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Three up, three down: FSU drops game, series to Notre Dame

For the second night in a row the FSU pen gave up late runs to collect the loss

Jackson Baumeister
@FSUBaseball Twitter

Tallahassee, FL - On a three game losing streak it looked like Florida State finally got the hit they so desperately needed to stop the slide but they couldn’t hold on long enough for the win. Through their now four game losing streak FSU really has only itself to blame. Notre Dame took an early lead in the second aided by a hit by pitch and it could have been worse if not for a strike out and ground out to end the inning. The ‘Noles bounced back with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning off of a walk and two singles. A home run followed by two more HBPs in the fourth ended Bryce Hubbart’s day earlier than Seminole fans would like.

Jackson Baumeister entered the game and pitched 3.2 excellent innings striking out five and surrendering just one walk. FSU took advantage of this by scoring three runs in the seventh to take the lead off of a walk, HBP of their own and singles by Tyler Martin and Colton Vincent but the struggles of the pen reared their ugly head again. After starting the inning with a three pitch strike out Wyatt Crowell gave up a 3-1 walk and a 3-1 double resulting in a run and bringing in Davis Hare. Hare finished the inning without any further damage but started the ninth with a 0-2 HBP. Jonah Scolaro came in and promptly walked the first batter he saw. ND tried to sacrifice bunt and Scolaro went to a full count before inducing a swinging bunt. A strike out had FSU just one out away from a two run win but a high chopper up the middle plated a run as Jackson Greene struggled to get the ball out of his glove and threw high to home. FSU would be unable to reach base in the ninth and lose 5-4.

Game Thread

Box Score

Two up

Baumeister’s big day

Jackson Baumeister has grown with each appearance. Tonight was his best night of the season. The freshman would enter in relief in the fourth and shut down the Notre Dame bats with two runners on base. Baumeister cruised from there with a final line of 3.2 IP, 0 H, 5 K, 1 BB. Baum would be most impressive in his last inning, striking out all three of the Irish batters that inning.

Vincent shows his worth

Colton Vincent has been quite good behind the plate but his work at the plate has left something to be desired. Vincent has made some good contact but too often hit balls at defenders and his average has suffered. Finally though he is breaking through. Vincent had what should have been the game winning single in the seventh on his 2-4 and has had at least one hit in nine of the last ten games. FSU isn’t looking for much at the plate from Vincent but lately it’s been getting much more than expected.

Three down

Hubbart’s short outing

When FSU’s starting rotation is on, they are one of the best in the nation. Today was not one of those days. Hubbart began today’s game as he had most starts this season with a 1-2-3 inning. From there, it was a labor for the Seminole’s Saturday starter. In the second, Hubbart surrendered a run after loading the bases. He finished strong with a key strikeout and groundout and appeared to find his footing with another 1-2-3 third. But the sophomore would not be able to escape the fourth, allowing a lead-off homer to Carter Putz and then plunking two out of the next three batters. Coach Mike Martin Jr. had decided that was enough and pulled Hubbart for Jackson Baumeister.

The pen struggles again

Entering into the season the ‘Noles expected to rely heavily on starting pitching and their pen. Half of that equation has lived up to it’s billing but the pen has been a major disappointment. Scolaro and Crowell have been major disappointments to this point in the season. The talent and ability are certainly there as often times they completely mow down batters but these are two crucial pieces of the pen that have too much inconsistency for FSU to be the team they want to be. Both pitchers walked one batter in an inning or less of work. In this game Scolaro was bit by a bit of bad luck as he gave up two runs, one technically unearned although Greene’s throw from second would have been quite difficult even if he didn’t bobble the ball, without the ball leaving the infield but he also contributed to that with a walk. With the benefit of hindsight maybe Davis Hare was pulled early as he hit a batter on a 0-2 count and started the next batter with a ball but maybe he gives up the lead just as easily. Baumeister’s work on the day is encouraging and maybe it’s time to put more of the younger pitchers in these high leverage situations.

Up next: After losing it’s first series of the year FSU tries to avoid the sweep at the hands of Notre Dame Sunday at 1:00.