Florida State blew separate four and three-run leads Saturday night in a one-run loss to North Carolina State. The Wolfpack hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to win, 9-8, and stay undefeated on the season, while the ’Noles dropped their third straight game.
- Leadoff hitter Mike Salvatore hit for the cycle, as he singled and scored in the first, drove in a run with a triple in the second and hit a game-tying double in the fourth. The homerun he needed came in the eighth inning as the Seminoles clung to a one-run lead, a two-run shot that pushed the lead to three. The second baseman finished the game 4 for 5 with three runs scored, and four runs driven in.
- The Seminoles ended the threat of another shutout early on Saturday night with a 2-run homerun off the bat of Drew Mendoza, his sixth of the season. JC Flowers added two hits and continues to have a solid junior season with an on-base percentage of .429 (great at the bottom of the lineup). Nine-hole hitter and catcher Matheu Nelson contributed nicely, as he scored two runs and reached base in three of his four plate appearances.
- Florida State chased North Carolina State’s starting pitcher in the top of third with no outs. The Wolfpack lefty faced just thirteen batters on the night. The next pitcher for the ‘Pack lasted only 1.2 innings before surrendering a game-tying double. The Seminoles’ lineup fared much better than Friday night when they struck out 12 times and walked just twice; nine walks against only seven strikeouts on Saturday gave FSU plenty of scoring opportunities.
- Coaching has to shoulder the blame for Florida State’s performance over the last three games. It all starts in the offseason with Florida State’s inability to recruit and develop players at a championship level. That was evident, once again Saturday night, as the bullpen couldn’t get the job done in the 2.2 innings of relief. They surrendered only two hits, but they allowed five free passes, which is totally inexcusable. Once again, the Seminoles have very few options in high-leverage situations, constantly relying on the same arms, arms which haven’t been consistently dependable.
- Starting pitching for the Seminoles has been lackluster this season. After the worst start of Drew Parrish’s career Friday night, CJ Van Eyk couldn’t hold the four-run lead his offense gave him entering the bottom of the second. The sophomore allowed a two-run single, followed by a two-run HR, which tied the game. He then gave the Pack their first lead in the third on a two-out RBI single. He did manage to put together a decent start by striking out nine, while walking just three, but for Florida State to be competitive this season, the ’Noles needs more out of their number two.
- After a stellar defensive start to the season (the ’Noles committed just two errors in their first 11 games), Florida State has committed nine errors in its last three games (three more Saturday) and 12 in the last six games. When two of the three components of your team aren’t getting the job done, it makes it hard to win games, especially against top teams.
The Seminoles will look to salvage the series and win at least one game this afternoon at 1 PM.