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3 up, 3 down: Florida State falls in extra innings to the Miami Hurricanes

Florida State’s sloppy hitting cost itself a shot at a sweep in Coral Gables.

Florida State lost an extra innings battle against the University of Miami. Neither team played well, but Miami was more opportunistic, scoring the winning run in the 10th via a single to 3rd, a steal on catcher’s indifference, and an error. Here’s what went well and not so well for the ’Noles.

3 up:

  1. Outside of one inning, Tyler Holton pitched very well against Miami. The sophomore left-hander only gave up three hits on the night with two coming in the third inning (see below) over 6 1/3 innings of work. While he only struck out five and walked three he also only gave up three hits, scattering almost all of them over multiple innings.
  2. Just a night after one Seminole (Dylan Busby) provided almost all of the offense for Florida State, the feat was accomplished again, but this time it was Quincy Nieporte. “Q” was 2-5 on the night with three of FSU’s four RBI. He’s also only one of three batters that did not record a strike out.
  3. Despite getting tagged with the loss, the bullpen pitched very well for FSU. Chase Haney, Alec Byrd, and Drew Carlton combined to allow just one hit (a dribbler that didn’t leave the infield) and no walks over the final three innings. Haney and Byrd each recorded two K’s on the night.

3 down:

  1. Unfortunately, Holton had a bit of a hiccup in the third. The inning began well enough with a strikeout, but a single, walk and hit batter loaded the bases for Michael Burns’ second home run of the year, a grand slam that gave the Hurricanes the lead. The most frustrating aspect is that this came just after FSU pushed the lead to 3-0. Even though he pitches on Saturdays, Holton is FSU’s true ace, and he has to do a better job against Miami’s anemic offense. Specifically, he needed to make the ’Canes beat him at the plate, instead of gifting them base-runners.
  2. The offense managed four runs against a very good Miami pitching staff, but the overall performance wasn’t good. Of the 30 outs on offense, 14 were via an FSU strikeout. That’s almost half! Miami advanced runners eight of twelve times via hit or out due to their low strike out numbers, while FSU was only three of thirteen. Fans like to talk about hitting with runners in scoring position but productive outs are just as critical. Florida State got six men aboard without a hit, but the lack of productive outs/hits in those situations has been a major issue all season.
  3. Coaching decisions on the night left a lot to be desired. Despite Florida State having a limited bench due to injuries, Rhett Aplin was pulled for match up reasons after only two AB’s, leaving Stephen Wells to hit late in the game. Haney started the ninth and got the right handed Edgar Michelangeli out, but for some reason was also left to face the left handed Christopher Barr, while Byrd was available. Barr hit a double and Mike Martin immediately summoned his senior southpaw to clean up the mess. It’s strange for a manager so hung up on match ups to go against them at critical points in the game. Then in the 10th inning, Byrd gives up a dribbler, and Martin forces a stall, while Drew Carlton gets ready. Obviously the decision was already made to pull Byrd after two batters, or after he gave up a base-runner so why was Carlton not ready? These are mistakes a rookie manager makes, and it gives more credence to what we’ve been saying for a while: it’s time.

Florida State returns to the diamond for the rubber match with Miami Sunday at noon.