Noles Try to Avoid Sweep at Clemson: Game Preview and Thread – 6PM

In case all your attention was on some beach soiree that was going on just outside of Jacksonville today the top ranked Seminoles baseball team was playing the first game of a double header today against Clemson.

Game one didn't start off well as Mike Compton was all over the place and the defense did him no favors either. By the time he left in the second inning the Noles were down 5-0. Kyle Bird momentarily stopped the bleeding after walking in a run but two innings later the Tigers scored three more runs to go up 9-1. Florida State made a comeback with back to back two running innings in the sixth and seventh but an inability to get a hit with runners on base hampered the Noles. Like they have all season the Seminoles made things interesting when in the ninth inning Travis led of with a double, then a single by Ramsey and a sacrifice fly by Boyd cut the lead to three. Down 9-6, Spralding and Nogowski had back to back singles loading the bases for Seth Miller who singled scoring Ramsey making it a two run game. Josh Delph who was already 3 for 4 on the day came up with only one out and flied out to center field but not deep enough to plate a run. Jose Brizuela had a chance to ties things up but unfortunately struck out swinging and the Noles lost in a 9-7 final. Some good things to take out of this was that the offense showed life in the later innings which will hopefully carry over to tonight and Peter Miller had a strong relief outing allowing no runs and only one hit over 4.1 innings.

Florida State dropped the opener of this series Saturday night when the staff surrendered three homeruns in a 7-2 loss. Freshman Brandon Leibrandt pitched a solid five innings but ran into trouble in the sixth when after retiring the first batter Richie Schaffer hit a solo homerun to tie the game at two. A strikeout, double and walk brought catcher Spencer Keiboom to the plate with two outs and he promptly deposited a ball over the left field fence. Leibrandt's night was done and the Seminole hitting was not able to put anything together against reliever Daniel Gossett. Florida State had no troubles getting runners on base as nineteen men reached, including eight walks but getting hits at key moments just didn't happen.

Inside a brief preview of tonight's matchups...

Tonight's game features Freshman Luke Weaver vs Jonathan Meyer

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Both of these pitchers have thrown innings as starters and relievers and both have had their share of success and shortcomings. At this point I would expect both offenses to have the advantage.

The new Baseball America poll came out today and Florida State was still number one for the sixth week in a row. Hard to believe considering they have lost four of their last five games but as we have said all year this is a really good team but sustainability was probably an issue. When you have an almost perfect record in close games it is primarily due to a good bullpen and a good amount of luck. The Seminoles do in fact have a good bullpen but as for luck it eventually runs out. As you will see below in their past five games the Noles have been underperforming which happens to all teams at some point in the season, it just happens to me more glaring as the season draws to a near and when you are the top ranked team in the nation.

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The offense has obviously not been as productive struggling to hit for power and striking out slightly more than they are used to. It also doesn't help when you give away outs with poor base running which has been experienced in multiple ways, the most obvious is that Florida State is only 2 for 7 in that 5 game stretch.

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The pitching has not been all bad as they have been put into some tough situations with the defense playing behind them. Unfortunately their strikeouts are down which means opponents are putting the ball in play more often and at this point that's the last thing the Noles want with a shaky defense. Over the past five games the Seminoles have committed an uncharacteristic ELEVEN errors contributing to eight unearned runs and Clemson was off to the races today with five stolen bases.

Florida State is in a funk right now and is looking to avoid another sweep at Clemson. The Seminoles are not as bad as they have looked in the last week or so and every team goes through slumps. They better get things right because if they lose tonight they face a scenario next week that they would rather not. So forget about the Big 12 for a couple hours and watch the #1 team in the country play on ESPU starting at 6PM.

Go Noles!
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