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3 Up 3 Down: No. 13 Florida State sweeps Mercer in Tallahassee

‘Noles brought out the ‘boom stick’ Sunday afternoon.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State (10-0) remained undefeated on the season after a 5-1 victory Sunday afternoon against Mercer. They’ve yet to play a midweek game due to weather, but, hopefully, the Seminoles will play their scheduled game against North Florida on Wednesday, before opening conference play next weekend when they host Virginia Tech.

3 Up:

  • All five runs scored by the Seminoles on Sunday came via a home run. Two of the four came off the bat of Drew Mendoza, giving him five through ten games (the Junior third baseman only had seven last season). He now has a cool 1.000 slugging percentage on the season. Cooper Swanson homered for the third game in a row and is making a strong case to be in the lineup every day. Freshman Elijah Cabell continues to impress, as he belted his third homer this year.
  • The bullpen was needed early, once again, and they continue to impress. A group of four relievers combined for 5.2 innings to preserve the win. The only run allowed came on two hits given up by Chase Haney in the eighth inning. Conor Grady had the best performance on the day, throwing 2.2 scoreless innings, including working out of a bases-loaded, one out jam he inherited from Shane Drohan in the fourth inning. Clayton Kwiatkowski and J.C. Flowers both pitched perfect innings and contributed three strikeouts to give Florida State pitchers 11 on the day (seven looking), a season-high.
  • The defense finished the game (and the series) without an error. On the young season they’ve committed just two errors—in 2018, the Seminoles committed an error in half their first ten games and ten errors overall. Defense has long been an Achilles heel for the ’Noles; however, if the improvement continues, it’ll vastly improve FSU’s chances of postseason success.

3 Down:

  • Florida State changed its starting rotation after the last two weekends saw the No. 3 starting pitcher throw 3.2 and 1.0 innings, respectively, while allowing a combined eight runs. Sophomore LHP Shane Drohan moved into the weekend rotation and looked impressive through his first three frames, as he worked efficiently, throwing just 31 pitches. A walk, a single and another walk loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, ending Drohan’s day. He’ll undoubtedly get another shot in that role, but if his walk issues continue, Mike Martin should explore other options.
  • Flowers is having a really nice start to the season. but today was easily his worst game. The center fielder went hitless on the day in five at-bats, striking out in four of them. The junior was moved up to the second spot in the lineup on Saturday after Reese Albert’s injury news. If Flowers wants to stay in that spot, Sunday’s performance will need to be an aberration.
  • Four homeruns on the day is definitely impressive but an unusual number of at-bats were not of quality. On the day ‘Noles hitters struck out 13 times and only walked five times. Games like today’s happen and should be the exception as Florida State historically has one of the best walk to strikeout ratios in the country.