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3 up, 3 down: FSU baseball avoids sweep in series finale at Duke

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The Seminoles were able to salvage the series finale with the Blue Devils, winning 4-3 to avoid a 0-5 week.

3 up

1. John Sansone, one of Florida State's most consistent hitters this season, had a highly productive game in Sunday's series finale. He finished 3-5 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. What makes his outing particularly spectacular is that each of Sansone's three hits was a two-bagger, giving him an ACC-leading 21 doubles on the year. With only four regular season games left, Sansone's batting average now sits at .384 and he will likely be a major part of any postseason success the Seminoles have.

2. The Florida State bullpen showed some of its early-season form on Sunday, combining to throw 5.1 innings of one-run baseball after a brief outing by starting pitcher Ed Voyles. The Seminoles' pen was led by Jim Voyles, making his first appearance since taking a line drive to the head against in the final game against Notre Dame two weeks ago. Voyles relieved his brother well, throwing 2.1 innings of one-hit, one-run baseball. After Voyles was pulled, Chase Haney, Alec Byrd, and Tyler Warmoth combined for three innings of no-hit work, striking out three and walking two. Warmoth capped it off, earning his fourth save of the year. Rejuvenated work from the FSU bullpen has to be a welcome sight for a offense that is still in a cold stretch struggling to plate runs.

3. FSU had one error in Sunday's series finale, a flub by Matt Henderson on a grounder to second. Yes, it did lead to an unearned run which spotted Duke a 2-1 lead at the time but the sole error on Sunday and combined two errors over the three-game series show that this team is capable of getting out of its own way and is still greatly improved from the first half of the year.

3 down

1.  Sunday saw FSU throw a new weekend starter for the first time this season in the form of Ed Voyles. Voyles' stat line by itself is not terribly bad. He allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits, striking out two and walking a pair of Blue Devils. What puts Voyles squarely in the down section is his ineffectiveness. He needed 80 pitches to get through his 3.2 innings of work, forcing the bullpen to make a lengthy relief appearance. He proved able to work out of jams, stranding three Duke runners on base after loading the bases with no outs in the first inning, but was unable to ever fully get into a rhythm, falling victim to the short outing woes which have been a common theme for Florida State this season.

2. Cal Raleigh seems to have hit his freshman wall in this late-season stretch for the Seminoles. Raleigh's 1-5 afternoon on Sunday was just more of the inability to get on base that he showed all weekend long. Over the three games against Duke, Raleigh went 2-13 (.154) with no runs or RBI and two strikeouts. Raleigh's ability to snap out of his current cold streak could be vital to the Seminoles in next weekend's regular season finale series against Miami.

3. Although Sunday's victory is a nice ending to a brutal week for Florida State, the Seminoles did a lot of damage to their national-seed resume this week. FSU's RPI, once as high as No. 3 a few weeks ago, now sits all the way down at No. 16, squarely in the danger zone for national seed consideration. Last week, the 'Noles sat firmly on the bubble in D1 Baseball's postseason projection, coming in at the No. 8 national seed. However, that will likely no longer be the case when the new projections come out on Wednesday after a dismal 1-4 week. The Seminoles would have a significantly higher chance of making Omaha if they could earn a national seed, as they are now 7-9 in true road games this year, but, at the moment, FSU seems to be on the outside looking in.

With the loss, Florida State improves to 33-17 (15-8 in ACC) on the season but the poor showing from the Seminoles this weekend has allowed Louisville to take firm control of the ACC Atlantic lead with one week of conference play left. Next, FSU travels to Stetson on Tuesday ahead of their final regular season series at home against  the Miami Hurricanes.