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3 up, 3 down: No. 9 FSU drops another one-run game to No. 5 Texas Tech

‘Noles produce just two hits as Texas Tech comes from behind again.

For the second straight day, No. 9 Florida State dropped a one-run game to No. 5 Texas Tech. FSU had a late-inning lead for the second day in a row, but couldn’t keep the lead as a home run and shaky defense doomed the ‘Noles. In the end, the visitors held on for a 4-3 victory. FSU’s next game will be at Mercer on Tuesday at 6:00 PM, before starting conference play at Duke.

Three up

  • After a slow start to the weekend, Elijah Cabell broke out with his fourth home run of the season. In the fifth inning, with two runners on and down two, Cabell flipped the switch on Texas Tech with one swing of the bat. On a 2-0 pitch, Cabell was looking for one pitch, and he unloaded on it for his third opposite-field homer of the season. When he sits back and lets his hands work, the backside power comes easily for the sophomore. He does his most damage when he’s not trying to pull the ball. When he keeps his front shoulder closed and makes contact, it seldomly works out well for the opponent:
  • Logan Lacey made the first start of his FSU career and made a big difference in the field. Lacey got the start in RF as Robby Martin DH’d to rest his legs. The JUCO-transfer came to FSU as an 3B and RHP, but has tried catcher, second, and RF. The righty has been up to 96 MPH on the mound, so he fits the mold in RF with a big arm. In the second inning, he tracked down a blooper that looked destined to fall. In the fourth inning, he made a leaping catch against the wall, before doubling off the runner at first with a laser throw. He also cut-off a hard-hit ball from Brian Klein, limiting him to a leadoff single. Lacey gives FSU another option in the OF (and the ability to give the OF’s some rest).
  • Antonio Velez was efficient and effective out of the FSU pen. The senior worked 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk. Velez also struck out two batters while throwing just 32 pitches. So far this season, Velez has allowed only five baserunners and one run in 8.2 innings of work, while striking out 12. The LHP has proven he can be used anytime.

Three down

  • Conor Grady wasn’t bad today, but he wasn’t his usual self. A lot of that can be contributed to the talent and game-plan of Texas Tech. The Red Raiders looked to be making Grady beat them with his fastball, while taking his offspeed offerings. The RHP often gets a lot of strikes on swings outside the zone, but he produced just five swing-and-misses after the first inning. The junior entered the day with just one walk in 10 innings, but he walked three batters in the third and fourth innings alone. Grady also allowed his second homer of the year, as Cole Stilwell unloaded on a hanging slider.
  • However, Grady didn’t get much help from his defense, as has been the case for most of the season. In the second inning, the righty had to get five outs after a dropped third strike and an error. With men on the corners and one out, Grady got a double play ball, but Carter Smith made an errant throw to second after tagging first base, extending the inning and allowing a run to score. A misplayed fly ball by Cabell, and a passed ball from Matheu Nelson brought in the winning run for the Red Raiders.
  • Besides walks/hit batters, there wasn’t much offense. The Seminoles produced just two hits. The ‘Noles were working walks, but couldn’t move men over or get them in. FSU left eight men on base (1-10 with runners on). Florida State went just 2-29 overall. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other pitching staff. Texas Tech likely has the most powerful pitching staff in the country. Almost every guy TTU threw on the mound this weekend had 95+ in the tank.