Tallahassee, FL - Game two of the Florida State/Florida baseball series made its way to Tallahassee where a struggling Seminole club took on a Gator team that just took a series from second ranked Arkansas. Carson Montgomery was set to start for FSU but some shoulder tightness prompted Mike Martin Jr. to give Jonah Scolaro the spot start.
FSU started things off with a bang plating five runs in the first. While the ‘Noles were not able to push anymore across, the five runs was more than enough. Florida pitched well after going down 5-0 but FSU also hit well, striking out only eight times on the day and drawing five walks. They could have added more in the second as they loaded the bases with one out but a pop up and fly out ended that threat.
The missed chance never mattered though as UF never really threatened. Florida State pitchers held Florida to a season low in hits on their way to a shut out. This is the second shut out for FSU in the last five meetings proving that Meat has improved the ability in his pitching staff.
Jonah shows out in a spot start
Over the offseason Jonah Scolaro spent time as one of the better starters in the Cape Cod League. When he came back to FSU he was considered for a spot in the weekend rotation but the coaching staff thought he’d be better off coming out of the pen. This year has ben a bit of an up and down affair for Scolaro but against Florida he really showed his worth. Scolaro went 3.1 innings of one hit ball and no runs. He still struggled with command at times walking three and hitting another batter but he also struck out five and consistently kept the UF offense on the back foot.
The FSU offense starts off hot
It’s not news to say that the FSU lineup has struggled quite a bit the past two weeks but they showed what they can be early against UF. Reese Albert started the game with a walk and after a Jamie Farrer pop up Alex Toral and Brock Mathis went back to back giving the ‘Noles a three run lead. Brett Roberts singled up the middle to chase starter Nick Pogue. James Tibbs greeted reliever Tyler Nesbitt with a single to third and Roberts moved up to third on an error. Logan Lacey brought Roberts in with a single, advancing Tibbs to third. Lacey was thrown out stealing second but Tibbs scored on the play to bring the total to five runs in the first. Florida State used a combination of long ball and aggressive base running to stake themselves to an early lead, which is exactly what Mike Martin Jr. is looking for.
The pen dazzles
Not to be out done the FSU pen showed out against UF. Freshman Conner Whittaker threw 3.2 innings of one hit ball striking out five and walking one. Sophomore Wyatt Crowell took over in the eighth with the top of the Florida order coming up and set them down in order striking out two. Davis Hare took the mound for the ninth and collected two strike outs of his own to close the door on the Gators.
FSU ended the game without an error and played strong in the field behind the great work of its staff. The was about as good of a game against a team of UF’s caliber that FSU could play and they came away with a strong win.
Up next: Florida State will host the #9 Louisville Cardinal for a weekend series.