After hours of weather delays that forced the game to go long into the night, the Florida State Seminoles were shut out against the Gators 5-0. As a result, the teams will play in a winner take all game on Monday with the victor advancing to the College World Series in Omaha.
Tyler Holton continued his red hot streak against UF last night, keeping the 'Noles within striking distance in the six innings he pitched. He improved his team leading ERA amongst starters to 2.69 by only allowing one earned run and striking out six on the way. The only downfall of Holton's play tonight was the four wild pitches thrown, however he only allowed one walk in those six innings after coming into the game averaging more than a walk every two innings.
If there were any positive outcomes on the offense, it came from Taylor Walls and John Sansone at the top of the order. They combined to get on base three times while the other seven hitters reached base via a hit or walk a total of two times. The duo continue to provide the offensive surge and frequently got on base at their spot in the order, which could play out on Monday.
On the topic of Monday, the third up is for the fact that there is a tomorrow as a result of the great performance on Saturday. The Seminoles earned every right to play a third and final game, something it could not accomplish last year during the super regionals. It has also benefited from the other super regional results and if Florida State can find a way to win against UF in game three, the 'Noles would be one of the stronger teams in Omaha. It's not over yet.
When a team only has two hits a whole game, it is pretty difficult to score runs, which was the case tonight. FSU hitters went a combined two for 27 and although it was against a second round draft pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, there is no excuse for two hits in an entire nine inning game. If FSU was able to compensate by drawing a lot of walks which would put runners on base, thats a whole other situation, however they would only draw three total.
A trend all season, the Florida State fielding issue, came into effect again. Taylor Walls committed two errors at short and John Sansone had a ball get by him which was ruled a hit, but was a play that should have been made. In reality, it cost Holton both runs despite the stat sheet, and forced him to throw with the 'Noles trailing before a single FSU batter stepped up to the plate.
Instead of facing a normal team's third weekend starter, who tends to be the weakest of the weekend rotation, the 'Noles will have to face 2016 sixth overall pick AJ Puk on Monday night. The 'Noles tend to succeed less when facing starting left handed pitchers, with a record 9-6, however Puk is far superior than the mean and will be no easy task.
The teams will square off on Monday night with first pitch scheduled for 7 PM EST. The game will be shown on ESPN 2 and Tomahawk Nation will have live play-by-play coverage as always.