The Florida State Seminoles won an extra inning midweek game against USF and then dropped their first series of the year against FGCU.
Pitching and defense were quite sloppy against the Eagles and the offense couldn’t do enough to pull the team out of the weeds. FGCU is a senior-laden team that took advantage of every bad FSU pitch and there were, unfortunately, way too many.
- The offense certainly came to play. FSU had at least 10 hits and scored seven or more runs in every game. That will win you quite a few games. It’s hard to pick out just one batter in the order but James Tibbs hit .470 on the week with a couple of home runs. The only downside to the FSU order was the lack of extra-base hits on Friday and Saturday. Despite totaling 26 hits only five were of the extra base variety. On Sunday five of 16 hits went for extra bases so it’s not likely an issue, more of a weird stat.
- Newcomers McGwire Holbrook and Ben Barrett certainly made their presence known. Holbrook, a transfer from West Virginia, was 3-5 on Saturday with a double and three RBI but seemed to tweak his leg sliding into home and was not available for Sunday. Freshman Ben Barrett was 7-14 on the weekend totaling five RBI.
- Doug Kirkland is rounding into form after recovering from an injury a year ago. Kirkland pitched four innings of two-hit ball striking out six and walking three. The walk numbers are a tick-up from what you’d like to see but otherwise, he was about the only non-Wyatt Crowell arm you could have any faith in. Kirkland now has a 2.75 ERA on seven innings this year and is making a strong case for more appearances.
- The four-game stretch started off fine as Jamie Arnold pitched three innings of hitless ball against USF but then it took a start downturn. For the rest of the week, Doug Kirkland was the only pitcher that pitched at least one inning and didn’t give up a run. Florida State pitchers were able to strike quite a few batters out but too often gave up a lot of hard contact, especially to FGCU.
Just over 50% of the hits FSU pitchers gave up over the week went for extra bases.
That’s 14 doubles and 11 home runs on 49 hits.
Against TCU FSU gave up six doubles and one home run on 23 hits, which is an extra-base hit rate of about 30%. The starters were a big reason things got out of hand quickly. Every weekend starter lasted just 2.1 innings, further taxing an already thin pen.
- Making matters worse was the fact that FSU could just not pick up the ball. FSU is now fielding .960 and while the issue is all over the field they are really struggling up the middle with Nander DeSedas fielding at .962 and Jordan Carrion .907. Struggling on the mound and in the field makes it quite difficult to win baseball games.
- It’s disappointing to lose a series like this just after being TCU the week before. FGCU is probably a good team and certainly has the experience to have a very good year. The power they showed against the ‘Noles was impressive but despite all of that FSU could have very well come away with a series win. Unfortunately, progress isn’t linear and fans will have to wait another week to find out which FSU team is the real one.
The ‘Noles host Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at home in Tallahasse.