Chapel Hill, NC - The Florida State Seminoles battled back after being down four runs to take a late lead. However the lead would not hold as UNC walked off FSU in the ninth, 7-5.
The Seminoles went quietly in the first, stranding a two out walk from Reese Albert. Carson Montgomery would not be as lucky in the bottom of the inning. UNC led off with a single and a ground out before an RBI double from Danny Seretti. Montgomery hit the next batter and then picked up the second out via strikeout. With hopes of keeping the damage to one run, Montgomery ran a fastball into Alberto Osuna who deposited it over the fence for his 17th home run of the season. Monty picked up the final out to limit the Tar Heels to four runs.
James Tibbs walked to start the second but was wiped out on a double play when Vance Honeycutt made a diving catch in center. Tibbs was standing on third when the throw came in to first to double him up. Logan Lacey would single, followed by an Alex Toral K. Montgomery allowed two base runners in the second off an error and a walk but kept UNC off the board. FSU picked up back-to-back two out singles from Joran Carrion and Reese Albert but Albert was thrown out on a base running mistake. Carolina went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third. Jaime Ferrer ripped a double to right to start the fourth and was driven in by a Tibbs single. Roberts grounded into a double play to bring Lacey to the plate again. The redshirt senior launched a solo shot to left to bring FSU within two.
— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) May 19, 2022
Logan's 7th cuts further into the lead
B4 | FSU 2, UNC 4 pic.twitter.com/41Gg3MJuZ4
In the bottom of the fourth, Montgomery allowed a double and then hit a batter to end his night. Conner Whittaker stepped to the mound to record three straight outs to end the threat. The fifth was quiet scoring wise and then Ferrer led off the sixth with a bang, a no-doubt shot to center to bring the ‘Noles within one. Whittaker would continue to do work in the sixth keeping the Tar Heel offense at bay. The seventh saw neither team score and FSU headed to the either with six outs left to comeback.
The comeback did not start off well with Carrion flying out to deep left and Albert striking out. With two outs, FSU’s future showed back up, Ferrer reached with a single before Tibbs launched a home run to left to give FSU a 5-3 lead.
! !— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) May 20, 2022
Jaime reaches on his third hit and James Tibbs gives FSU the lead with his 10th HR!
B8 | FSU 5, UNC 4 pic.twitter.com/Nq66eYlpwZ
FSU turned to Wyatt Crowell for the eighth. After picking up the first two outs, Crowell allowed a single and a walk to put UNC in scoring position. Carrion would make a run saving stop at short but was unable to pick up an out on the infield single. With the bases loaded, one of UNC’s best hitter in Angel Zarate strolled to the plate. In a battle of best versus the best, Crowell was victorious getting Zarate to chase strike three out of the zone.
The Seminoles were three up, three down in the ninth and Crowell stayed out for the ninth. After a strikeout, Crowell allowed a single to Serretti. Honeycutt moved Serretti to second with a groundout, followed by a walk to put runners at first and second. Alberto Osuna would deliver again for UNC with two strikes and two outs, he put a 3-run game winning shot over the left field fence to give UNC game one, 7-5.
FSU gets the key hit
Throughout the year it seems like teams are always making plays when FSU could not and while that was the case against UNC the ‘Noles made a few of their own. Florida State had a base runner in eight of nine innings and a hit in seven but only had three runs to show for it. Three double plays and a couple of very nice plays by the UNC defense kept FSU from scoring more but the ‘Noles just couldn’t get that hit to take the lead. That was until Tibbs stepped up to the plate with Ferrer at first. After one swing of the bat the ‘Noles took the lead 5-4.
The bats are beginning to heat up
FSU recorded 11 hits on the day and while they only scored 5 they did hit three home runs and had four players with multiple hits on the day. Of note was Logan Lacey continuing to bolster his average with a two for three day, including a solo shot. The ‘Noles also struck out just seven times on the day.
After giving up four runs in the first inning, Carson only lasted three innings but the pen was up to the task. Whittaker held the Tar Heels off the board giving up just three singles. Whittaker entered the game with runners on first and second with no outs and got out of the inning without giving up a run. The freshmen made a very nice play against the first batter he faced by fielding a bunt and getting the lead runner at third.
Carson struggles again
Carson wasn’t terrible but was far from what fans expect of the talented pitcher. Montgomery gave up three hits in the top of the first, one being a RBI double and the other being a three run home run. Against UNC three of the four hits given up were extra bases and while he only walked one he did hit two more batters. FSU continues to search for a third starter.
Including today's first inning, Carson Montgomery now has a .359 batting average against and 12.07 ERA in 4 starts and 8.2 IP against ACC competition.— Brett Nevitt (@brettpn) May 19, 2022
Toral still searching
Alex Toral has been feast or famine this year. His feasts are highlight reel shots over the fence or out of the park. His famines are brutal like tonight. Toral was 0-4 with three strikeouts in the game. FSU will continue to find the right spot in the lineup for the lefty.
Crowell finally falters
Wyatt Crowell has been a monster on the mound for the last couple of months backing up Bryce Hubbard on Saturdays and shutting down just about every hitter he’s seen. That was until today. Entering the game in the eighth inning Crowell recorded two quick outs before sandwiching two singles to third around a walk. He did get out of the inning with a big strike out but it was a sign of things to come as he gave up a walk off home run in the ninth. Crowell wasn’t terrible on the night as he could have gotten some help from his third basemen on some difficult ground balls but the two walks and home run certainly fall in his lap.
Up next: FSU and UNC play game two tomorrow at 6:00 PM