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3 Up, 3 Down: No. 10 FSU embarrassed at No. 5 UF

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‘Noles blew a 6-run lead in an absolute meltdown in Gainesville.

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

In their first road game of the season the Florida State Seminoles saw their losing streak extend to nine games against the Florida Gators. FSU jumped out to a 6-0 lead after its turn at the plate in the 5th inning, but then the wheels came off, and the Seminoles were blown out 20-7 by the Gators in Gainesville. This was the most runs scored against Florida State since 1980.

3 Up

  • In a spot-start and on an obvious pitch count, RHP Conor Grady pitched three shutout innings. The Sophomore allowed three hits, walked two and struck out three on a total of 56 pitches (32 for strikes). The Seminoles are in desperate need of starting pitchers and if Grady can continue the success tonight he could be an option moving forward.
  • Big power in some big spots for the Florida State lineup. Drew Mendoza drove in the game’s first run with an opposite-field RBI double in first inning:

Then in the third, Nander De Sedas’ hit a massive shot to left, his third home-run on the season:

And FSU’s final bright moment came with bases loaded in the fifth and J.C. Flowers at the plate:

  • Given the ugly turn this game took it was nice to not have to listen to UF homers Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert on the broadcast. Fans were treated to some of the best in the business as Dave Neal handled play-by-play duties, while Kyle Peterson and Eduardo Perez served as analysts. Despite playing for Florida State, Perez is able to remain neutral in his commentary, while adding insight and humor to the history of Seminoles’ baseball.

3 Down

  • What can you say when you lose to your biggest rival nine consecutive games, especially in the humiliating fashion the Seminoles lost tonight? It’s at a point where Florida State has to be mentally defeated before the game even starts. As a fan, you hope this’ll be the team or the game where Florida State gets out of its own head and plays a game the Seminoles actually win, but they always find new and heartbreaking ways to lose. They have two games remaining against Florida this season, and Mike Martin desperately wants to avoid ending his illustrious career winless against UF in his last three-plus seasons.
  • Through the first 14 games of the season, the ’Noles committed just five errors, a vast improvement from past teams. In fact, this FSU team entered the contest leading the nation in fielding percentage. However, in the bottom of the fifth, it looked like the old FSU defense, as UF loaded the bases with a fielding error by Drew Mendoza, a mental error (by De Sedas/Salvatore) that was ruled a fielder’s choice on potential double-play grounder back to LHP Jonah Scolaro, and a walk. One batter later, a single to center and a throwing error by Flowers plated two runs for the Gators. LHP Clayton Kwiatkowski relieved Scolaro, and after recording a strikeout, he uncorked consecutive wild pitches, gifting the Gators two more runs without putting the ball in play. The defense actually got worse from there, as LHP Austin Pollack committed two errors on sacrifice bunts, and Robby Martin misplayed a ball hit to right field that could’ve been a single (double at the worst) and ended up a triple. He later added a throwing error that wasn’t called for some reason. While there were officially only 3 errors in the box score, there were around 10 mistakes made while the ’Noles were on defense.
  • The bullpen was dreadful all night. Scolaro pitched around a two-out walk in the fourth to throw a scoreless inning, but didn’t record an out in the fifth inning against five batters. As previously mentioned, Kwiatowski didn’t fare any better, as he recorded only one out, while throwing two wild pitches and giving up a free pass. Despite stopping the bleeding in the 5th inning, RHP Chase Haney had a terrible sixth in which he hit the first two batters he faced before allowing a “double” to center that was misplayed by Flowers, cutting the lead to 7-6 and moving runners to 2nd and 3rd with no outs. After an infield single tied the game 7-7, Mike Martin went to the bullpen, once again, summoning Pollack, arguably Florida State’s most ineffective pitcher. He would allow eight runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings.

GAME THREAD

BOX SCORE

The Seminoles make their first road series of the season this weekend as they travel to Raleigh to face North Carolina State.