Florida State baseball came alive late in the game for an 8-1 midweek win over the Mercer Bears tonight. The Seminoles were quiet for the most of the night, but broke out in the seventh inning with an eight-run inning to put the Bears away. The ‘Noles produced nine hits and five free passes while striking out eight times. FSU’s pitching staff bounced back with a dominant outing on the mound. The Seminoles allowed just three hits and walked only one batter.
- Jack Anderson tossed an absolute gem tonight. Anderson was facing a Mercer lineup that consisted of seven .290+ batting averages coming into the game. The right-handed pitcher threw 6.2 perfect innings of baseball before a two-out homer to Brandon Michie in the seventh inning. Other than that one swing, Anderson dominated. The Tampa native posted career-highs with 6.2 IP and six strikeouts. The RHP went to just one three-ball count the entire night. He induced 16 swing-and-misses and threw just 20 balls. The fastball was the firmest it’s been this year, sitting in the 90-93 MPH range. The slider was dominant at usual, inducing a high swing-and-miss rate with the 84-86 MPH breaker. Add in an effective changeup and he gave hitters little-to-no chance. Anderson has earned himself a lot more innings in FSU’s rotation. The third-year sophomore posted a final line of 6.2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 K’s, 1 R, 81 P (61 S). Anderson’s season ERA is down to 1.80.
- Elijah Cabell is starting to click, and as he goes, FSU goes. The strikeouts are still there, and they always will be, but it doesn’t matter when he’s producing. Cabell made it three straight games with a homer tonight. After a leadoff single from Robby Martin, Cabell deposited a two-strike breaking ball over the center-field wall for a two-run HR to give FSU a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. It was Cabell’s fourth homer of the year and his second no-doubter to center field. Cabell has the most raw power in college baseball.
3️⃣ straight games with a HR for Elijah Cabell! He gives us the lead.— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) March 31, 2021
B7 | Mercer 1, #18 FSU 2 pic.twitter.com/jCVK8WWCJ9
Cabell was the spark plug for a struggling offense that had 0 runs through six. After batting 12 and facing five Mercer pitchers, the ‘Noles had eight runs headed to the 8th. Reese Albert followed the homer with a line-shot for an opposite field single. Wyatt Crowell scored Albert with a laser to center field which got just out of the reach of Bill Knight in CF. The liner went for FSU’s first triple of the year. Vince Smith made it a three-run ball game with a productive sac-fly to center field. The lead was extended to four on a Tyler Martin two-out single up the middle. Martin came around to score on a WP, before Cabell came through with another multi-RBI knock. He shot a line drive right over the pitcher’s mound to extend FSU’s lead to 8-1. Cabell finished the night with 4 RBI and his season average is up to .293.
- Jackson Greene was in a major slump entering tonight’s game, hitting .109 on the season. Coming into the game, Greene was 0 for his last 23 at-bats and hadn’t produced a hit since game two of the Virginia Tech series. Greene quickly broke the hitless streak with a grounder through the left-side in the third inning. He followed it up with a line-shot, lead-off single in the sixth inning. Greene rose his average to .137 in the game. Despite the offensive struggles, he’s still been a major positive for FSU on the defensive side this year. He’s yet to make an error at second base through 18 games. Colton Vincent, who started in place of Matheu Nelson behind the plate, also had a good night at the bottom of the order. Vincent roped a double into the right-center field gap for a double in the third inning. It was his first career hit at FSU.
- FSU had a couple blunders on the base paths that likely cost them a couple early runs. Tyler Martin led off the first with a walk, but was quickly erased from the base paths. Mercer’s catcher Collin Price gunned down Martin on a back-pick to first. The pick led to a quick 1-2-3 inning to start FSU’s day. In the third inning, the Seminoles put two runners in scoring position with one out after a single and a double. Tyler Martin lined a ball to RF and Vincent immediately broke for third base. Mercer’s right fielder, Brandon Michie, was able to snag the ball at his feet and easily doubled off Vincent to end the inning scoreless. It took a run off the board for the ‘Noles and an RBI away from Martin.
- Tyler Ahearn relieved Anderson in the sixth with two outs. His first pitch, a 96-MPH FB, was ripped to RF for a single. Two pitches later, a slider was looped into LF for another single. The RHP was pulled for Kwiatkowski, who limited the damage to one with a bases-loaded strikeout. Ahearn went 9-up, 9-down the last time he toed the rubber. FSU needs him to be that shutdown arm the rest of the year.
- FSU was without three of their top seven hitters tonight. Matheu Nelson, Nander De Sedas, and Logan Lacey were all out tonight. Lacey was the only one of the three to warm up before the game. The Seminoles are yet to play a game with their full starting nine this year. Eight of nine projected starters have missed at least one game with an injury. The Seminoles have survived so far, but need to get away from the injury bug soon to reach their ceiling as a team.