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3 up, 3 down: Raleigh rakes, FSU powers past Kansas

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Cal Raleigh nearly hit for the cycle...again.

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

After a dramatic finish to Monday night’s 10-5 victory over Kansas, the ’Noles continued their winning ways on Tuesday. Clayton Kwiatkowski, making his first career start, got the mid-week call and racked up a career-high six strikeouts in FSU’s 12-7 win Tuesday night.

Three up:

  • Cal Raleigh continues to swing a hot bat for Florida State. In his last five games, the FSU back-stop is 10-for-20 with nine RBI and six runs scored. For the second time this season he finished one hit away from the cycle. His career high 50 RBI’s, during his freshman season, are on pace to be beaten (64 RBI) prior to the ACC Tournament. Drew Mendoza has 10 RBI over the last five games — including at least one in every game. During that span he’s posted a .600 batting average.
  • The Seminoles have done a terrific job of putting together multi-run innings this season. Of the 44 innings in which they have scored runs, they’ve posted a crooked number in 25 of those innings. On Tuesday, not only did they post four multi-run innings, they scored (12 runs total) in each of the first six innings.
  • With the early season success that this team has had, bench players are getting quality experience. Florida State used six bench players yesterday. The more action guys like Kyle Cavanaugh and Nick Derr see, the more well rounded this team will become. Plus, freshman like Reese Albert, Skylar Frey, and Cooper Swanson are learning valuable lessons in the early part of the season — lessons that often don’t get learned until deep into conference season.

Three down:

  • Heading into ACC play the Seminoles used four bullpen arms in the finale against the Jayhawks. Kwiatkowski, making his first start as a member of the FSU program, went 3.1 innings before Cobi Johnson, Gage Hutchinson, and Conor Grady finished the game. Johnson leads all members of the bullpen with his 22 strikeouts. While Grady is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over 7.1 innings. If Head Coach Mike Martin is forced to go to the bullpen early on Friday night against Wake Forest the ’Noles could be in trouble.
  • On consecutive plays, Derr and Jered Herron committed errors that allowed Kansas to plate two runs. Teams are going to make mistakes, however, many of the errors and miscues that FSU has committed are unorthodox. That includes Herron’s dropped ball in the eighth inning.
  • So far this season, the long-ball has been an issue for the FSU offense. Yes, the ’Noles got four-baggers from Raleigh and Herron tonight, but this team needs to do that more consistently. Florida State belted two home runs, but Kansas hit three. The Seminoles are not going to fair well in ACC play if they get in the habit of allowing more dingers than they hit. So far this season they’ve slugged five and surrendered seven. In fact, you’d have to go back to 1973 (22) to find a season where the Seminoles totaled fewer than 26 home runs. Assuming this team plays an additional 10-12 games after the regular season, they’re trending below that 45-year old total.

Up Next:

Cole Sands (3-0; 2.25) gets the start on Friday as the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest host the Seminoles for a 3-game series in Winston-Salem, NC.