he does with it.”
Karp was needed this past Tuesday against Stetson University. He pitched a one-hit shutout in five innings, collecting nine strikeouts on 71 pitches. He’s expected to throw around that same amount on Sunday.
His first weekend outing of the year is expected to come Sunday, Apr. 22 at Boston College. It will be his first ever appearance against the Eagles.