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3 up, 3 down: Florida State's season ends with College World Series loss to LSU

Florida State’s next game will be in 2018.

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

That’ll wrap up Florida State’s 2017 season. After losing 7-4 in the second round of the 2017 College World Series to LSU, the ‘Noles will head back to Tallahassee and start preparations for the 2018 season.

Three up:

  • After Cole Sand’s disastrous start, Andrew Karp came in and shut LSU’s offense down. The redshirt sophomore threw five and a third scoreless innings, only allowing three hits and a walk. In addition, Karp struck out seven hitters and induced a double play ball. Some question that Karp should have been named the starter for Wednesday’s game over Cole Sands.
  • There was only one true ‘Noletable hitter for Florida State, freshman Drew Mendoza. The first baseman went 2-4 at the plate. He was the only Seminole with a multi-hit performance. One of those hits was a home run, his tenth of the season. He was just one of three players on FSU to reach the double digit plateau for the season and his 14.8 ABs per HR mark was highest on the team. There was a late surge from FSU in the ninth. Down five runs, Quincy Nieporte and Cal Raleigh opened the inning with back-to-back solo home runs cutting LSU’s lead to 7-4.
  • Florida State now has all offseason to correct its mistakes and get ready for the 2018 season. I think we all can agree Florida State reaching the College World Series, no less earning a win, is something that was unfathomable with a month left in the season. The young talent on the team can use this experience at the College World Series going forward and will make a big difference the next time FSU reaches Omaha.

Three down:

  • Florida State needed a big time start by Cole Sands if it wanted any chance to continue on in the College World Series. Instead, Sands was lifted after just 1 1/3 innings giving up five earned runs, including a big three-run homer which brought head coach Mike Martin out to change pitchers. During those four outs, the sophomore allowed four hits and did not strike out anyone despite getting four of the nine batters he faced to two strikes. It wasn’t expected that Sands would throw a sensational game, but the hope was he could at least keep FSU in the game.
  • Once again, the ‘Noles defense had troubles. There were two errors committed in the field, one leading to an unearned run for LSU. Both plays should have been made, thus scored at errors, however both plays were nowhere near that foggy line where you question and can understand why the play wasn’t made. Matt Henderson failed to collect a routine ground ball with Mendoza under-handing a throw he should have made to first. We say this every offseason, but heading into the 2018 season, the defensive struggles must be improved upon if Florida State wants a realistic shot at the National Championship.
  • The offense disappeared in Wednesday’s game through the first eight innings. As a team in that span, FSU only recorded five hits for a team batting average of .185. The lack of runs wasn’t only due to the limited hits, but with impatient at bats. Only two Seminoles recorded a walk, and LSU starting pitcher Matt Poche only made 102 pitches through his eight innings. Florida State did do a good job making contact, only striking out four times; two each from Walls and Busby.

That’s the season. 46-23, an ACC Tournament championship, Regional host and College World Series participant, lasting until the second round. Florida State baseball will now look toward the 2018 season in hopes of winning its first National Championship in school history.