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3 up, 3 down: FSU’s defense falls apart in loss to Stetson

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’Noles have committed 22 errors in their last nine games.

Florida State hosts Stetson Steve Johnson

Fresh off of their fourth season-sweep of the season, the Florida State Seminoles travelled to Stetson University to take on the Hatters. Austin Pollock took the rubber for the ’Noles, while Joey Gonzalez got the call for Stetson. Entering with a five-game win streak, including two against the Hatters last week, FSU struggled defensively in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss at Melching Field in Deland, Fla.

Three up

  • Cal Raleigh continues to be the most consistent member of the FSU offense. In addition to his durability behind the plate, Raleigh has paced the ’Noles offense all year. He leads the team in OBP, SLG, and RBI this season.
  • Having thrown only 18 pitches over an inning and two-thirds, Conor Grady struck out two Stetson battters without allowing anyone to reach base. The freshman has appeared in 14 games this season and this was the second time all year that he pitched more than one inning and did not give up a run.
  • Florida State put the lead-off man on base in four of the nine innings on Tuesday. In the past, this team has done a good job of turning those lead-off base runners into multiple runs. Both runs scored against Stetson came during an inning in which the lead-off man reached safely.

Three down

  • You’ve heard it time and time again — defense wins championships. Perhaps that’s the reason why Florida State has never won a championship, because this defense is bad. Labelled as one of the top teams in the country, you’d expect that the ’Noles would be able to string together a few error-less games, however, they can’t seem to put forth a consistent defensive effort over an extended period of time. FSU has put up back-to-back error-less contests just five times this season. What’s worse, when they commit errors, they commit several of them. They’ve tallied errors in 26 games this year — committing more than one in half of those games. Plus, over the last nine games, FSU has committed 22 errors — including five on Tuesday night. That’s a whopping 2-plus errors per game over their last two weeks.
  • You could make the case that given the poor defense behind him, Pollock should have been included in the “Up” portion, however, this is about the totallity of the team and for that reason we include this as a “Down”. FSU has relied on their offense to bail them out of several holes this season and without a consistent defensive approach, the stress of a full season will wear you out. Although he was only accountable for one earned run, Pollock’s elevated pitch count (98 pitches in six innings) was a result of him being forced into high leverage situations throughout the game. Again, we could have included him above.
  • The top-of-the-order bats, consisting of Steven Wells, Jackson Lueck, and Rhett Aplin, combined to go 2-for-10 with six strikeouts. Wells was one of four Seminoles to be held without a hit on the night.