Clemson, SC - A couple of freshman were huge in the clutch and Bryce Hubbart bounced back after a rough first inning to help lead the Florida State baseball team over Clemson, 4-3.
The Clemson bats started off hot with back-to-back home runs in the first inning from Blake Wright and Max Wagner. The Seminoles bats were relatively quiet until a breakthrough in the fifth when FSU plates three and took the lead. Jordan Carrion and Brett Roberts would both pick up RBI singles in the frame. Hubbart settled in and kept the Tiger bats off the board until the sixth when Max Wagner struck again. The Clemson third baseman kept up his torrid series with another home run, his fourth in two games, to tie the game at three. Hubbart would retire the next two Tigers before Conner Whittaker was called in to finish the sixth.
Coach Mike Martin Jr’s decision to pinch hit James Tibbs in the seventh paid game winning dividends. The freshman crushed an offering over the right field fence to break the tie and give FSU the lead for good, 4-3. Whittaker held the mound until the end, keeping the Clemson bats and Wagner off the board.
Hubbart comes back
The start of the game was ominous with Clemson batters jumping on Hubbart’s arsenal in the first. But the sophomore gathered himself and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard even without his best stuff. Hubbart failed to record a strikeout but still threw a solid line of 5.2 IP, 7H, 3 R, 1 BB.
Martin makes the moves
Making the right personnel decisions can be one of the most difficult parts of being a baseball manager. Martin has not always made calls that paid off, but today everything fell into place. Meat went to Conner Whittaker mid-count in the sixth and the freshman responded with a strikeout. Then Martin followed that move up with pinch hitting James Tibbs in the seventh. Tibbs rewarded the decision with the game winning play. As much as we comment on the growth of this team, the growth of Martin is just as important.
The pen shows last night was an anomaly
Davis Hare’s grand evening last night was a break away from the recent norm for the Seminole bullpen. The relief arms have been a strength and seeing FSU cough up the lead was shocking. Conner Whittaker brought back the pride of the pen with 3.1 scoreless innings which included three strikeouts and inducing a foul out by Wagner.
The strikeouts are back
After a recent run of low strikeout games from FSU batters, the offense has fanned in double digits in two straight. The Seminoles offense and team as a whole looks their best when they are striking out less. Seems like a no-brainer but good things happen when the ball is out in play.
The veterans are lost at the plate
Logan Lacey and Alex Toral are the senior leaders of the FSU offense but they are stuck in neutral currently. The two combined to go 0/4 with four strikeouts. Martin will stick with his players he trusts but a day off might be good for the pair.
Up Next: FSU and Clemson will vie for the series win tomorrow at 1:00 PM.