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3 up, 3 down: FSU baseball cruises past Xavier for the second day in a row

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Florida State vs LSU Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State erased an early deficit and then cruised to victory with a 7-2 score.

Three up:

  • Cole Sands was tremendous. The junior right-hander recorded a career high in strikeouts through only five innings, in 5 of those 9 he caught the batter looking. He finished his season debut with a total of 3 hits allowed, all in the first inning. A total of 80 pitches through five innings while allowing no walks and the nine strikeouts should be considered an extremely efficient outing.
  • The newcomers for the Seminoles shined. Leadoff hitter Mike Salvatore had one hit, walked twice and scored 3 runs, he has reached base in 6 of his 10 plate appearances this season. Grad transfer Rafael Bournigal had a bases loaded double which plated three runs. Austin Pollack relieved Sands in the sixth inning and pitched a solid four innings to close out the game. The freshman from Lincoln High struck out five while allowing only three hits and no walks on 61 pitches, 41 for strikes.
  • Walk it out. It is what Florida State has done better than any program in the country for the past decade. After FSU batters walked ten times in the season opener they walked another eight times on Saturday. The ability to walk wears on a pitcher and puts pressure on the defense which leads to more scoring opportunities, more scoring opportunities leads to more runs, more runs leads to more wins.

Three down:

  • Minor blunders for the Seminoles early in the season. An error by Salvatore didn’t impact the score but he did misplay a short hop and rushed the throw to first. Jackson Lueck had a base running error in the 5th inning as he didn’t tag up on a ball hit to the wall. Fielding and base running has been atrocious in the past few years, hopefully it will improve as the season progresses.
  • We’re reaching here but a shaky first inning by Cole Sands where he allowed the first three batters to record a hit was not what you look for in your first start of the season. Control issues and an inability to miss the barrel of the bat has prevented Cole from pitching to his talent level. As mentioned above he rebounded nicely after the first inning and pitched what was arguably the best outing of his career.
  • For the second game in a row there were technical difficulties with the broadcast to start the game. That’s it, that’s all I got.

Tomorrow afternoon the Seminoles and Musketeers will be back on the diamond at 1:00 as Florida State looks to sweep the series.