The #1 seed Florida State Seminoles won 11-3 yesterday afternoon against the #4 seed Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils. In case you were unable to listen or follow the live game thread here is a synopsis of what happened.
- Top of the 1st cleanup hitter James Ramsey shows bunt with runners on 1st and 3rd and 1 out. He does not end up bunting and drives in a run with a fielder's choice.
- Bottom of the 5th with a runner on 1st and 0 outs Rafael Lopez attempts to bunt, runner advances to 2nd on a balk but this does not stop from Lopez from attempting to bunt the runner to 3rd and subsequently failing. Lopez ends up on base by getting hit by a pitch.
- Bottom of the 5th with runners on 1st and 2nd and 0 outs the Seminoles' best player at not getting out (Holt .469 OBP) sacrifice bunts the runners over
- Bottom of the 5th with runners of 2nd and 3rd and 1 out the Seminoles' 2nd best player at not getting out (Johnson .438 OBP) attempts to bunt.
- Bottom of the 6th with a runner already in scoring position at 2nd and 0 outs the Seminoles' designated hitter sacrifice bunts a runner to 3rd. That runner crossed the plate later on a base hit that would have easily scored him from 2nd.
- Bottom of the 7th with 0 outs the Seminoles not fast catcher attempts to lay down a bunt on a 1-1 count and is unsuccessful. The very next pitch is hit out of the park for a homerun.
- Bottom of the 7th with 0 outs and a runner on 2nd that Seminole hitter (Johnson) who is really really good at not getting out attempts to bunt the runner to 3rd. Runner scores on a stolen base and an error while that guy who is really really good at getting on base ends up singling.
As you can see it was vintage Mike Martin doing what he does best, prohibiting Seminole hitters from hitting. When the Noles were allowed to swing the bats they had 3 and 4 run innings. How Mike Martin doesn't recognize that swinging the bats equals success is beyond me but to expect him to change his way after 30 years is ludicrous. 30yearnole made a great comparison in the game thread, watching Florida State play baseball is like watching the Bad News Bears. Mike Martin sits in the dugout much like Morris Buttermaker drunk off ignorance instead of booze and watches his team win thanks in part to Kelly Leak like performances.
Not to be lost in the disheartening lack of smart coaching was the excellent performances from Seminole pitchers. Brian Busch pitched a great game and gave the Seminoles a fantastic chance of winning. The sophomore lefty pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing only 1 earned run on 5 hits striking out 6 and walking 3. Busch retired the leadoff hitter in 6 of the 7 innings he started and ended the game by throwing 68% of his pitches for strikes and recording 15 of 20 outs via a groundball or strikeout. Daniel Bennett inherited runners on 1st and 2nd at a crucial point in the 7th inning and with only one pitch thrown managed to get out of the inning. Two more innings of great relief work earned him his 3rd save of the season as the Seminoles move on to the winner's bracket.
The Seminoles next opponent will be the Oregon Ducks who won last night by breaking a 2-2 tie in the 9th inning and winning 5-3. Inside we will preview what the Seminoles have in store for them tonight at 6:30 PM.
Today's probables will feature both Friday starters, sophomore lefty Sean Gilmartin for the Noles against lefty sophomore Tyler Anderson for the Ducks.
The above stats do not lie, Tyler Anderson is a much better pitcher than Sean Gilmartin. In 15 total starts this season Anderson has only allowed more than 3 earned runs four times and hasn't given up more than 4 earned in any start. In 8 starts against Top 50 RPI teams Gilmartin is 0-6 with an ERA of 8.37 and a OPSa of .973
Anderson last pitched on May 28th versus Cal and gave up 4 earned in 6 1/3 despite striking out 7 and only walking 1. Sean Gilmatin's last start was not so good as he faced Miami in the ACC tournament giving up 3 homeruns. He did manage to keep up with the trend of FSU pitchers performing better out of the pen rather than a starter as he shut down NCST in the title game going 3 1/3 allowing only 2 hits while striking out 4 and walking none.
I would expect nothing but a solid outing from Tyler Anderson and if Gilmartin can keep the ball down against a non potent lineup in a big ball park he has a good chance to give the Noles a quality start.
As mentioned above and all season when the Seminoles swing the bat they are an extremely good offense.
The 1-2-3 guys for Florida State will continue to be the catalyst for this offense and if Jayce Boyd can get runners on base when he is at the plate the Noles have a good chance to score runs.
The below stats further prove that Oregon's success is built around their pitching.
Player to watch for the Ducks is leadoff hitter KC Serna (.817 OPS) and if you think Florida State likes to bunt you don't know Augie. Oregon's coach George Horton is a disciple of the "King of all Bunts" as the Ducks have bunted an astounding 73 times this season.
In other Regional play the #1 seeds went 15-1 with the only loss coming from Cal State Fullerton at the hands of the only Big 10 team in the tournament. The ACC went 6-2, losses coming from VT and NCST. The SEC went 8-0, Pac 10 6-2 and the Big 12 3-2. Full bracket can be found here.
Look forward to seeing everyone back here at 6:30 PM and we welcome all Oregon fans to join us for what will no doubt be the most out of control showing of the "Mike Martin Drinking Game"
Cheers and Go Noles!