Tallahassee, FL - Tonight’s game was a back-and-forth affair early on for the Florida State Seminoles baseball team. The ‘Noles and Florida Gators exchanged runs through the first four innings to knot the game at two. The Gators scored three in the fifth and held on to win the neutral site game in Jacksonville, 6-3.
The Seminoles had plenty of chances at the plate but struggled with runners on base, missing out on multiple opportunities. FSU was only 1/9 with runners in scoring position. In total, the ‘Noles left 11 runners on base. Carson Montgomery battled an inconsistent strike zone and missed key chances to put the Gators away when there were two outs. The Gators picked up six hits in 16 chances to extend an inning.
The key inning was the fifth, when Florida left fielder Wyatt Langford opened the frame with a triple. The Gators would push the run across with a groundout. Montgomery hit the next batter, followed by a strike out. With two outs and a chance to escape with minimal damage, Montgomery served up a 2-run homerun to Josh Rivera. Florida held serve from there only allowing one additional FSU run.
Lacey busts out of mini-slump
The senior entered tonight’s game with just two hits in his last 11 at bats including six strikeouts. Tonight, Lacey picked up three hits in his four at-bats including a double to open the fifth. The other two at-bats? A walk and a snow cone catch by UF’s Langford to rob a three-run homerun.
Brett Roberts does his job
Roberts got the call for tonight’s DH. The Tennessee Tech transfer picked up two hits and one walk in two at bats. He tacked on a walk and a sacrifice fly to bring in a run in the seventh. Roberts is positioning himself as a dependable bat in the second half of the lineup and is a big candidate to move back onto the field if Tyler Martin can get healthy.
Bullpen keeps it close
Outside of Davis Hare’s error filled eighth inning the bullpen was able to hold Florida off the scoreboard. Up until that point, Wyatt Crowell, Jackson Nezuh and Hare tossed 2.2 scoreless innings including Hare picking up two outs in the seventh with runners on second and third with one out.
When FSU needed their batters the most the offense would fail to deliver. Time and time again the Seminoles placed runners on base and time and time again FSU batters were ineffective. A key opportunity was squandered in the fourth when with the bases loaded and only one out, Jaime Ferrer and James Tibbs would strike out back-to-back. In the fifth, Lacey would start inning with a double and once again FSU would find themselves with two runners on with only one out after Brett Roberts walked. Next, Jackson Greene fanned in a key at-bat with Colton Vincent flying out to end the inning. Lead off runners reached base six times for FSU but the ‘Noles could only scratch across two runs in those innings.
Ferrer’s off night
Florida State’s leader in hits, batting average, and total bases would not extend his lead in any of the three categories. Ferrer would strike out three times and end the night hitless in his five at-bats. What made the outs more costly was that Reese Albert reached base three times in front of him and the freshmen was unable to advance him on any of his opportunities.
The ball did not bounce FSU’s way
The phrase “it was just one of those nights” described the game for Florida State. UF picked up multiple infield hits, had perfectly placed defenders, and made ridiculous catches to keep the Seminoles at bay. The UF defense led the way taking away not just a home run but a few hits and getting an out in foul territory on a sliding catch. Alex Toral was struck out on a near chin high fastball and Florida did all the little things right. But at least, FSU did not pick up an out of the batter’s box strike out.