The No. 6 Florida State baseball team (32-15) dropped its second game in as many days on Wednesday, losing an afternoon home contest to Florida Gulf Coast University (22-25) by a final score of 11-8. The game took ten innings to decide, although it looked early on like the Eagles had an easy win secured.
- FSU leadoff man Taylor Walls had himself a day. As in a career day. He initiated the Florida State scoring in the third when he launched a two-run dinger and extended the contest when he came to the plate with a man on, two outs, and Florida State trailing 8-6 in the bottom of the ninth. He got into another one, crushing a ball over the right-field fence to tie it up at eight and send us to extra innings. It's the only multi-homer game of his career.
- Second baseball Matt Henderson has been back from injury for a few games now, and he earns a mention here for being the only Seminole, aside from Walls, to notch double-digit hits. In fact, Chico had a single, was hit by a pitch, walked, and doubled to keep the game alive and facilitate Walls' ninth-inning heroics. Eagles pitching failed to retire him all afternoon. Henderson's ability to get on turns the lineup over and sets the table nicely for the top of the lineup-- which is especially beneficial when Walls is hitting with some pop.
- Despite a woeful start to this one, you have to hand it to FSU for scrapping and showing the grit to fight its way back. This team is many things-- and a number of those attributes are frustrating. But they're certainly not quitters.
- The 'Noles got into trouble early in this one, and, not surprisingly, defensive lapses played a major part. After a pair of one-out singles and a Tyler Holton walk loaded the bases, a chopper to John Sansone could have ended the inning. But he bobbled the ball, a run scored, and everyone wound up safe. Holton walked in another, and then Sansone had another shot, ranging to his left. But he couldn't handle that one either. When the dust finally settled, FGCU had a 5-0 lead before FSU came to the plate. The defense cleaned up during the rest of this one, until it served to bring about FSU's demise in extras. After Tyler Warmoth issued a one-out walk in the tenth, a botched pickoff attempt allowed the runner to take third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly to center. The Eagles wouldn't need any more than that-- but they got it anyway when a Jake Noll single was followed by a Tyler Selesky long ball.
- Walls' performance not withstanding, FSU still has to get more contributions from a greater number of players. On Tuesday, only six 'Noles recorded a hit. On Wednesday, that number dipped to five. And that's against JU and FGCU midweek pitching, a far cry from what Florida State can expect to see in the postseason. And speaking of the postseason, the Seminoles didn't do themselves any favors over the last 48 hours. After going 4-4 in their last eight games, a series win at Duke this weekend is imperative.
- One way that players can contribute is by working better at-bats. The Seminoles, usually nationally renowned for their ability to work walks, drew just two all afternoon, while striking out seven times.