Florida State defeated Central Florida 5-0 on Wednesday afternoon, improving to 11-2 on the young season, while the Knights fell to 11-3. Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong for the ’Noles in Orlando.
- Will Zirzow continued his excellent start to the 2017 season with five scoreless innings of relief, in which he allowed just one hit, while walking none and striking out seven. The junior reliever picked up his first win of the season and has now thrown 11.1 innings without allowing an earned run, while striking out 17.
- Overall, the bullpen (Zirzow, Jim Voyles, and Drew Carlton) threw 7 innings of scoreless baseball. They only allowed 5 base-runners and struck out 9 Knights. This comes on the heels of Tuesday’s great outing. In two mid-week games at UCF, Florida State’s bullpen threw 12 scoreless innings and struck out 15 Central Florida batters. If the ’Noles can continue to get those sorts of performances from their bullpen, it’ll go a long way in helping FSU make a deep postseason run.
- Matt Henderson, the 9th hitter in the lineup, went 2-3 with an RBI and reached base 4 times in 5 plate appearances (two walks). He’s shown in his two years in Tallahassee that he isn’t a great hitter, but he improved his on-base percentage to .409 after Wednesday’s win. If you’re a fan of old-school stats, you might be frustrated with his batting average that’s just above the Mendoza line, but if your last hitter is reaching base over 40% of the time, that’ll work all day.
- Cal Raleigh went 0-5 with two strikeouts, after going 1-5 with five LOB Tuesday. The sophomore catcher has now gone 3-20 in his last 5 games and is hitting .204 on the season. The ’Noles need better from a middle-of-the-lineup bat, especially one who’s proven (freshman All-American last season).
- While the Seminoles were very patient at the plate (9 BB’s/1 HBP), they struck out 13 times Wednesday. That’s far too many empty at-bats.
- Ed Voyles, who had a 2.66 ERA for the Seminoles last season, struggled in a spot-start. After being staked to a 3-0 lead, the junior from Atlanta gave up back-to-back hits to start the bottom of the 3rd and was taken out for Zirzow. Although he was somewhat shaky, the 2+ scoreless innings actually lowered his ERA to 8.31 in 4.1 IP this season.
- Taylor Walls walked to lead off the game and has now reached base in 27 straight games.
- FSU successfully stole two bases Wednesday afternoon. The ’Noles are now 20-20 on the year.
- The win was the 9th straight for FSU after starting the season 2-2. The Seminoles improved to 3-0 on the road.
- Box score
FSU returns home to face Boston College in ACC action this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 Friday night in Tallahassee.