The 'Noles captured its sixth straight ACC Tournament victory over NC State earlier today by a score of 7-3, moving to 1-0 in pool play. FSU played a majority of the game from behind, but were able to overcome the deficit late.
The lineup today was very balanced and involved a group effort in the win. Seven of the nine starters recorded at least one hit with Quincy Nieporte the only player to record two. The bottom and top of the lineups came together to provide the runs, as the 1-2 and 8-9 spots in the lineup recorded five of the six RBI on the day and went a combined 3-15 with three walks. The lack of hits was somewhat concerning, but when Florida State needed it the most, hitters went 3-9 with runners in scoring position.
After Drew Carlton didn't have the greatest of outings, the bullpen once again shut out their door and allowed FSU to come back and win. Ed Voyles threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out two and was subbed by Matthew Kinney who recorded an out against his only batter faced. The eventual winner, Chase Haney, threw a scoreless eighth en rout to his fifth victory of the season, keeping his perfect record intact. Tyler Warmoth would finish out the game with a perfect ninth to round out the bullpen's four shutout innings.
It was important for FSU to get a win to start off the tournament against a team they had only seen once this year, compared to their next two opponents that Florida State has played multiple times. The 'Noles have had trouble in series opening games coming into the tournament, going 1-3 in the past four weekend series openers. In pool play, getting that first win sets the tone and can bring the momentum into the upcoming days.
After a great freshman season, catcher Cal Raleigh faltered in his first career postseason game. The North Carolina native went 0-4 at the plate with three strikeouts, and was not much better in the field, allowing three NC State stolen bases without throwing a single runner out. The other members of the lineup were able to pick him up, and this doesn't seem like it will become a trend, however every at bat is extremely crucial in a tournament where you will play four games at the most.
Drew Carlton didn't have a complete meltdown, but played below average nevertheless. In his five innings, the righty gave up three earned runs and five baserunners while getting two hitters to strikeout. He did a good job of keeping the ball on the ground, only allowing one extra base hit all day, but consistently got himself into trouble allowing those three runs in three separate innings.
When playing from behind this season, Florida State hasn't had the best success. Coming into the game, when FSU trailed after five innings, such as today, it went 4-18 in those games. Just getting to the point of a tie makes a huge difference as they are undefeated when tied after the fifth, and onward. That undefeated streak continues after the offense was able to battle it out to a tie in the fifth, before eventually taking the final lead in the eighth. Playing from behind is inevitable, but there can be some things to change being down or tied for such a long period of time like today.
The 'Noles continue their ACC Tournament run with a pool play game against Georgia Tech tomorrow at 3 PM EST.