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3 up, 3 down: No. 16 FSU baseball drops series finale to Miami

The Seminoles’ loss puts a hold on Mike Martin’s quest to become college baseball’s winningest coach.

Florida State Steve Johnson

While a crowd of nearly 5,400 fans crowded into Dick Howser Stadium on Sunday afernoon to potentially witness history, the No. 16 Seminoles ultimately came up short in their 11-5 series finale loss against Miami. The Hurricanes torched Florida State for 11 runs on 13 hits, and put a hold on FSU head coach Mike Martin’s quest for 1,976 college baseball wins, a feat that would put him in the record books as the winningest coach in college baseball history.

Three up:

  • The bottom half of the Seminoles’ lineup took advantage of early scoring opportunities, bringing in three runs in the 2nd inning to take a 3-1 lead over the Hurricanes. Drew Mendoza began the inning by drawing a walk, Steven Wells moved him over to second with a single, and Nick Derr drew a walk to load the bases up with no outs. Mendoza scored off a wild pitch, Reese Albert brought in Wells through a single, and Rafael Bournigal grounded into a double play that brought Derr home for the third run of the inning.
  • Florida State was able to take advantage of three wild pitches thrown today to get runners into scoring position and put some numbers on the board. One aforementioned pitch brought Mendoza home to score in the 2nd inning, who also took advantage of another wild pitch in the 6th inning to move from second to first. The last one came from Miami reliever Frankie Bartow in the 8th inning, and first baseman Rhett Aplin was able to advance to second from first following a walk. This type of opportunistic base-running can and will serve the ’Noles well going forward, especially in games that are close where every run matters.
  • While it was too little too late, FSU was able to pick up a pair of runs in the 9th inning and load the bases before a deep fly-out from Mendoza ended his team’s rally. Several pinch hitters for the Seminoles were able to pick up hits and eventually load the bases up with two outs, where Aplin singled and brought home two runs that gave some hope for fans in Tallahassee. Catcher Cal Raleigh worked his way on first through a walk to load the bases once again, and a blast from Mendoza appeared for some time to be a potential shot that could clear the bases before Hurricanes center fielder Michael Burns got under it for the final out of the game.

Three down:

  • Miami’s starting pitcher Andrew Cabezas and their bullpen got the best of the Seminoles lineup today. Through eight innings, FSU accrued just five hits and three runs for the contest, with only one of those runs coming from a hit, until a productive 9th inning brought in two more runs. An aforementioned wild pitch that brought Mendoza home and a Bournigal double play that brought Derr home were the only other runs the ’Noles could muster before the 9th inning today. While strikeouts weren't necessarily an issue, after yesterday’s impressive 10-run performance the Garnet & Gold’s bats were not able to come alive today when they needed to.
  • Today’s game was one that Florida State’s bullpen would surely like to learn from and put past them. Battling an illness going into today’s game, starting pitcher Andrew Karp was only able to throw for just an inning and change, after which Martin began pulling players from his bullpen. Unfortunately, this is where things began unraveling for the Seminoles, as Karp’s replacement in Jonah Scolaro would face trouble in the 5th inning. After throwing for two solid innings of relief, Scolaro gave up a three-run home run to Miami that erased FSU’s 2 run lead. From that point forward, the ’Noles would trail for the remainder of the game as each of the four pitchers that saw action following Scolaro would give up at least two hits and a run, with the exception of 1.1 innings of relief from junior RHP Cobi Johnson.
  • Seven of the 11 total runs Florida State gave up today to the Hurricanes came from the 5th and 6th innings, where a combination of errors and less-than-stellar pitching put the game out of reach for the Garnet & Gold. In the 5th, Scolaro gave up a one-out single followed by a hit-by-pitch, which left two runners on base to score following an ensuing three-run home-run from Miami catcher Isaac Quinones. After giving up another single, Scolaro was pulled and replaced by freshman LHP Austin Pollock, who was able to get out of the jam after earning two more outs via a slick pick-off move and a strikeout. However, Pollock would struggle in the 6th inning after giving up a walk and a single, where both runners would move up a base following a sacrifice bunt. Following an intentional walk that loaded up the bags in hopes for a double-play, Pollock gave up another run via a walk before being replaced by freshman RHP Conor Grady. After yet another walk, a grounder to FSU shortstop Mike Salvatore was misplaced and bounced past him, which gave Miami two more runs before Grady was able to work his way out of the inning. These two underwhelming innings ultimately put the series sweep, and a shot at history for Martin, out of reach.

Going forward, Florida State will look to learn from today’s loss and prepare for their next series against No. 12 Clemson on the road, which is set to begin on Saturday, May 5th.