Florida State took the drive south to Tampa to face their in-state opponent, the University of South Florida. Despite only scoring one run in the first three innings, The 'Noles scored at least three runs in three of the final six frames en route to a 12-4 victory.
Even though they only recorded 10 hits, the 'Noles were able to use the very wild pitching by USF to their advantage. Florida State batters walked 15 times, more than twice their season average heading into the game, with men reaching base on three different occasions after getting hit by a pitch. Five different Seminoles walked at least twice led by Matt Henderson and John Sansone who each received three free passes and were hit by a pitch. Through 12 games, the team leads the nation with a .458 OBP and 92 walks.
The pitching staff performed very well on the road, and despite giving up four runs, were only charged with one. Tyler Holton started the game, throwing three innings while allowing one earned run and striking out six. He was relieved by Chase Haney, Ed Voyles, Will Zirzow and Tyler Warmoth who combined for six innings of one run baseball while striking out 10 more batters. The bullpen has been a strength of this team throughout the season with eight players in the pen having an ERA below 1.69.
The middle part of the lineup, specifically the 2-3-4 hitters of Hank Truluck, John Sansone and Quincy Nieporte, led the offensive charge by FSU. Collectively they went 5-9 with three walks, six runs, and two hit by pitches with the lone home run in the game coming from Truluck. There had been a lot of shuffling by Coach Mike Martin at that top of the lineup, and this may create some stability after the performance the three put together against USF.
Florida State did score twelve runs, however they left an absurd 16 runners left on base in a nine inning game. They were not very effective when it came to offense with runners on base, only going 3-15 with RISP and 5-22 with runners on base. They were bailed out by the 15 walks recorded, however not all teams they face will be that wild on the mound and the 'Noles will need to capitalize on every chance they get.
Tyler Holton for the most part did a great job pitching in his first two innings, but the struggles with command stemming from his previous start came back, eventually leading to his very early departure from the game. Holton surrendered three walks and hit a batter in his three innings pitched, which took 77 pitches to complete. He got out of a jam in the first inning with strikeouts, but faltered with the bases loaded in the third, giving up a three run double with two outs (all three runs were unearned).
Once again, the Seminoles were backed by many hits from the offense, but only three of them went for extra bases. There will be many times, especially in conference play, were the 'Noles face a dominant pitching staff where extra base hits may be their only chance to impact the scoreboard, as it is rare you will get more than three hits in an inning against a pitcher such as Kyle Funkhouser of Louisville. It isn't the worst problem to have on a baseball team, however it could cost you a few victories throughout a season.