Saturday: Seminoles fall apart late in series loss
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FSU: RHP Ryan Denison
UVA: RHP Brian Edgington (4-0, 1.98 ERA)
The Florida State Seminoles and Virginia Cavaliers battled back and forth throughout their Saturday afternoon matchup before FSU imploded late to drop the series. The Seminoles would give up six runs in the seventh inning on their way to a 12-4 loss.
For the second straight game, the Seminoles jumped out to the lead in the top of the first. A James Tibbs double followed by back-to-back singles from Jaime Ferrer and Treyton Rank gave FSU the early 1-0 lead. The Hoos struck back with a run of their own in the bottom frame after starter Ryan Denison walked back-to-back batters before allowing a single to tie the game. The start by Denison was a sign of events to come for the young pitcher as he failed to escape the second inning. After allowing a single, a walk, and a sacrifice bunt to start the inning, Denison was relieved by the arm of Carson Montgomery to attempt to save the inning. And save the inning Montgomery would. The junior picked up a key strikeout before a play at the plate ended the inning.
The Seminoles struck again for a run in the third after an error and a walk allowed Ferrer to drive Ben Barrett in from second. Montgomery would keep UVA off the board until the fifth inning turned into an all familiar story. A walk, a single, and a wild pitch moved runners to second and third with zero out. Third baseman Cam Smith failed to throw a runner out at home on a groundball. A better throw most likely stops the run from scoring. The next play was a tailor-made double play that shortstop Jordan Carrion bobbled. The result was the force out at second only and another run scored giving UVA a 3-2 lead. Monty induced an inning ending double play to stop the bleeding but once again walks, wild pitches, and poor fielding sunk another inning for the Seminoles.
Tibbs quickly tied the game in top of the next inning with a solo blast to left field. But Montgomery could not hold the lead as he would allow a single and double for the fourth Virginia run of the game in the sixth inning. Monty record two outs in the seventh before an absolute implosion by the FSU pitching staff.
What followed was a walk, a single, and wild pitch extending the UVA lead to 5-3. Andrew Armstrong entered the game from the bullpen and proceeded to hit the next two batters to give the Cavaliers run number six. The junior followed that up with a four pitch walk for run seven and his day came to an end. David Barrett was the next victim on the mound for FSU as he allowed a bases clearing double giving UVA a 10-3 lead. Barrett followed that up with back-to-back walks to reload the bases. Brandon Walker was next out of the pen and finally recorded the third out 30 minutes after the second out. In total for the inning, UVA picked up six runs off of five walks, two HPB, and two hits.
Walker would not be as lucky in the eighth inning as he gave up two more runs before being relieved by Brett Barfield. One pitch from Barfield ended the inning before Florida State tacked on a final run in the ninth off a Titan Kamaka solo homerun. Florida State battled for the majority of the game before once again falling victim to their own mistakes, 12-4.
The reeling Florida State Seminoles (12-9, 3-3) travel to Charlottesville to play the Virginia Cavaliers (19-2, 4-2). The Cavs really are a complete team and the stats show that. As a team they are hitting .332, slugging .525 and fielding .988. On the mound they don’t walk a lot of batters and boast a team ERA of 2.62. FSU has their work cut out for them and really needs to play clean ball, something they’ve struggled with recently, to pull off a win this weekend. Thankfully the ‘Noles are expected to be as healthy as they’ve been this weekend with a few starters returning against Florida but no word, as of yet on the status of Wyatt Crowell.
Florida State at Virginia How to watch, starting pitchers
Sunday: Florida State gets blown out in game three
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UVA: RHP Jack O’Connor (1-1, 2.73 ERA)
It was more of the same for the Florida State Seminoles (12-12, 3-6) as they lost to the Virginia Cavaliers (22-2, 7-2) 15-4. Starting pitcher gave up one run in the second on back to back double and then didn’t record an out in the third inning, getting chased after a couple of singles put runners at first and second with no outs. Doug Kirkland took over and gave up a home run, two singles, two walks and a hit by pitch in the 0.1 innings he pitched. Brennen Oxford did end up closing out the inning but not after giving up a couple of singles himself. An eight run third inning pretty much put the game away.
FSU would end up scoring four runs on the day but even an offensive explosion would have made winning the game difficult. Titan Kimaka and Cam Smith were the big bats in the FSU lineup going a combined 5-8 with one of those being a Cam Smith home run. Once again the FSU offense didn’t strike out a bunch (seven on the day) but only had two extra base hits while Virginia had seven. It’s becoming apparent that against decent pitching of any sort FSU likely needs to string together a bunch of hits to put up gaudy run numbers as they just don’t exhibit a lot of power. They certainly showed off this power early in the season so is this an issue of the pitching just being better or Seminole batters pressing or just getting behind in counts and shortening their swing to prevent a strike out? It’s hard to say but ultimately that’s not the reason FSU lost this game and series.
Florida State used seven pitchers on the day. Part of that is because they struggled to get outs and part of that is that the game got away from them so it was worth throwing some arms that haven’t seen the hill in games very often. However, those seven pitchers walked 10 batters and hit another three while only striking out seven. Before this series FSU ranked 164 walking 4.90 batters per nine innings. Once again a weekend comes to a close with FSU fans and staff alike asking questions of this pitching staff and it doesn’t look like there are many answer.
Friday: Seminoles squander multiple leads in loss to Virginia
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FSU: RHP Jackson Baumeister (1-1, 5.31 ERA)
UVA: RHP Nick Parker (3-0, 4.01 ERA)
The Florida State offense started with a solid first inning against the Hoos. DeAmez Ross led off with a walk and quickly moved to second on a Jaime Ferrer single. The inning took a scary turn as James Tibbs lined a ball up the middle and hit Virginia pitcher Nick Parker in the head, removing him from the game. Parker would leave under his own power. Ben Barrett plated Ross on a groundout to give the Seminoles the early lead. From there Jackson Baumeister turned in one of his best performances of the season holding the powerful UVA lineup to five hits over his five innings of work. In total, Baumeister allowed just one run to accompany four punch-outs.
The Virginia relievers were equally effective, working out of multiple jams and keeping FSU off the board till late in the game. The game cranked up the tension in the eighth inning as the Seminoles failed to capitalize on a bases loaded situation with the score tied at one. Virginia’s first two batter in the bottom of the frame reached via Doug Kirkland walks before Andrew Armstrong took the mound. Armstrong allowed a single to load the bases with just one out before battling back with a huge strikeout and even bigger double play to end the threat and give the offense a chance in the ninth.
Nander De Sedas walked with one out in the top of the ninth and Treyton Rank moved him to third on a double. With one out, pinch hitter McGwire Holbrook delivered the tie breaking run off an error by the third baseman. Unfortunately, FSU could not take advantage and score an additional insurance run as Ross and Ferrer struck out to end the inning. With three outs in between a road win over a top-10 ranked team and a heart breaking loss, the Seminoles would pin their hope on reliever Conner Whittaker. After a quick two outs to start the inning, Virginia battled to reach via walk before a single to right would set in motion an all too familiar course of events for FSU.
Rank overthrew the cut off man from right field and short hopped second base on the throw allowing the runners to advance to second and third. A wild pitch followed to allow the tying run at two before a hit up the middle was booted by shortstop Jordan Carrion allowing the winning run to round third and seal the fate of the Seminoles. A huge moment on a tough grounder that Carrion reached but allowed to skip under his glove. A veteran defender needed to at least knock that one down to save the run from scoring. Another costly mistake puts another tick in the loss column for FSU, 3-2.
Next Up: FSU travels to Jacksonville to take on #3 UF Tuesday at 7:00.