Florida State (14-5) lost tonight at the hands of the Knights (16-5) by a 9-7 score. Poor pitching early and the offense not cashing in on multiple opportunities now leaves the ‘Noles with four losses in their past five games.
- The offense wore down UCF’s starting pitcher, the right-hander lasted only 3.1 innings allowing seven singles, three walks and a HBP. The Seminoles loaded the bases four separate times through the first five innings, constantly putting pressure on Knights pitching. FSU trailed most of the night but the offense always kept battling back and chipping away which included another bases loaded situation in the ninth inning and one out. They unfortunately came up short and were not able to produce in timely situations despite finishing the evening with 11 hits and 10 walks.
- Florida State committed 10 errors last week after starting the season as one of the best defenses in the country. Despite a throwing error in the fourth by Mendoza that allowed a unearned run to score the defense played solid behind it’s pitching staff. Drew Mendoza was charged with an error in the 5th inning but he made a play that saved the ball from going down the line for extra bases. His throw drew the first baseman off the bag allowing the runner to reach safely. However, the third baseman did flash some leather to end the third with this web gem.
- Chase Haney did his best job to keep Florida State within striking distance of Central Florida. He retired all 11 batters faced, striking out four. Keeping the Knights off the scoreboard for the latter third of the game is all you can ask for from a reliever.
- With two games on the schedule this week the Seminoles needed a started to give them some quality innings and Antonio Velez showed promise early. Through the first three innings the JUCO transfer faced the minimum, striking out four and allowing only a single hit that was wiped out on a double play. The second and third time through the order for the lefty were not kind as he only recorded four outs while giving up five hits and plunking a batter. He surrendered four runs, only two earned but left with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth.
- Relief pitching could not get the job done when it counted most. Jonah Scolaro took the mound in a high leverage situation with bases loaded and one out in the fourth. He balked, allowing a run to score before allowing two straight doubles that hit off the right and left field walls giving the ‘Noles a five run deficit at innings’ end. The performance speaks to the bigger issue that has plagued the Seminoles for years: their inability to recruit, develop and rely on multiple pitchers throughout the course of the season. FSU will hopefully change their strategy and approach when a new regime takes over in 2020.
- As mentioned above Florida State did an excellent job in the first half of the game getting runners on base. On the night, the ‘Noles loaded the bases six separate times but went a collective 1 for 9 with a single, two walks, sacrifice fly and seven strikeouts. In a night when the pitching staff struggled they needed better production as they finished with 15 strikeouts and no runs scored in the final four innings.
The Seminoles are back in action Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM when they play FIU.