To say Florida State has struggled against the Florida Gators would be an understatement. The ’Noles have just one win in their last fourteen games against UF. Freshman pitchers, combined with one of the best closers in the nation, were all the Gators needed to secure a 1-0 victory at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
- Andrew Karp was sharp in his eight innings of work. He allowed one run on four hits, striking out seven batters. His only blemish came on an RBI-single by Austin Langworthy in the fourth inning. Perhaps at his best late in the game, Karp got through the seventh inning throwing only seven pitches. After an eight-inning complete-game performance, the junior right-hander has now pitched into the eighth inning in two consecutive starts.
- After being named ACC Player of the Week on Monday, Jackson Lueck continued his torrid seven-game hitting streak. The right fielder was 2-for-23 in the six games prior to St Patrick’s Day. On March 18, Lueck was dropped to seventh in the batting order and went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored against Notre Dame. Over the last seven games he’s 10-for-27 with three home runs and 11 RBI.
- Having drawn much criticism for their performance throughout the season, Mike Salvatore and Rafael Bournigal were responsible for two of the three hits on Tuesday. While this is certainly not much of a bright spot, it’s worth noting that Salvatore now boasts a five-game hitting streak. The shortstop is 7-for-17 with three RBI and five runs scored over that span.
- Freshman Jack Leftwich was great for Florida. Entering with a 5.40 ERA on the season, he held the Seminoles hitless through five innings. After retiring 13 straight Noles, the right-hander surrendered a single to Bournigal to lead off the sixth. Another freshman, Jordan Butler, came on in relief of Leftwich and was equally as impressive. Having struggled a bit in his start on March 13, allowing four runs on five hits over 2 2⁄3 innings, Butler didn’t allow a hit in two innings of work. Arguably the best closer in the country, Michael Byrne shut the door over the final two innings. The Gators closer has a 0.40 ERA in 22 1⁄3 innings pitched this season.
- While they still lead the nation with 166 walks, the ’Noles managed just two on Tuesday night. The five total base runners is the fewest FSU has accumulated this season. Mike Salvatore was the only ’Nole to reach scoring position. After singling, to leadoff the ninth inning, he went first-to-third on Lueck’s base hit before being stranded there to end the game.
- The injury to JC Flowers is devastating to this ball club. Against the Gators, head coach Mike Martin decided to slide Steven Wells into center field and insert Reese Albert into the right field slot. It’s possible that, as he prepares to become the all-time winningest coach in NCAA baseball history, Martin will be shuffling his lineups quite a bit as he approaches the 1,976 win mark.