Florida State (17-6) took Sunday’s game 3-1 over Notre Dame (9-12) in 10 innings behind a strong pitching performance. FSU needed this win to gain a bit of momentum, but it’s also important to win any series in which you’re favored.
- For the second time in as many days Florida State got a great starting pitching performance. Shane Drohan threw 5.1 innings of one run, one hit ball while striking out six. His only blemish was four walks (a consistent issue), but he was able to do enough to keep Notre Dame off the board. This comes a week after allowing just one run against NC State in five innings. FSU desperately needs somebody to step forward on the mound and maybe they’ve found a reliable Sunday starter.
- Continuing the theme, Conor Grady threw 3.1 innings of no hit ball striking out five and walking zero. Unlike Drohan, Grady’s last outing was one to forget, as he gave up three runs while only facing three batters, so bouncing back against the Irish was imperative. Grady allowed one of Drohan’s two inherited runners to score, but he was able to maintain the 1-1 tie until FSU finally broke through in the tenth.
- There wasn’t much offense on Sunday, but OF Reese Albert was key in the win. The sophomore should be a key part of this offense and a leader in years to come, so having him bounce-back from injury and going 2-5 with a run scored is great. He was the only Seminole with multiple hits on the day.
- FSU was only able to score a run in nine innings against Notre Dame. They were able to stay patient at the plate, drawing five walks, but they struck out 11 times and only added five hits. The ’Noles were able to put up two runs in the top of the tenth with two outs, but that’s because the Irish committed consecutive costly errors. Freshman SS Nander De Sedas had a day to forget, striking out three times in four plate appearances.
- J.C. Flowers has been a revelation this year. Looking for a closer, the Seminoles were able to find one in center field. Flowers has always had good stuff, but his lack of control kept him off the mound. So far this year, Flowers has five saves in eight appearances and has yet to give up a run. That almost changed in the bottom of the tenth. Flowers walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, had a passed ball and then walked the next batter on five pitches. Thankfully, he rebounded and retired the next three batters without conceding a run. The Irish did FSU (and Flowers) a major service by bunting with those runners on first and second and zero outs while down 3-1 (bunts usually can help a team score one run, but they limit the possibility of scoring multiple runs).
- The bottom of the lineup was a black hole for FSU. Nander de Sedas, Nico Baldor, and Matheu Nelson went 0-12 with no walks and six strikeouts. Not much is going to be expected from this part of the order, but more should be expected of your first baseman and hot-shot shortstop. Frankly, this is kind of nit-picky. The rest of the order didn’t exactly light it up and these things happen. Florida State needs to figure out who is going to play first base as neither Baldor nor Cooper Swanson seem to separate themselves defensively and Baldor is hitting .157 with a .216 slugging while Swanson is hitting .238 and slugging .619.
Florida State meets rival Florida in Jacksonville on Tuesday at 6 pm, before hosting Boston College for a three-game series next weekend.