The Florida State Seminoles came in tonight's game with one of the best offenses in the country, scoring more 8 runs per game thanks in part to their ability to put runners on base with walks, the ability to hit the ball and make pitchers earn outs. They actually have been hitting the ball better than some of their recent teams but tonight was a totally different story and the precedent for a bad offensive night was set early.
The Noles 2nd and 3rd hitters bunted into three outs in the first three innings, it doesn't matter who the opponent is Florida State scores runs when they do what they do best and bunting is not what they do best. Whether the bunts were called for or the hitters decided to do it on their own it is unacceptable. The Seminoles squandered early scoring chances and could not capitalize on later ones.
The Florida offense on the other hand took a page out of the the Seminoles playbook and took full advantage of their opportunities. Instead of bunting runners into scoring position they drew walks, swung the bat and forced the Seminoles to play catch up all night. The Gators received all the offense they needed in the fifth inning off of Gage Smith who served up a three run homerun giving Florida a 4-0 lead. That was all they needed as the Noles failed to score a run the rest of the night and were shutout at home for the first time at home since 2011. The 8-0 win gave the Gators the season sweep and while I am not one who thinks mind games play a huge role in sports Florida seems to be in the head of the Florida State ballclub.
If the Noles have the same offensive approach as they did tonight moving forward this year could be wasted. If the offense is allowed to do what they do and take advantage of the great players throughout this lineup this season could go down in history.
Florida State has a chance to bounce back this weekend as they travel to Georgia Tech.