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3 up, 3 down: No. 5 FSU baseball improves to 6-0 with win over Troy

Drew Mendoza helps the ’Noles remain undefeated.

Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Florida State (6-0) defeated Troy (4-3) on Saturday afternoon 6-5 thanks to a walk-off single from sophomore third baseman Drew Mendoza. Despite giving up a two run lead in the 7th inning, FSU was able to rally in the 9th inning. Solid pitching from the red-shirt junior RHP Gage Hutchinson prevented Troy from taking the lead and kept the score at 5-5 going into the bottom of the inning, when the Seminoles loaded the bases and Mendoza brought in the game-winning run.

Three up:

  • After a rocky start, shortstop Mike Salvatore finally found his swing today against the Trojans. Batting 2-4 today, the junior set the tone in the bottom of the first for his team with a lead-off single, when he would score in the inning. Salvatore also showed his patience at the plate, earning a crucial walk in the 9th inning that would eventually bring him home as the game’s winning run. In addition, the New Jersey native showed his fielding ability off today, putting together a slick 6-3 double play in the 3rd inning.
  • The Garnet & Gold took advantage of Troy’s sloppy play on the day, where the Trojans racked up three errors that all led to runs. A botched ball by Troy catcher Hunter Kamplain in the 1st inning led to FSU catcher Cal Raleigh advancing to second off of his single, where he would score later in the inning following a sacrifice fly and a single. In the 2nd inning, a fielding error from Troy right fielder Joey Denison led to the ’Noles’ center fielder J.C. Flowers scoring from 2nd off of a single, where he had advanced to earlier following a wild pitch. Florida State right fielder Reese Albert reached first in the 6th inning due to a fielding error, and he would eventually reach second off of a wild pitch, with gave the Seminoles their 5th run of the game.
  • Hutchinson’s lock-down pitching towards the end of the game kept the Trojans at bay in the 8th and 9th innings. The Port Orange, Florida native faced seven batters in 1.2 innings pitched, and picked up three strikeouts while only giving up one hit and a walk. In the top of the 9th, he effectively set his team up for success in the bottom of the inning by striking out the side.

Three down:

  • FSU has a rough 6th inning defensively, where Troy was able to score two runs and cut its deficit one. One fielding error, two hit batters, a walk, and a wild pitch allowed the Trojans to earn two runs without acquiring a single hit in the inning. Sloppy and uncharacteristic defensive play like this will only hurt the ’Noles going forward, especially when ACC play begins.
  • Florida State’s bullpen, minus Hutchinson, struggled at times to pick up the outs their team needed. After giving up two runs in the sixth inning aforementioned and struggling to close out the inning, LHP Clayton Kwiatkowski began the 7th inning with a walk, and eventually a hit that would bring a runner into scoring position. In just 1.0 innings pitched, Kwiatkowski gave up 2 earned runs, 2 walks, and a hit on 30 pitches. LHP Jonah Scolaro would come in to replace him, but was only able to end the inning after giving up a hit, a walk, and a sacrifice fly that would give Troy two more runs and make the game even at 5-5. While neither pitcher had a horrible performance by any means, the bullpen should look to put these two innings behind them and improve on picking up outs in the latter stages of games.
  • While batters like Salvatore and Raleigh looked much better at the plate today, some Seminoles still seem like they’re struggling to hit the ball well. Left fielder Jackson Lueck went 1-5 today, which left his average at .185 on the season as he picked up a strikeout and left two players on base. Another player who has struggled offensively is second baseman Rafael Bournigal, who’s average sits at .125 after he went 0-3 today. Despite showing good patience at the plate by earning a walk, as well as his speed by scoring off of a wild pitch, the senior and some of his teammates have work to do batting-wise going forward.

Florida State will look to finish its three-game series against Troy tomorrow at 1:00 PM with a sweep. LHP Austin Pollock (0-0) will be set to start for the Garnet & Gold.