No. 20 Florida State baseball (21-15, 15-12 ACC) topped Stetson (22-15, 8-4 ASUN) by a score of 9-5 Tuesday night. The Seminoles’ offense continued their hot stretch with 13 hits and eight free passes. Of FSU’s 13 hits, seven went for extra bases. The ‘Noles homered four times, making it seven straight games with a home run. On the mound, six relievers combined to allow one earned run in seven innings. The staff combined to walk just one batter while striking out 15.
- Nander De Sedas is starting to look like the hitter he was thought to be coming out of high school. Over the weekend, the shortstop was 4-9 with a homer, triple, five walks, four RBI, and five runs against Georgia Tech. It was the best weekend of his FSU career. De Sedas brought the hot streak back to Tallahassee. In the second inning, De Sedas launched a 3-1 fastball for a no-doubt homer over the left-field wall. The homer was De Sedas’ seventh of the year, giving FSU its first lead. In his next at-bat, the shortstop lined a single into left-field. De Sedas tied his career-high in hits (three) on a bloop single in the 8th inning. De Sedas now has a hit in six of his last seven games, including homers in two straight. In the last four games, the redshirt sophomore is 7-13 with six walks, six RBI, seven runs, two HR, and a triple.
- Once again, Matheu Nelson got off to a quick start. In the first inning, Nelson made it four straight games with a homer. On the second pitch he saw, the catcher lifted a sky-scraping fly ball to dead center, which carried over the wall for a solo shot. It was Nelson’s third first inning homer in the last four games and his 19th of the season (eight in the last 10 games).
The catcher has been just as dominant behind the plate. In the top of the 2nd, the catcher threw out a runner by about ten feet for the last out of the inning. The pop time was about 1.91. It was the 12th runner he’s thrown out, bringing his caught stealing percentage to 48%. Matheu Nelson is the best catcher in the country.
- Elijah Cabell is starting to kick it back into gear at the plate. After a pinch-hit homer on Sunday, Cabell looked to be in top form Tuesday evening. When Cabell is at his best, he’s using the opposite field. In the second inning, Cabell lined a one-out single into right, before scoring on De Sedas’ bomb. Two innings later, the outfielder joined the home run club. Cabell took advantage of a 2-1 slider over the plate and deposited it over the RF fence for a two-run homer, extending FSU’s lead to three. The homer was his 10th of the year. It was his third straight hit in as many at-bats, all of which went to the opposite field. In his last at-bat, Cabell lined a two-out single up the middle for a career-high three hits. When Cabell’s power comes to play, the Seminoles’ lineup is dangerous.
- Bonus: Robby Martin got in on the home run derby in the sixth inning. Martin made the Hatters pay for free passes. Tyler Martin led off the inning with a walk before Logan Lacey was hit by pitch. Martin went down low on a two-strike breaking ball and deposited the baseball over the right field fence, opening up a six-run lead. The homer was Martin’s ninth of the year and upped his RBI total to 42. The outfielder has multiple RBI in four of the last five games.
- Bonus: Tyler Ahearn bounced back in a big way today. After allowing four hits and not getting an out vs. the Yellow Jackets Sunday, Ahearn worked two easy innings against Stetson. In the third, the right-handed pitcher worked around a one-out single with two strikeouts for a scoreless frame. The next inning, he worked FSU’s first 1-2-3 inning with two more Ks. After not seeing action for 10 games, Ahearn has now thrown in three straight. He posted a final line of 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, and 4 K on just 29 pitches (20 strikes). The two scoreless innings lowered his ERA to 4.38. Ross Dunn was also good out of the pen, working 1.2 scoreless innings. Dunn has now worked six straight scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks, while striking out eight over his last six appearances. Wyatt Crowell worked a 1-2-3 eighth with a strikeout. And Andrew Armstrong closed it out, working around two singles by striking out the side to limit the damage to one unearned run in the 9th. FSU’s three freshmen southpaws combined for 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.
- Bonus: Isaiah Perry was inserted into the lineup for his first career start, playing center field and hitting eighth. Perry responded in a big way. In the fifth inning, the outfielder lined a fastball into right center field. The knock looked like a routine single, but Perry sped around first for a hustle double. He got to second in fewer than eight seconds for his first career extra base hit. In his next at-bat, he led off the seventh with another double. Perry will be a factor for the Seminoles moving forward, as his speed puts major pressure on opposing defenses.
- Carson Montgomery made his seventh career start on Tuesday. The outing got off to a bumpy start. Montgomery’s second pitch hit Andrew MacNeil. MacNeil scored on Montgomery’s next pitch as Kyle Ball doubled down the right field line. Hernan Sardinas followed with a lined single into left, putting runners on the corners with nobody out, as Mike Martin Jr. sent multiple relievers to the bullpen to get loose. Montgomery settled down with a strikeout and a pop-out, but a two-out single extended the lead to two. In the second, he worked around a one-out single for a scoreless inning. The freshman finished with a final line of 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 HBP, and 2 K over 39 pitches (21 strikes). Montgomery’s season ERA rose to 4.39.
- Stetson got a run back without earning it in the sixth. The leadoff man got on as Tyler Martin was unable to handle a line drive at first base. The E3 was Martin’s sixth this season. The runner advanced to third on a one-out single. Dunn picked up a crucial strikeout after the single. After working a 1-1 count, Meat brought in Chase Haney. Haney walked Christian Pregnent, with ball four rolling to the backstop to cut FSU’s lead to 6-3. The veteran limited the damage to one unearned run with a grounder to second to end the frame. Martin also dropped a pickoff in the ninth inning for his second error. De Sedas also made an error in the ninth, giving FSU three for the game.
- FSU put up nine runs, eight of which came from home runs. The situational hitting was a weakness tonight. On three separate occasions, the Seminoles couldn’t plate a runner on third with fewer than two outs. They also stranded 12 runners, as they were 4-12 with runners in scoring position. Much of the struggles were due to the inability to put the ball in play. As a team, the Seminoles struck out 16 times. Out of 37 at-bats, FSU made contact 21 times. 62% of those 21 went for base hits. When FSU gets the power they expect to, it can cancel out the strikeouts, but in close games, the Seminoles need more productive outs.