In what some might have considered a trap game since it was placed between two important ACC series, the Seminoles came out determined to win by any means. In a game which could have easily been overlooked, Florida State (31-6) came out and got the timely hits needed to come away with the 2-0 shutout over South Alabama (27-11).
Importance of Game
Due to cancellations earlier in the season, FSU needs to make sure they can finish off their non-conference schedule to make sure the cancellations don’t affect their RPI ranking or strength of schedule. Considering South Alabama is a team who entered this game 27-10 with an RPI of 16, the Noles were more than pleased to get the game in without any problems. They were even more pleased to come away with the 2-0 win.
What to Take Away
Florida State has done a great job putting the Florida game behind them. Since the game last Tuesday, the Seminoles have played much better defense only having one error in four games. More importantly, since the switch from a Sunday starter to the mid-week slot, Peter Miller has been much more consistent and the Noles have come away with more solid starts in both the weekend and mid-week games.
Peter Miller, a man who lost his weekend role just a couple of weeks ago, came out with one of his most impressive performances in his career. Pitching into the 7th inning, Miller only allowed two hits and no runs. There were very few instances in which Miller looked flustered.
However, the same goes with South Alabama starter Payton Gardner. The USA pitcher statistically did just as well, if not better than Miller, but a few defensive miscues behind him caused two runs to come across for the Seminoles.
Scoreless heading into the 5th and already having one out, John Nogowski ripped a ball to left center and advanced to second on a fielding error in left field. John Sansone would not let the opportunity pass for the Noles as he brought in Nogowski with a 1-2 RBI single. Sansone would later score when Seth Miller beat the throw to first on a fielder’s choice. Had the throw been in time, it would have been the third out of the inning.
MVP of Game
Peter Miller – Although not perfect, Miller pitched one of his best games of the year. Entering the game against South Alabama, it was almost certain that it would come down to starting pitching to determine a winner. Miller did not disappoint as he lasted 6.2 innings, only giving up two hits and one walk while striking out four. All that on 95 pitches. Miller’s outing improves his record to 4-1.
Things to Work On
For the fourth consecutive game, Florida State played near flawless baseball. There was the one error from Giovanny Alfonzo in the 8th, but the runner was quickly sent back on a double play. FSU hitters seemed to struggle against USA’s Payton Gardner, but Gardner was throwing some nasty off speed pitches. Still, nothing to complain about considering the team FSU played and the one they will be traveling to since it could have been just as easy for the Noles to overlook the Jaguars in this game.
Quote of Game
Mike Martin on South Alabama starter Payton Gardner: “We were dominated by that guy. He struck out seven, but I think we’ll all agree that it felt like 14. He just did a great job. He was masterful. It was a beautifully pitched bal game.”
No. 6 Florida State will travel north to face No. 8 Virginia. The Cavaliers (31-6, 13-5) currently sit second in the Coastal Division, not far behind top ranked North Carolina.
Although their record speaks for itself, it is worth noting that UVA has wins over Clemson and Miami as well as a series sweep over NC State. Their only ACC series loss was at Georgia Tech in which the two games dropped were 2-1 on the Friday start and 3-2 in six innings for game three.
All-time, FSU holds a lead over UVA at 48-20 with the Seminoles standing 16-8 on the road. The last meeting between the teams was a 7-0 shutout in which the Cavaliers won in the ACC Tournament last year. Florida State swept Virginia last year in Tallahassee, but UVA took two of three against FSU the last time they played in Charlottesville.
Virginia still plays Old Dominion tonight at 6 p.m. with the Friday game against Florida State also set for 6 p.m.