No. 4 Florida State (12-0) trailed Kansas (8-3) by 5 runs after 3.5 innings before storming back for a 10-5 victory to remain unscathed on the young season. Here’s what went right...and wrong for the Seminoles Monday night in Tallahassee.
- 2B Rafael Bournigal, a graduate transfer from Belmont University entered the game hitting .156 with a .508 OPS (on-base + slugging). Many were calling for Bournigal to be benched in favor of Nick Derr. However, on Monday night, Bournigal rewarded the coaching staff, going 1-1 with a HR and 3 RBI. All four of his plate appearances were successful (HBP, BB, SF). If he can keep keep having productive PA’s going forward, it makes this FSU lineup that much more dangerous.
- LHP Jonah Scolaro, a freshman reliever from Valrico, FL, continued his torrid start to his Florida State career. He entered the game having thrown 6.1 scoreless innings and added 4 more scoreless innings tonight, picking up the save after allowing only 2 hits in the process, while striking out 6 and walking none. My only beef with his outing? That the staff kept him in for 4 innings and 52 pitches. I could understand if it were a close game (it wasn’t, as FSU led 9-5 after he’d already thrown 2 innings), or if it were a (more meaningful) conference game. The ’Noles have numerous young arms that could’ve used the work more, and it’s more important to develop them for said important conference games.
- The heart of FSU’s lineup delivered in a really big way. Rhett Aplin, Cal Raleigh, and Drew Mendoza went 7-10 with 5 runs and 5 RBI. When your 3-4-5 guys produce like that, you ALWAYS have a chance to win.
- BONUS: After falling behind 5-0, the ’Noles didn’t mope or quit. They hunkered down and chipped away at the lead, eventually scoring 10 straight runs to win comfortably. They got production up and down the lineup and showed great resolve. It won’t be the last time they find themselves in a massive hole, so it’s nice to see they know how to win these types of games.
- Jr. RHP Andrew Karp (3-0) put his team in a 5-0 hole after 3.5 innings. He’s not in the weekend rotation for a reason, but he entered the contest with a 0.00 ERA, so much more is expected from him. It wasn’t all his fault, as 2 of the runs were unearned (more on that later), but he gave up too many 2-strike or 2-out hits (4 of KU’s 5 runs were scored with 2 down), and he allowed 4 extra-base hits (after allowing just 3 in his first 3 outings). Ironically enough, Karp picked up the win after his offense scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 5th, giving FSU their first lead.
- Mendoza is FSU’s leading hitter, so he’s allowed some leeway, but Monday night, he committed his team-leading 4th error of the season (he’s also had numerous miscues in the field scored as hits), leading to 2 unearned runs. Against better competition, these mistakes could result in a loss.
- In the bottom of the 4th, FSU loaded the bases with nobody out. In the bottom of the 6th, the ’Noles had runners on 1st and 3rd, again with no outs. They combined for 1 run in those innings. In the 7th inning, they loaded the bases without an out, once again, although this time, they made a big inning of it, scoring 3 runs. You’re not always going to reach base in these situations, but you need to find a way to at least have productive outs, something they did during that 7th inning, bringing 2 runs home via fly outs.
- BONUS: FSU had 2 runners (Aplin, Steven Wells) picked off while trailing. This is totally unacceptable, as you have to value each and every out, especially when in need of runs.
Florida State tries to stay unbeaten, as the ’Noles complete their two-game series vs. the Kansas Jayhawks.