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3 up, 3 down: No. 4 FSU baseball drops second game of double-header to Wake Forest

The second game of Saturday’s double-header did not end well for the ’Noles

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

No. 4 Florida State (14-2) suffered its second loss of the season to Wake Forest (7-9) on Saturday night 8-1 in the second game of today’s double-header. Following an upset 4-3 loss in the first game of the double header, where Wake Forest hit a walk-off two-run homer to end the Seminoles’ perfect season, FSU’s bullpen was called upon early in game two. After giving up six runs early on in just two innings, the Garnet & Gold were never able to recover from the early deficit.

Three up:

  • Following a rough two innings in terms of pitching, the ’Noles’ bullpen was able to recover and hold Wake Forest to just two runs for the rest of the game. Freshman RHP Tyler Ahearn threw three great innings of relief, allowing just two hits and an earned run along with striking out two of the 11 batters he faced. Sophomore LHP Clayton Kwiatkowski also tossed a near-perfect inning of relief, picking up two strikeouts and allowing no hits against four batters faced.
  • FSU first baseman Rhett Aplin turned his five-game hitting streak into a six-game one today with a single in the seventh inning, where he would eventually score and serve as his team’s lone run for the game. His average is now up to .291 for the season, and Aplin will surely look to continue it as the ’Noles prepare to take on the Gators.
  • After playing eight games in nine days, the Seminoles’ tank seemed to be running low in today’s double header. Head coach Mike Martin’s team will surely benefit from a few days of rest before taking the field again on March 13th.

Three down:

  • An issue that has nagged the Garnet & Gold all season long, Florida State left 8 runners on base today, which hurt their chances at picking away at the Wake Forest lead. A particularly glaring instance of this came in the seventh inning, where the ’Noles earned their first and only run of the game off of a bases-loaded walk that brought Aplin in. With the bases loaded and one out, back to back strikeouts from Nick Derr and Reese Albert ended both the inning and their team’s chance at cutting down the lead.
  • LHP Austin Pollock got off to a great start with the Seminoles this season, but was hit hard today by the Demon Deacons. After a first inning where he gave up one run on two hits, the freshman gave up four consecutive hits, of which the first two were doubles, as well as a walk followed by another single. Wake Forest torched Pollock for five runs before RHP CJ Van Eyk was brought in for relief. Pollock is a talented pitcher with great upside, but he will have to put this game behind him and move forward.
  • FSU’s batters struggled to put the ball into play today and string together runs, mustering just five hits as a team while acquiring 10 strikeouts. While batters like Cal Raleigh, Drew Mendoza, and Aplin were able to make solid contact and find ways to earn hits, the team as a whole was unable to produce runs today like they did yesterday. With the Gators up next, Martin’s team will surely be looking to find ways to improve offensively in the coming days.

With a couple of days of rest to look forward to, Florida State will take time to recover from this double-header and prepare to take on No. 1 Florida in Gainesville on Tuesday, March 13th.