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Three up, three down: FSU baseball blows four-run lead, swept by Pitt in extras

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Terrible start to ACC play.

FSU sports information

Florida State baseball dropped their third straight game to Pitt today by a score of 9-7. The ‘Noles held a 7-3 lead in the 7th inning, but couldn’t close the Panthers out. The Seminoles did damage on the scoreboard today behind their power bats in the top of the order. FSU had only six hits, but they walked 12 times. The Seminoles also had their second error-free game of the week. Pitt wanted it more than FSU and outplayed the Seminoles all weekend. Today’s loss marked the first time FSU has been swept in a three-game series since 2017.

Three up

  • Florida State was looking for a spark in the lineup to get them going. Matheu Nelson was the spark for FSU today, and has been a few times this season already. Nelson blasted a 2-0 fastball over the trees in right-center field. The two-run homer got FSU on the scoreboard and they never looked back from there. The homer was the Seminoles’ first homer of the week and Nelson’s third of the season. Nelson also worked a walk and scored twice as the leadoff hitter today. Through six games, the catcher has four extra-base hits, seven RBI, and is hitting .300. FSU’s backstop has been a leader for the ‘Noles through two weekends.
  • Davis Hare was at his best today. His final line had two earned runs in just 2.2 IP, but he was dominant. Hare came into the game with two runners on and no outs. He struck out the next three batters to end the inning. The next inning, he retired the Panthers in order on eight pitches. He retired his first two batters in his third inning of work, but a single and a walk ended his day. A bloop double ended up scoring both the runners he left on board. When Hare is on with his splitter like he was today, he’s nearly un-hittable. It was the best outing of his short FSU career so far, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out four.
  • Elijah Cabell struggled on Friday, but has put together back-to-back nice days at the plate since. Cabell ran into a ball for the first time this season and he absolutely crushed it. The slugger sent a laser beam well over the trees in dead center for a two-run homer to extend FSU’s lead to four. The ball left the bat at 114 MPH and traveled 489 feet. Cabell’s bat is as powerful as anyone in the country. Cabell punched a single just out of the reach of the SS for his second hit of the game in the 12th inning. The outfielder also walked twice, while striking out just once.
  • Extra positive for extra innings: Bryce Hubbart is starting to look like the pitcher that the coaching staff expects him to be. Hubbart gave the Seminoles’ bats chance after chance to walk-off the game. The southpaw missed bats at a high rate with a dominant fastball in the 91-94 MPH range. Hubbart K’d nine batters in 4.1 innings of work. The second-year freshman picked up the loss, but provided FSU their best pitching performance of the season. He stepped up, but nobody else around him did. He walked two batters and gave up two runs on two hits.

Three down

  • Conor Grady wasn’t awful today, but he didn’t have his best stuff and put the Seminoles’ in a hole early. Grady gave up a leadoff double to start the day, before a two-out single and homer made it an early three-run deficit. The veteran bounced back with three straight scoreless innings, despite giving up two more leadoff doubles. He left the game with two runners on and no outs in the fifth, but was helped out by the pen. Grady’s final line was 4+ IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K’s, and 76 P (52 S). Four of the six hits he gave up went for extra bases. Grady was good enough today to give the Seminoles a chance to win, but has to keep the ball down in the zone more often to stay away from hard contact.
  • The bottom of FSU’s order was non-existent today. With Tyler Martin out, the Seminoles were shortened on the back-end of the lineup. Nander De Sedas, Logan Lacey, Casey Asman, and Vince Smith combined to go 1-24 with three walks. The Seminoles need more depth in their lineup to be able to consistently put pressure on teams.
  • FSU’s veteran arms weren’t good enough today. Scolaro allowed a two-run double in the seventh to cut the Seminoles’ lead in half. The ball wasn’t hit very hard and mis-played by Cabell to make it a double, but the southpaw’s job is to put away left-handed hitters and he didn’t get the job done. Chase Haney came into the game in the ninth with a two-run lead. He hit the leadoff man, Pitt’s nine-hole hitter, before hanging a 74-MPH slider, which Nico Popa drove off the scoreboard to tie the game. Haney threw eight pitches, just four strikes, and got one out while blowing the lead. If FSU can’t rely on their veterans in big situations, they’re in deep, deep trouble.