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3 up, 3 down: No. 7 FSU baseball powers past UNC

The Seminoles won the series, on the road, against a talented Tar Heel team.

Cal Raleigh

No. 7 Florida State cashed in on some big hits Sunday afternoon defeating North Carolina 9-4 in Chapel Hill. The Seminoles move to 20-5 overall and 5-4 in conference play.

Three Up:

  • Florida State flexed their muscles on Sunday with the long ball. Jackson Lueck and Rhett Aplin walked to open the 3rd inning, which forced a pitching change by UNC. Cal Raleigh hammered the first pitch he saw over the right field fence, giving the Noles a two-run lead. The Tar Heels’ closer was on the mound in the 8th inning with the bases-loaded and one out when leadoff hitter Nick Derr took him yard, giving the Seminoles a four-run lead. Lueck followed with a solo homer of his own. Those two remain tied for the team lead in home-runs with five.
  • With the game tied at four in the 5th inning and Austin Pollack’s day done, CJ Van Eyk (1-0) took the mound with two outs and runners on first and second. The freshman walked the first batter he saw on a full-count, but came back strong and got the next batter to strike out swinging. Van Eyk struck out two more in the 6th inning. He would pitch around a leadoff double and a walk in the 7th inning, before extending into the 8th, where he allowed a single and walk before finishing off the inning. A perfect 9th inning made it a really solid outing for the young arm, including picking up his first career win. Hopefully, this performance builds confidence for him and his head coach.
  • The ’Noles had a perfect day on the base paths and in the field. With no outs in the 7th inning and a runner on 2nd there was a hard grounder hit to short, and Mike Salvatore fielded and threw to third in an attempt to cut down the potential go-ahead run. The runner would’ve been safe had third baseman Drew Mendoza not blocked the bag with his knee and applied the tag recording the first out of the inning.

Three Down:

  • Pollack gave up a home-run to the very first batter he faced Sunday, before retiring the next six hitters. The start of the 3rd is where the wheels came off for the freshman; he allowed singles to the 8th and 9th batters to start the inning and then issued a walk to load the bases. With a 1-1 count to UNC’s best hitter, Pollack plunked him, sending home a run. He forced the next batter into a fielder’s choice that tied the game at three, but then walked the next batter to reload the bases. The left-hander rebounded by striking out the next batter and retiring the next batter on a liner. For the game, Pollack issued 5 walks while only striking out 3 over 4.2 innings.
  • With one out and runners on 1st and 2nd in the top of the 7th, Salvatore hit a grounder that was fielded and thrown to second base. A collision occurred and JC Flowers took a knee to the head from the North Carolina shortstop. The FSU center fielder came off the field holding his cheek bone and will be further evaluated. We will update you with his status as news is announced.
  • There was not too much to be disappointed with on Sunday, but with a five-run lead in the 8th inning it would have been valuable to have someone other than CJ Van Eyk pitch the rest of the game.

The Seminoles travel to Jacksonville on Tuesday as they face the Gators starting at 6 PM.