After an emotional and record breaking victory on Saturday night the ‘Noles struggled to keep it competitive on Sunday afternoon, dropping the second game of the series by a 12-7 score.
- Big power early for the Noles. Jackson Lueck and Cal Raleigh each hit towering bombs in the top of the first to give FSU a 2-0 lead. Reese Albert would add a solo shot of his own in the third inning to tie the game after the ‘Noles were down a run. Cal would hit another solo homerun in the fourth to bring his season total to nine.
- It’s unfortunate but games like this happen. Thankfully FSU handled it the right way by emptying the bench. FSU used multiple freshmen pitchers (Shane Drohan was able to cut his ERA in half in his 1.2 innings of work) and pinch hit for many of their starters. Reps are important for a team to grow and while you never want a blow out they can provide opportunities for that growth. Those replacements did not make things easy for Clemson as they worked the count to create some scoring opportunities that resulted in a few runs. It also helps keep players like your catcher and bull pen healthy.
- Florida State won game one, assuring they would not be swept by Clemson and keeping their chances for a national seed alive.
- Rough start for Karp. His offense gave him a huge lift with two runs in the top of the first inning. Despite striking out two batters in the inning he allowed a single, a walk and a hit-by pitch to load the bases before allowing a two-run double that tied the game. His day would get worse as the Tigers led off the third inning with a single, an error by Drew Mendoza and then a three run homerun that gave Clemson a 6-3 lead. Another single and double allowed by Karp put runners at 2nd and 3rd with 0 outs. When his day was finally done he pitched only 3 innings, allowing 8 earned runs on 10 hits (4 XBH), striking out 2, while issuing 1 walk and also hit a batter.
- Defense wasn’t sharp. A ball that should have been caught in the outfield to lead off the 3rd inning was ruled a single but shouldn’t have been. An error my Mendoza in the same inning extended the inning as well. Mendoza made another errant throw in the 4th but a great leap and tag by Aplin at first got the runner. Cal Raleigh sailed a throw into center field in the 4th inning but fortunately Ahearn was able to induce the next batter to ground out. Another throwing error in the 5th extended Clemson’s to 11-4 and the game was all but over.
- The bullpen struggled. With the game out of hand Mike Martin turned to some of the lesser used arms on the pitching staff. Tyler Ahearn relieved Karp and allowed 3 earned runs in 1.1 innings pitched on only two hits, but he also walked two and had two wild pitches.
The series finale is Monday night on ESPN2 beginning at 7 PM.