Despite being outhit by Stetson, FSU baseball (25-14) put up just enough runs to beat the visiting Hatters 9-8. Florida State once against struggled in the field and on the mound but got a win it greatly needed as the ’Noles moved up four spots to 61 in the RPI.
- Obviously the offense was the big up. Mike Salvatore led the charge from the two spot, going 3-4 with a double, but Matheu Nelson had the best day at the plate. The freshman went 2-3 with a double and home run, scoring twice and accounting for two of FSU’s nine RBI. It was a full team effort, as FSU recorded nine runs on 10 hits, despite the Seminoles not working a walk and Stetson not recording an error.
- J.C. Flowers has really upped his draft stock this year. While the junior does not have a great average, he has added more pop to his bat and his potential as a pitcher is certainly intriguing. Flowers went 1-3 at the plate with two runs scored and recorded the save on 1.1 innings of work. He did give up a base hit and hit a batter but also came in with runners on second and third and two outs and induced a fly out on an 0-2 pitch.
- Antonio Velez is starting to gain the confidence of the coaching staff. The junior only pitched to three batters but did a very good job of mixing in his fastball with a nasty breaking ball, recording two outs via the strikeout. He did give up a double on a slicing liner to left field but has now pitched solidly in his last four appearances. While none of those outings have been longer than an inning, Velez might be in line for extended work.
- It’s the same old, same old for the Florida State defense. This is now the sixth consecutive game FSU has recorded an error, and five of those six have been multi-error games. FSU committed four errors allowing for two runs against the Hatters, and these are not rushed errors. Reese Albert overran a fly ball to right field, Nico Baldor was unable to properly field his position and was late getting to the bag, Nander de Sedas was unable to flip the ball to Baldor, and Baldor was unable to handle a ground ball hit at his chest. Frankly, Baldor should not be playing first. His team does not make it easy for him, but he also has no clue what he’s doing. This is not his fault but rather the fault of the coaching staff for putting him in this position.
- Conner Grady has fallen back to earth. After a few good appearances, Grady has looked very iffy. He gave up two runs against Virginia on Saturday and could have given up more considering how hard the Cavaliers were hitting him and then lasted just one inning against Stetson. Grady was one of four pitchers to give up a run against Stetson, as the Hatters tallied 13 hits on the day. FSU just does not have the requisite talent on the mound as fans have become accustomed to seeing opponents crush mid-80s fastballs that are belt high. The one bright spot is that FSU pitchers struck out 13 Hatters and only walked two.
- This has been a particularly bad week for Drew Mendoza. Consistent issues in the field, although he did make a very nice throw from his backside in this game, have now been combined with poor at bats. He now has just two hits in his last 17 at bats, along with eight strikeouts and four walks. FSU needs better production from Mendoza if it wants to continue its march toward the post season.
Florida State returns to the diamond Wednesday at 4 pm to take on Stetson once more.