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Inside the box score: FSU tops USF behind complete team effort

FSU’s pitchers continue to pound the zone, while the hitters work counts / Haylee Blitch
  1. Last season, FSU’s pitching staff had a major issue with command and it was often what held them back. So far this season, the pitchers have pounded the zone with consistency, up and down through the staff. Last night, the ‘Noles allowed just three passes and zero over the last four innings of the game. Over the last 4.1 IP, Chase Haney, Jonah Scolaro, and Doug Kirkland combined to throw 42 strikes in 58 pitches. So far this season, FSU is walking just over three batters per game. It’s a small sample size, but it’s a large improvement from last years 4.18 BB/9. If the bullpen throws strikes, they’re going to be lights out all season long.
  2. FSU pitchers aren’t just throwing strikes, but they’re missing bats. USF picked up six hits last night, but most of them were softly hit balls that fell for bloopers or bounced for infield singles. The Seminoles didn’t allow an extra base hit on the night, this is also a tip of the cap to the defense. Robby Martin has done a good job tracking balls down in RF this year and Jackson Greene has taken away two bloop doubles with outstanding over the shoulder catches. Since his opening day drop, Reese Albert has flown around the outfield to snag some outs as well. So far this season, FSU pitching has given up just four extra base hits in four games to go along with a .147 opponent batting average.
  3. Last night was the best FSU has swung the bat so far this season. No, they didn’t put up 24 runs, but they put hard hit balls in play consistently through the night. The hitters only had eight hits on the night, but probably had ten other hard hit balls go right at USF fielders. Reese Albert was 0-5 last night, but he had three or four good pieces on the night by himself, as Junior mentioned post game. The only problems I had with FSU’s offense last night were the called third strikes and not putting the ball in play with a runner on third and less than two outs. Florida State left the bat on their shoulders for six strikeouts last night and struck out twice with a runner on third and less than two outs. When you put the ball in play (or at least swing), good things happen.
  4. So far this season, FSU has worked a nation high 10.09 BB/9 at the plate. Last night, FSU posted nine and made USF pitchers work all night, as the Bulls tossed 186 pitches on the mound. The target mark for a pitcher is 15 pitches per inning, last night FSU made USF pitchers work 23.5 pitches per inning. On the season, FSU is making pitchers throw 23 pitches per inning. These rates will go down, but the at-bats since opening day have been a majority of quality at-bats, even if they haven’t produced great results.

It was a complete-team effort for FSU last night, and Mike Martin Jr. was extremely pleased with the play of his team in his postgame presser.