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Inside the box score: FSU picks up first win of the season behind clutch hitting

Florida State produced nine two-out hits on Saturday

Brett Nevitt
  1. FSU could barely hit on Friday night, especially with two outs in the inning. The clutch hits were nowhere to be found as they lost a 3-1 ball game. The offense responded early and often on Saturday. The ‘Noles were 9-17 while hitting with two outs in game two of the series, while driving in 12 two-out RBI’s. If they continue to hit with two outs or two strikes, the hitting will get where it needs to be this year. RBI’s win baseball games, two-out RBI’s win championships.
  2. On Friday, the situational hitting was just not there for FSU. They left runners at 2nd and 3rd after getting there with one or less outs and couldn’t move runners from bag to bag without the help of errors. Yesterday, FSU moved runners at a high rate and capitalized on the opportunities with runners in scoring position. Florida State converted four out of the five times that a runner got to third base with less than two outs, good for 80% of the time. They also moved runners over in 26-36 (72.2%) at-bats possible If they can keep their rates around those numbers, they’ll be in for a productive season. So, you can see one game doesn’t define a baseball team. Things flipped from Friday to Saturday, now FSU needs to keep going with the same approach they had yesterday.
  3. On the mound, Florida State gave up just 5 hits while striking out 12 batters on Saturday. Seminole pitchers still gave up a good bit of baserunners as they combined to walk four batters, but they stranded those runners for the most part. Outside of a double allowed by Shane Drohan and a homer by Dylan Simmons, FSU’s pitching staff held the Purple Eagles nearly hitless with runners aboard. Jimmy Belanger’s 6 pitchers combined to hold Niagara to 2-16 hitting with runners on base Saturday. Being able to work effectively with runners on base out of the stretch is a key to minimizing damage in an inning.