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3 up, 3 down: Florida State avoids College World Series elimination by defeating Cal State Fullerton

Florida State’s season will continue for at least one more game.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Cal State Fullerton vs Florida State Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Survive and advance. That’s exactly what FSU did in a 6-4 victory over Cal State Fullerton.

Three up:

  1. I had the notion of making the offense a down for Monday’s game — until the seventh inning happened. FSU, entering the frame down one run, saw eight hitters reach the plate and would score three runs on three hits. Entering the inning, the Seminoles had just four total hits and were just 4-20 at the plate. Patience proved vital as three walks, including two with the bases loaded, would give FSU that lead back immediately after surrendering it in the prior inning.
  2. What a sensational job by the bullpen to preserve the FSU lead reclaimed in the seventh inning. Chase Haney threw two-thirds of an inning spanning over the last hitter of the sixth and first hitter of the seventh, getting both hitters out. Alec Byrd was rolling, throwing a perfect 1 1/3 innings before Matt Henderson committed an error. Drew Carlton would then come in, get that last out of that eighth inning, and pitch a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save of the season.
  3. FSU only had one job to do, and that was to win by any means possible. With the victory, Florida State’s season survives at least another game. FSU is now 5-0 in its last five games avoiding elimination and 8-0 if you want to include the ACC Tournament.

Three down:

  1. Drew Parrish through the first five innings was nearly unhittable. Cal State Fullerton managed just one hit on an attempted sacrifice bunt that should have been fielded by Florida State, and kept Florida State in the lead despite the offense struggling mightily. Through those first five innings, Parrish struck out four hitters and allowed three walks, with only one earned run. More importantly, he induced two big double play balls when he did allow those few runners on. However, Parrish imploded in the sixth inning, more specifically with two outs. The inning started with a CSF runner on first and one out. Parrish forced a chopper to second resulting in a groundout and the runner moving to second now with two outs. The Titans then hit a double to reduce FSU’s lead to 3-2 before Timmy Richards hit a two-run home run to give Cal State Fullerton its first lead of the game. Parrish allowed three earned runs in the sixth inning, the same amount he had allowed over the past 26 2/3 innings.
  2. Florida State spent an hour practicing fielding on Sunday before the Cal State Fullerton game. Specifically, practice fielding bunts. On the very first sacrifice bunt attempt from CSF, Mendoza and Parrish both took steps further away from the ball traveling slowly down the first base line, allowing the CSF player to reach base and load the bases. Matt Henderson then made an error in the eighth inning with two outs, allowing the go-ahead run for Cal State Fullerton to reach the plate. Fortunately, Drew Carlton was able to get the go-ahead batter out, and out of the inning.
  3. Entering the fourth inning, FSU was tied with Cal State Fullerton. The Seminoles were able to load the bases with no outs and score one run. That’s all they would get however after JC Flowers struck out looking and then Dylan Busby would also be struck out looking with the bases loaded. It happened again in the seventh after Florida State had the inning end on a bases loaded double play. FSU was able to score runs in both innings, however could have capitalized much more and gave the pitching a larger cushion. FSU never led by more than 2 runs on Monday.

Florida State will play the loser of LSU/Oregon State on Wednesday at 7 PM EST.