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3 up, 3 down: No. 12 FSU baseball completes sweep of Cincinnati

Bring out the brooms! / Haylee Blitch

Florida State picked up its first sweep of the season with a 10-1 win victory over Cincinnati on Sunday. The Seminoles didn’t really do much on their own today, but you’ll take a sweep any way you can. The ‘Noles produced just five hits and had four errors on the afternoon. Cincinnati handed the ‘Noles 13 free passes. On the other side, Seminole pitchers continued to pound the zone, as they allowed just three walks, while striking out 10. The Seminoles have now won six straight games and will hit the road for the first time this season as they travel to Jacksonville Tuesday.

Three Up

  • Make it three straight days in the number one spot for Elijah Cabell. The sophomore blasted his third home run in as many days with a grand slam in the fourth inning. Cabell used the back side of the field, once again, as he sent one well over the RF fence. For the second straight day, he sent a ball 420+ feet. When he uses the opposite field, it keeps his shoulder from flying open and allows him to drive the ball with all his raw strength. On the weekend, Cabell posted 11 RBI to bring his season total up to a team-high 15 through seven games. The outfielder also leads the team with 12 runs. If he continues to produce like this, FSU should have a productive season.
  • Conor Grady didn’t have his best stuff today, but still produced the best outing of any FSU starter this weekend. The junior was the first starter to toe the rubber in the fifth inning, as he posted five innings of one-run ball. If it weren’t for a couple FSU errors forcing him to throw ten extra pitches, the junior potentially could’ve gone longer. Grady consistently worked ahead of hitters on Sunday, but struggled in some two-strike counts. The only blemish on his day came on a 2-strike HR from Griffin Merritt. Grady allowed just three hits and one walk, while striking out six. The RHP also tossed 65.1% strikes on the outing.
  • Like Cabell, the bullpen is becoming a consistent theme in three-up. Four FSU pitchers combined to shut down the Bearcats over the final four frames. LHP Bryce Hubbart worked around a walk and a single for a scoreless inning after inducing three pop ups. LHP Parker Messick produced a scoreless inning despite a one-out double. LHP Jonah Scolaro got out of a jam with two strikeouts after FSU’s fourth error. RHP Brandon Walker put the finishing touches on the weekend with a scoreless 9th inning, including two K’s. The pen combined to throw four innings, allowing just three hits and a walk.

Three Down

  • In the first three innings, FSU could barely put bat to ball. Despite scoring a run in the first, the ‘Noles didn’t put the ball in play until the third inning. After just three innings, Florida State had struck out seven times. Three of those K’s came with runners on base, as FSU couldn’t capitalize on five free-passes from Drake Batcho. The walks are good, but when FSU starts to face ACC pitchers, they’ll need to put the ball in play at a higher rate to do damage.
  • After a leadoff walk in the fourth inning, Cincy brought in Ben Vore, who immediately allowed a free pass on five pitches. However, on his next pitch, Nander De Sedas attempted a sacrifice bunt which went foul. Vore looked shaky and rattled out of the pen, but instead of making him get an out, FSU took pressure off him by laying down a bunt. Once De Sedas got the bunt down, it was unsuccessful, as the catcher picked it up and threw to third for the force out. Vore’s day ended after four more free-passes; the only out he recorded was on the attempted sacrifice. I understand the reasoning behind trying to move two runners into scoring position with just one out, but in my opinion, this wasn’t the right time or place, especially with a hitter who struggles to consistently lay down good bunts.
  • FSU’s porous defense continued with another multi-error performance. In the first inning, Carter Smith extended the inning with an errant throw to first base. The error cost Grady five extra pitches, but didn’t result in a run. In the fifth inning, a hard one-hopper ate up De Sedas for his 6th error this season and cost the RHP another five pitches, as he had to essentially get four outs. De Sedas added his 7th error of the season in the 8th inning, as he overran a grounder. Florida State hasn’t had an error-free game this season and today marked the third straight game with at least three errors. This team will not win many games against ACC competition if the defense cannot improve.