Tallahassee, FL - The final game of the series with the Duke Blue Devils was in trouble from the start for Florida State. The first batter for Duke would walk and later score as an unearned run. FSU’s defense buckled from there and the offense was held in check as the Seminoles fell in the series finale to Duke, 11-2.
Ross Dunn struggled through the first inning and was unable to escape the second after allowing five hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Outside of Jackson Baumeister, the bullpen would struggle over the next three innings allowing an additional four runs. Conner Whittaker would take the mound in the sixth and keep Duke off the scoreboard for two innings before handing the ball to Andrew Armstrong for the eighth. Armstrong was unable to keep the scoreless streak giving up back-to-back homeruns. Jaime Ferrer would connect for his fifth homerun of the season in the eighth to account for FSU’s runs.
Three Two up
Freshmen arms gaining confidence
Jackson Baumeister got the call to take the mound in the third with runners on first and second with just one out. The freshman quickly ended the threat with a flyball and strikeout. Baumeister came back out for the fourth and ate up the Blue Devil bats with two more strikeouts and foul out. The highly touted reliver flashed his heat with pitches in the mid-90s complimented by a buckling curve. Baumeister is pushing more each game to cement himself as reliable arm out of the bullpen.
Conner Whittaker worked two shut down innings for FSU. The freshman worked a clean slate in the sixth and then worked around another Seminole error in the seventh to keep Duke off the board. Whittaker does not have the electric arsenal that some of the other bullpen arms possess but has been effective pitching to contact in his appearances.
Seminole at-bats solid even if not productive
It may be odd to hear with the scoreboard result, but FSU actually strung together good at-bats on the day. The ‘Noles had several solid connections but often times directly at Duke defenders. FSU batters will still need to cut down on strikeouts, after picking up another nine on the day.
Errors lead to early meltdown
It’s almost become a broken record when it comes to FSU losses: passed balls, walks, fielding errors, and the inability to handle a bunt. In the first inning following a walk, Colton Vincent allowed a passed ball which moved the Duke baserunner into scoring position. Dunn settled down and K’ed the next two batters before allowing an RBI double.
The second inning was worse. After a leadoff single and a hit batter, Duke scored on a throwing error on a bunt. The next batter followed with another bunt single. Wyatt Crowell would come into to try and help FSU escape a bases loaded jam but ended up walking the first batter he faced. It was a microcosm of FSU’s losses this year.
Dunn suffers setback
After two straight games of 6+ innings and carrying a 1.42 ERA, Dunn tossed his worst game of the season. At times, Dunn can be described as effectively wild by keeping batters guessing with his pitch movement. Today, it was the opposite as Dunn lasted only 1.2 innings, walking batters in both frames and allowing four earned runs, five total. The sophomore raised his ERA a full point to 2.67.
Bullpen still working through rough patches
Wyatt Crowell was brought in to stop the bleeding in the second inning. He responded by walking in a run on the first batter he faced. The sophomore was able to then strike out the next batter leaving the bases loaded. But his first batter faced in the third greeted him with a bomb over the right field fence. David Barrett and Jackson Nezuh both could not keep their inherited runners from scoring in the fifth. In total, the bullpen would allow six runs. The Seminoles will need to continue to shore up the pen over the season.
Up next: Florida State will meet the Florida Gators on Tuesday, March 29th in Jacksonville, FL.