It wasn’t always smooth and it wasn’t always a certainty, but FSU once again overcame some adversity to come away with a 5-3 win over Pacific on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep of the Tigers.
1. There’s dealing and then there’s another level of excellence on the mound which Drew Parrish achieved early in Sunday’s finale against Pacific.
The freshman set down the first 14 batters he faced, taking a perfect game into the fifth inning before he surrendered a two-out walk. His no-hit bid was broken up the very next inning.
From there, his outing fell off marginally, but for the first five innings, Parrish showed some of the best stuff he has had all season long in a game that desperately required it while the FSU offense was sputtering.
2. The Florida State offense may have gotten off to an excruciatingly slow start to Sunday’s stint with Pacific, but when it finally broke through, it did so in a big way.
Just after going down 2-0, the Seminoles plated one run in the bottom of the sixth and followed that up with a four-run seventh inning to open up a lead which they held the rest of the way.
Second baseman Matt Henderson was still up to his red-hot ways on Sunday, going 2-2 as he reached base for the 16th straight game and raised his batting average, which bottomed out at .190 just over a month ago, to .274.
Jackson Lueck, Drew Mendoza, and J.C. Flowers also all saw the ball well, adding two hits each in what was a very concentrated offensive performance amongst certain players.
3. Florida State played error-free baseball in Sunday’s finale after making notable defensive mistakes in each of its first three games this weekend. This was highlighted by stellar play by Dylan Busby in the hot corner as he was picked on throughout the game with hard-hit balls hit his way, rising to the occasion each time as he continues to show gradual growth at third.
1. The sole problem with Parrish’s outing was that when he lost his no-hit bid in the sixth inning, he obviously dwelled on it, allowing it to linger and affect his performance over the next four batters he faced. FSU head coach Mike Martin made a well-timed mound visit to check on his pitcher after he surrendered his first hit, but it was proven ineffective.
After the no-hitter was broken up, Parrish allowed four of the next five Pacific batters to reach base, surrendering two earned runs and giving the Tigers their first lead of the series this weekend.
He responded with a solid inning of work in the seventh, but the damage had been done and a damper was put on what was otherwise a very impressive outing.
In all, Parrish went 7.2 innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits, walking two while striking out six.
2. FSU catcher Cal Raleigh continues to struggle in finding any consistency at the plate. After going a combined 3-5 in Saturday’s doubleheader with three RBI and four runs across the two games, Raleigh was 0-4 with a strikeout in the final game of the series on Sunday.
Raleigh, a preseason All-American according to a number of outlets, has not seen his batting average go above the .265 mark this season and currently sits at .230 with seven regular season games left.
3. For the second consecutive day, a poor attempt to close the game by Drew Carlton put the outcome of the game into some doubt in the ninth inning.
Carlton, brought in with a 5-3 lead, faced just three batters, all of whom reached base. After allowing a single, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, Carlton was pulled for Alec Byrd, who preserved the win without surrendering any runs despite entering the game with no outs and the bases juiced.
It may not have factored into the result in either occasion, but the current trend for Carlton, especially against a team of Pacific’s talent level, is quite worrisome.
The win is FSU’s fourth straight and improves the Seminoles to 31-18 on the year. Next up is the team’s final midweek matchup of the season on Tuesday when FSU plays host to Jacksonville. After that is the team’s final home series of the season next weekend as the ’Noles welcome in the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.