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3 up 3 down: FSU’s offense comes alive in win over Stetson

After a pitching gem yesterday, ’Noles up their offense to match on Wednesday.

Duke at Florida State
The Seminoles host the Blue Devils
Steve Johnson

Florida State’s offense had been struggling, but that was not the case Wednesday afternoon, as FSU pounded Stetson 18-10. The Seminoles exploded for 20 hits on the day, leading to runs in six of their eight innings at the plate, including four multi-run innings. Mike Martin is now just 6 games away from holding the all-time record for most wins in college baseball.

Three Up:

  • Obviously the offense was way up. After totaling 8 home runs in the previous 8 games, the ’Noles went off with 7 against Stetson. Cal Raleigh had 2 on the day, while Jackson Lueck, Drew Mendoza, Steven Wells, Rafael Bournigal, and Cobi Johnson (yes, you read that correctly) each contributed a dinger, as well. FSU has actually hit quite a few home runs this season, but too many have been of the solo variety.
  • FSU ensured there wouldn’t be much in the way of single-run innings, as they reached base THIRTY-ONE times (9 walks, HBP, E-6 to go along with their 20 hits). The ’Noles kept the pressure on the Hatters the whole day and it paid in spades. Rhett Aplin was one of the few Seminoles to not collect a hit on the day, but walked 3 times in 4 plate appearances, scoring twice.
  • After starting the season with a hot bat, Mendoza has been in quite the slump. As FSU’s best batter, the Seminoles look to the sophomore to pick them up. Hopefully Wednesday was his slump breaker, as Mendoza was 5-6 with the aforementioned HR, along with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. His final output Wednesday was greater than his last 13 games COMBINED:

Three Down:

  • As good as the offense was, the pitching was almost equally as bad. Even though he got the win, Austin Pollock lasted just 3.2 innings, surrendering 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. After 2 scoreless innings from Clayton Kwiatowski, Cobi Johnson was brought on and looked good in a scoreless 7th, but was (inexplicably) brought back out after a lengthy bottom half (FSU scored 5 runs) and quickly surrendered two runs on a walk and home run. Shane Drohan was brought in to close things out, but he failed to record an out. The freshman’s year continues to be quite the struggle as he mustered only 2 strikes while walking the 2 batters he faced. Freshman Tyler Ahearn finally closed out the win, but not before giving up a 3-run HR. When pitchers get a lead, things should be easier, but that clearly proved to not be the case on Wednesday. FSU scored in 6 different innings, but the ’Noles only had 2 shutdown innings (shutting down the opponent the inning after scoring). That is NOT a recipe for success.
  • The biggest cause of FSU’s troubles on the mound was an inability to throw strikes. Again, when pitching with a lead, you need to pound the strike zone and make your opponent beat you with multiple hits. However, even though the ’Noles possessed a 13-run lead entering the 8th, they gave up 3 walks over the final 2 innings, with all 3 runners coming around to score.
  • Making matters more difficult for the pitchers were the 2 errors committed by the infield, leading to 3 unearned runs. Mike Salvatore and Kyle Cavanaugh each had miscues, although one could argue both errors belonged to Salvatore. FSU hasn’t been horrid in the field, but just like the pitchers, defenders need to keep their focus and finish games.

Florida State next travels north to face Boston College looking to stretch their 2-game winning streak against the Eagles and get back in the ACC Atlantic race.