On their first weekend road trip of the 2016 season, the Florida State Seminoles took advantage of the opportunities that Pittsburgh provided them, steamrolling the Panthers 17-4 behind an incredible performance from senior John Sansone. Here's what went well and not so well in the Seminoles' dominating victory in the series opener at Pitt.
1. After finding themselves on the wrong side of a 6-0 shutout against the Florida Gators on Tuesday, the Seminole bats wasted little time bouncing back against Pitt. In the top of the first inning, FSU struck for four runs on three hits and didn't look back from there, finishing with 17 runs on 11 hits. The biggest contributor for the Seminoles offensively was John Sansone, who has emerged as the senior leader of this team. Sansone came up to bat on two different occasions and took full advantage, knocking in three runs with a single in the first such situation and scoring three unearned runs on an error in the second bases-juiced plate appearance he saw. Hr added two more RBIs with an eighth-inning double, giving him a career-high five RBIs in his first-ever collegiate game in his home state of Pennsylvania.
2. As of late, it's been a rare occasion when FSU looked like the better fielding team than their opponents. Friday was definitely one of those nights though as the Seminoles, who entered the weekend with the second-worst fielding percentage in the ACC ahead of only Pitt, finished the night with no errors, a first since two weeks ago in the series opener against St. John's. Meanwhile, the Panthers finished with five errors which resulted in seven unearned runs, a stark difference which is one of the main observations which can point out the difference between these two teams in the series opener.
3. The Florida State bullpen was on full display once again on Friday, using three relievers to combine for 4.2 innings of stellar work. Alec Byrd, Matthew Kinney, and Ed Voyles allowed only three total baserunners (one hit, two walks) over their nearly-five innings. Voyles was the star, going three full innings and striking out four. On the year, Voyles has worked 14 innings over seven appearances and still allowed no earned runs, proving that he can be one of Mike Martin's regular options out of the pen regardless of the situation.
1. In his first road start of the year, Mike Compton did not have his best stuff. He started off well, allowing no hits and one walk in the first two innings while Florida State opened up a 4-0 lead. From there, it was downhill for the redshirt senior. Compton allowed one run in the third inning, three runs in the fourth, and was chased in the fifth. He finished with 4.1 innings pitched, a season low, struck out two, tied for a season low, and surrendered three walks, a season high. The four runs he allowed, all earned, are the most he has given up in a start this season, surpassing the previous high of two. His ERA did fall from 2.28 to 3.21 but the disappointing outing did not harm his record as it was cancelled out by a productive night by the 'Noles behind the plate.
2. Cal Raleigh has been very productive in the Florida State lineup this season, especially when considering the fact that he is a true freshman. He came into Friday, sporting a .362 batting average, two home runs, and 16 RBIs, tying him for second-most on the team in HRs and RBIs. Despite all of the success that Raleigh has had, the series opener against Pitt was just not his night. He was pulled after the 7th inning when the game was well in hand and finished 0-5 at the plate with three strikeouts.
3. As a team, the Seminoles played their game they are known for, drawing walks, very well, finishing with seven walks drawn as a team. This is marginally cancelled out though by a team total of nine strikeouts, cancelling out the seven walks which could have been viewed as a well-disciplined game at the plate. In some future, more highly-contested games, the inability to get contact on the ball that the 'Noles showcased tonight could be a very pressing issue.
Florida State returns to action on Saturday at 3 PM for the second of three games this weekend against Pitt. Florida State's Drew Carlton (3-0, 3.38 ERA) is slated to go up against Pittsburgh's Aaron Sandefur (1-1, 2.35 ERA).