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3 up, 3 down: No. 4 FSU baseball suffers first loss of the season from Wake Forest

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The Demon Deacons ended the Seminoles’ perfect record

NCAA Baseball: Troy at Florida State Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Florida State (14-1) suffered its first loss of the season to Wake Forest (6-9) on Saturday afternoon 4-3 following a Demon Deacons walk-off home run. The Seminoles took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth thanks to an RBI double from first baseman Rhett Aplin, but it was short lived. After giving up a 1-out single, FSU RHP Cobi Johnson was handed a loss for the day after Wake Forest center fielder DJ Poteet hit a 2-run, walk-off homer to right field, giving the Demon Deacons a win in the first game of today’s double-header.

Three up:

  • Whenever a team plays a double-header, a manager wants to get the most out of his starting pitchers to have the option of using his bullpen as needed. Fortunately for FSU’s head coach Mike Martin, LHP Drew Parrish threw for nearly seven great innings. On 114 pitches, Parrish only gave up 4 hits and 2 earned runs against 26 batters faced, racking up 8 strikeouts and only allowing 2 walks. Although Parrish struggled in the 7th inning, giving up a run after walking and hitting Wake Forest players in the inning before being relieved by Johnson, he had a solid day on the rubber for the most part.
  • Aplin continued his excellent hitting into today’s game, going 2-4 at the plate and driving in a go-ahead run in the top of the 9th that set the ’Noles up for a potential victory. The senior first baseman has batted 4-9 in the series so far, and picked up two hits in FSU’s 7-3 victory on Friday to open up ACC play. While the rest of the team struggled to put together hits in this game, Aplin remained a solid option when the offense was struggling.
  • Despite the unfortunate walk-off home run given up by Johnson, the Garnet & Gold had a otherwise decent day on the mound. Parrish dealt solid pitches for nearly seven innings, and Johnson was able to pick up two more strikeouts in his 1.2 innings pitched, and retired five of the ten batters he faced. While these performances weren't up to par with recent FSU performances, they weren't the sole reason why the ’Noles dropped today’s first match-up.

Three down:

  • Florida State’s bats never caught fire today like they did in Friday’s contest. The Seminoles finished the game with just 5 hits, and were never able to put together a multiple-run inning in the entire game. Wake Forest’s starting RHP Colin Peluse threw for eight solid innings, only allowing 4 hits and two runs as he was able to contain hitters like center fielder Steven Wells and left fielder Jackson Lueck, who batted a combined 0-7 today with 4 strikeouts.
  • Strikeouts played a significant role in preventing the Seminoles from moving runners into scoring position and putting up runs on the board. FSU finished the game with more strikeouts (seven) than hits (five), a scenario that usually does not bode well for a team. As mentioned earlier, Wells had a rough day at the plate by picking up three strikeouts, including two where he was caught looking at a called third strike. As a batter, you should try to never leave your fate in the hands of the umpire with a called third strike, and in this game Wells unfortunately dealt with that on two separate occasions.
  • On the team’s first road series of the season, as well as its first taste of ACC action, the Seminoles appeared to run out of steam late in the game. Hopefully, this will turn around in the second part of today’s double-header, as Martin will likely make a few changes to the lineup to keep his team fresh and prepared for success.

Florida State will look to come back strong in the second game of today’s double header and take the series win against Wake Forest today at 6:00 PM. LHP Austin Pollock (2-0) will start on the mound for the ‘Noles as he looks for his third win of the season.