Different day. Same story. Last night, FSU should’ve gotten a no-hitter, but lost because of six fielding errors. Today, the Seminoles were in great position to win, once again, but committed five more errors to blow a 4-run lead and get swept by North Carolina in a crucial ACC series.
So, instead of taking two of three from the Tar Heels, Florida State’s staring a 6-6 conference record in the face and wondering what happened, and where they go from here.
For starters, it’ll help FSU to get their All-American shortstop and leadoff hitter Taylor Walls back in the lineup. He was suspended for two games apparently for arguing with head coach Mike Martin during the 1st inning of last night’s game. 11’s decision to yank his leader potentially cost the ’Noles two games and precious post-season positioning.
April 2, 2017
Things didn’t start out well for Florida State, as Drew Parrish gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in the 1st. In reality, he’s lucky it wasn’t worse. However, the ’Noles answered with 2 runs of their own in the bottom half behind an RBI double by Cal Raleigh, and a groundout from Quincy Nieporte.
Parrish shut the Heels down in the 2nd, and then FSU put up a crooked number behind this 3-run blast by JUCO transfer Rhett Aplin:
A look back at Rhett Aplin's HR from the second inning: pic.twitter.com/POGQFF0fCg— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) April 2, 2017
UNC continued to chip away at the lead, though, mostly due to the continued comedy of errors in the field. The Tar Heels scored one in the 4th (unearned), two in the 5th (unearned), one in the 6th (on an infield single), and one in the 7th (unearned) to grab their first lead of the afternoon, 7-6.
At this point, Carolina’s bullpen had thrown 10.1 innings of scoreless baseball on the weekend, but Raleigh’s second RBI hit of the day leveled the score:
Tied it up!— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) April 2, 2017
Cal Raleigh scores J.C. Flowers in the seventh: pic.twitter.com/9U0yXXaXEk
Neither team scored in the 8th, but UNC’s Michael Busch, who broke up the no-hitter and forced extra innings last night off the bench, hit a 2-run HR with 2 outs in the 9th on Chase Haney’s 38th pitch of the afternoon. FSU went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning, and the visiting Tar Heels left with a 9-7 decision and a conference sweep.
ODDS AND ENDS:
- Florida State committed 5 errors on the afternoon (11 in the last two games). They also allowed SEVEN infield hits (I don’t remember ever seeing such a high number). It’s one thing to get beaten, but it’s totally unacceptable to gift-wrap a series by committing 5+ errors in back-to-back games.
- FSU’s 3-4-5 hitters went 4-14 with 6 RBI, including Aplin’s big HR. This is what the Seminoles need from the heart of their lineup.
- The ’Noles had 10 BB/HBP, while only striking out 4 times. This is an offensive recipe for success going forward.
- Meanwhile, the FSU pitching staff struck out 10 UNC batters, while only offering one free pass. This usually leads to great results, but the infield hits/errors were very costly, and the Tar Heels also hit a couple 2-run HR’s.
- UNC was 3-4 on SB’s. This type of success is very rare against Cal Raleigh and the FSU staff, as the sophomore backstop entered the contest throwing out over 50% of runners attempting to steal.
- The star of Florida State’s recruiting class had a college debut to forget. Third basemen Drew Mendoza was 0-10 with 4 strikeouts and 3 errors over the course of the weekend. As I mentioned during the game, it would’ve been nice if he could’ve gotten his confidence up against lesser opponents before facing a team the caliber of UNC, but the ’Noles didn’t have that luxury due to injuries.
Seminoles lose game three of the series against the UNC Tar Heels.— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) April 2, 2017
Up Next: 2-game midweek series against FGCU starting Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/672HaH0zh7