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Three up, three down: FSU baseball season ends in loss to Southern Miss

USM scores six unanswered runs as FSU’s bats go silent over the last six innings.

Ken Lanese

Florida State baseball (31-24) season came to an end in a 7-4 loss to Southern Miss (39-20) this afternoon. The Seminoles opened up a three-run lead in the third inning, but couldn’t hang on as the Golden Eagles scored six unanswered runs. The ‘Noles produced seven hits, but six of them came in the first three innings. On the mound, seven Seminoles combined to allow 12 hits and three extra base hits. In the field, FSU made just one error, but it came at a crucial time again. Mike Martin Jr.’s first full season as head coach has ended after a 1-2 weekend in Oxford.

Three up

  • Through two games this weekend, the Seminoles had struggled mightily in the first inning on both sides of the ball. After a crushing loss to Ole Miss last night, the ‘Noles needed a good start to get some early momentum. Conor Grady set the tone for FSU. The veteran worked a 1-2-3 first inning on just eight pitches with three weakly hit balls in play. It was the first time this weekend that the Seminoles held their opponent scoreless in the first inning. Tyler Martin led off the 1st with a hard hit ball off the pitcher’s leg for an infield single. After a wild pitch moved him into scoring position, Robby Martin drove him in with a line drive single into right field. The two-out RBI-single was the first time this weekend that FSU scored in the first inning. It was also the first run that wasn’t manufactured by a home run. Drew Boyd was able to limit the damage with a strikeout to strand two runners, but the ‘Noles were off to the start they needed.
  • The Golden Eagles squared the game up at one in the top of the third inning. After a leadoff double and an infield single, Reed Trimble beat out a throw to first on a would be double play for an RBI groundout. The Seminoles’ offense responded nearly immediately. Once again, Logan Lacey came up with a big swing in a timely spot for the ‘Noles. Lacey swung the momentum back in FSU’s favor with one swing as he cleared the bullpen over the field wall for a solo home run. The solo shot made it three straight games with a home run for Lacey. He’s sent a ball out of the park in seven of the last 13 games. Lacey’s homer gave him 10 homers on the season, making him the fourth Seminole with double digits in the HR column.

Matheu Nelson kept the foot on the gas peddle after the home run. Nelson grounded a single up the middle just two pitches later. He moved up to second on a balk. Martin drove him in with a grounder of his own up the middle for his second RBI-single. The outfielder moved up to second on a wild pitch and was driven in by Davis Hare on a two-out, line drive single into left field. The two-out RBI came in Hare’s first NCAAT at-bat, as he was plugged into the starting lineup at DH in place of Dylan Simmons.

  • Grady’s line doesn’t paint a clear picture of his outing today. Grady threw the ball very well and gave FSU’s staff what they were looking for, but Southern Miss was able to take advantage of a couple mistakes. Grady was efficient and pounded the zone. The veteran threw 69% strikes and averaged just 14.4 pitches per inning. The right-handed pitcher was untouchable against the top of the Golden Eagles order. Grady held the first six hitters in the order hitless in 17 at-bats and allowed just one walk. The bottom third made Grady pay for the few mistake pitches he made. 7-9 in the order were 5-7 with two homers. The bottom three scored all four runs on Grady’s line. Four of the seven innings that Grady started were 1-2-3 innings. The redshirt junior posted a final line of 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 4 R, and 91 pitches. The Tampa native has a 4.05 ERA in 73.1 IP.

Three down

  • After Hare’s RBI-single in the third, Southern Miss turned to Ryan Och. Och has been the ace out of the pen for the Golden Eagles and he showed why against the Seminoles. The southpaw started his day with a strikeout to end the third. He worked around a two-out two-out hit-by-pitch with three strikeouts in the fourth. In the top of the fifth, USM cut the lead to one on Blake Johnson’s second home run of the year, a two-run shot over the left field fence. Och responded with a shut down inning. After walking the leadoff batter, Och induced a fly out and struck out two straight batters to complete a second straight scoreless frame. In the sixth, Och struck out the side again to set a new career high with in strikeouts. Today was the second straight day that an opposing pitcher has set a career high in strikeouts. As Och froze the FSU bats, USM continued to battle back. Will McGillis tied the game in the 7th with a one-out solo home run. Nelson got FSU’s first hit off Och with a two-out double in the bottom half, but he was stranded on a groundout. Och’s day ended after a one-out walk in the eighth. He finished with a career high 11 strikeouts and 4.2 IP. FSU swung and missed on 48% of his strikes.
  • Hunter Perdue entered the game for Conor Grady after McGillis’ solo shot. Perdue’s first pitch was chopped up the middle for a single. Perdue was able to work around it with a strikeout and a groundout. The right-handed pitcher was sent back out to start the eighth inning. His first pitch was blooped into center field for a lead off single. Perdue then walked Charlie Fischer to put two on with no outs. In the regional, Perdue recorded three outs and allowed two hits and two walks.
  • Jack Anderson replaced Perdue as he entered the two on, no outs situation in a tie game. Anderson induced a slow roller to short, but the ‘Noles couldn’t turn a double play on a poor throw from Jackson Greene. Danny Lynch followed with a slow roller of his own, this one reaching the outfield grass for an RBI single to give USM a one-run lead. A third straight ground ball hit Anderson in the leg. He struggled to find the ball for a second, but found it and rushed a throw to first, which rolled into right field to double the Southern Miss lead. Jonah Scolaro and Brandon Walker were able to limit the damage with a strikeout and a line out, but the damage was already done for Southern Miss as they took a lead into the bottom of the 8th. Six pitchers out of FSU’s bullpen combined for 2.2 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K, 3 R, and 2 ER.