No. 18 Florida State baseball (25-17, 17-13 ACC) clinched the series over No. 7 Notre Dame (25-10, 22-10 ACC) with a 7-1 win this evening. The series loss was Notre Dame’s first of the season. The Seminoles produced nine hits and four extra base hits. FSU also had nine free passes. On the mound, the Seminoles allowed just seven hits and struck out nine. The ‘Noles limited ND’s potent offense to eight runs in three games. Florida State didn’t make an error in the rubber match and made one in the three-game series.
- The bottom third of Florida State’s lineup got a boost from a new face this evening. Nico Baldor was inserted into the lineup for game two of the doubleheader, hitting seventh and playing center. It was Baldor’s first start of the season and the first start of his career in center field. The redshirt senior entered the game 1-10 on the season. Baldor responded with the best performances of his Florida State career. In Baldor’s first plate appearance, he was hit by pitch. After walks to Robby Martin and Dylan Simmons, Baldor lifted a two-RBI double to the left-center field gap to open a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. The double was his first extra base hit of the year.
In his next at-bat, he worked an eight-pitch walk. In the seventh, he drove in another run with a double down the left field line. He capped off his day with a double down the right field line for another RBI in the ninth inning. Baldor became the first Seminole with three doubles in a game since Quincy Nieporte four years ago. Baldor ended his night 3-3 with 3 2B’s, 1 BB, 1 HBP, and 1 run. Both the hits and RBI were career highs.
- Conor Grady was lights out tonight. Grady made big pitch after big pitch to shutdown the Irish. Grady worked five shutout innings in efficient fashion, throwing less than 15 pitches per inning. In the fourth inning, Grady stranded two Notre Dame runners with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. The veteran posted a final line of 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K’s, 0 R, and 73 pitches. His season ERA is down to 3.56. Grady gives the Seminoles a chance to win every Sunday.
- Elijah Cabell is one of the hottest hitters in the conference right now. Cabell extended his hit streak to eight games with a single up the middle in the sixth inning. The next inning, the outfielder poked a line double into the right-center field gap, before scoring on Baldor’s second double. With Cabell swinging the way he is, FSU’s lineup can be dangerous when Robby Martin gets back to his normal self. Cabell is now hitting .286 on the season.
- Bonus: Dylan Simmons was inserted into FSU’s lineup along with Baldor in the rubber match. Simmons only produced one hit, but two of his three outs were line outs. Simmons snuck a single through the right side in the ninth inning. He also worked an eight-pitch walk. If FSU can get Simmons back to what he was last year, it would be a huge development for the Seminoles.
- Bonus: Hunter Perdue was electric in the ninth inning. Perdue retired the first batter on a first pitch groundout. He then blew away the next two batters with back-to-back strikeouts for a 1-2-3 inning. Perdue’s season ERA is down to 2.20.
- Bonus: Florida State started the week ranked 59th in RPI. After today’s win, the Seminoles are up to 36th. The NCAA will announce their 20 preliminary regional sites on Thursday or Friday. With today’s win, the ‘Noles should feel comfortable about where they’re at.