Tallahassee, FL - For the third time in a week, Florida State Seminoles baseball went to extra innings, this time following a three-run bottom of the eight to tie things up vs. the Cal Bears. While the Seminoles saw a career pitching performance by Ross Dunn and clean-up duty by Conner Whittaker, three other arms for FSU struggled in the matchup, in addition to a slow day on the plate from the lineup.
Ross Dunn sets new personal records
Though Dunn was nearly perfect from the mound, he struggled early with control. In his longest appearance of the season, he was able to pitch around a bases-loaded jam in the 5th and set a career-high in strikeouts with 11 in 6 innings pitched.
Aggressive base running
Down 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth, FSU combined talent, luck and hard running to tie things up. The runs were scored by way of a double steal, a dirtball read, and a passed ball. Baserunning has been a complaint this year, but that aggressiveness is exactly what Meat wants to see.
Whittaker good in relief
Pitcher Conner Whittaker did his job in keeping the Bears off the scoreboard initially, allowing FSU a chance to get to extra innings, where a run via an unforced error ended his day. 1.2 innings, with 2 hit balls. He ended up with the loss but he was the best looking pitchers out of the pen this year and this game.
After Dunn’s career start, the bullpen once again surrendered runs. Once he rotated out, Wyatt Crowell immediately gave up a double, finding himself in a bases-loaded situation after just .2 innings pitched. Davis Hare was called in for relief, but then himself struggled, hitting a batter to give the Bears their first run. After a top of the eight leadoff walk, Hare was pulled for Jonah Scolaro, who proceeded to give up two runs (though, granted, one was caused by a throwing error.) Right-hander Conner Whittaker was called in to finish the game, the fifth arm of the day for FSU, and lasted 1.2 innings before getting rotated out for Andrew Armstrong, who faced three batters before David Barrett became the 7th pitcher of the matchup.
FSU’s offense came alive when it needed to, but struggles on the plate before the 8th made the Seminoles’ day way harder than it needed to be. 15 strikeouts combined with just six hits across 10 innings was a recipe for offensive stagnation, playing a huge part in FSU not being able to secure the series sweep. FSU needs to do a better job of adjusting to umps strike zones.
Late game defense
Four of Cal’s runs came from self-inflicted Seminole slip-ups— the first via batter hit by pitch, the second off a throwing error, the third an unforced error, the fourth a wild pitch. Errors led to runs and extended innings. Only 2 errors were recorded but passed balls also were a bugaboo again.