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Florida State Takes Series in Miami

Scott Sitz helps FSU win season series in rubber match against UM.

Ryan Syrkus

Florida State (27-5, 10-5) entered the series coming off a cancelled game against Florida Gulf Coast and in need of a strong showing against in-state rival Miami (21-14, 6-9). They left Coral Gables with strong outings from both Luke Weaver on Friday and Scott Sitz on Sunday, taking two of three from the Canes and remaining at the top of the ACC Atlantic Division.

Importance of Series

It’s always an important game when playing a major rival. Add in the fact that the series includes two of the most successful baseball programs in college baseball and a conference series, you have a recipe for one heck of a weekend.

Florida State and Miami typically have closely contested games. This weekend was no exception with FSU taking two of three from UM. The two wins keep the Seminoles at the top of the Atlantic Division while the Hurricanes remain at the bottom of the Coastal Division.

What to take Away from the Series

Florida State seemed to touch on almost every base this series: a come from behind win, a blowout loss, and a dominant pitching performance to take the series. FSU is a good team, there is no denying that. Judging from their performance, it is still unsure how they would perform against an elite team. The Seminoles seem to have up and down games every week, but somehow find a way to win the majority of their games.

Here is how each individual game broke down

Game 1
FSU 4 UM 2

It wasn’t easy, but Florida State scrapped out a tough fought win in Coral Gables to open the series against in-state rival Miami. The Seminoles were unable to break through against the Hurricanes until the 8th inning off Seth Miller’s RBI single scoring John Sansone. Sansone had originally singled to lead off the inning, but advanced to third on a throwing error at third base. Now with Miller on, Brett Knief singled and advanced to third off a fielding error from UM’s right fielder. Miller scored on the error to tie the game at two.

After a Casey Smit single and stolen base, FSU would have their first lead of the game when Smit scored of Giovanny Alfonzo’s RBI double down the right field line coming off a 1-2 pitch. Sansone added an insurance in the next at-bat run with an RBI single.

Robby Coles, who got two outs in the 8th, would stay in the game to close it out for FSU. Two quick groundouts to open the 9th, a single, and a third groundout would secure the FSU 4-2 come from behind win as Coles got the ‘W’.

MVP of the Game

Luke Weaver – Although Giovanny Alfonzo had the game winning hit late, it was impressive to see Luke Weaver go out for five solid innings in his first Friday start of the year. Weaver allowed eight hits, but each came with two outs. Miami would score their only two runs off Weaver in the 5th. Weaver finished with six strikeouts and one walk as well.

Things to Work On

There is not too much to strain on for Florida State. It was impressive as to how they came from behind to win the game. Weaver performed well in his first weekend start since Clemson of last year. The Seminoles stranded seven on base, but faced good pitching.

Game 2
FSU 0 UM 6

For the first time since facing Georgia Tech’s Buck Farmer, Florida State was shutout. The loss ended FSU’s four-game win streak against Miami.

Miami’s Bryan Radziewski was brilliant on the mound only allowing four hits while striking out eight Seminoles thorough seven innings.

FSU’s Brandon Leibrandt struggled in his Saturday start, only lasting four innings. Leibrandt gave up five runs on seven hits and walked three.

One of the bright spots for Florida State was Jameis Winston tying a career high three innings pitched. Winston struck out one, but did not let any of the nine batters he faced get on base.

MVP of the Game

Jameis Winston – As mentioned above, Winston was fantastic getting all nine of his batters out. Even though the game was well in hand for Miami by the time Winston entered the game, Winston still made sure the Canes would not find a way to extend their lead.

Things to Work On

Florida State had their chances to score against Miami. In total, 10 were left on base with seven of them coming in the 6th innings and later. FSU had their chance to break through against Miami’s lefty, but were unable to get a man around the bases.

Game 3
FSU 5 UM 1

Florida State got exactly what they needed, a solid outing from their starter and an overall easy win on the road.

Scott Sitz dominated Miami for eight innings, striking out five and only giving up a single run which came off his own error in the first. At one point Sitz retired 14 consecutive hitters for the Canes. This was also the second time Sitz has gone eight innings this season.

Offensively, the Seminoles got help from DJ Stewart, Marcus Davis, and Jose Brizuela as each of them had a two-hit game. Davis scored twice and finished 2-4. John Nogowski, Giovanny Alfonzo, and Brizuela each drove in a run while the other two runs were both scored on errors.

MVP of the Game

Scott Sitz – In a game FSU needed to win to get ready for another in-state rival, Sitz had one of his most impressive outings of the year. Going 8 innings and striking out five, Sitz was difficult for the Hurricanes for most of the game. Sitz only allowed an unearned run and six hits. Four of the six hits came in the first two innings.

Things to Work On

Overall, this was the game FSU was looking for. There were very few miscues and it seemed like the Seminoles had control most of the game.

Looking Ahead

Florida State will conclude their scheduled season series against in-state rival Florida (15-18). The Seminoles have already won the first two games this year against the Gators and will be looking for the sweep Tuesday.

Since facing FSU two weeks ago, UF has gone 4-3 against Ole Miss, UCF, and Mississippi State.

Tuesday’s game is set for 6 p.m.