FSU baseball will not get a chance to finish out its first season under Mike Martin Jr. Here are my observations through the 17 game season.
FSU baseball (12-5, 1-2 ACC) got off to a tough start in the Mike Martin Jr. era with an opening game loss to Niagra after leading the entire game.
However, the team responded nicely, winning their next eight consecutive games before losing four of the next five games by one run.
The final three games they played were wins, including a huge win over rival and No. 1 Florida, who was the last undefeated team in the nation.
College baseball seasons are a grind, and teams go through different phases as the schedule unfolds. Would this FSU baseball team have won 40 games to keep that marvelous streak going?
Who knows? They probably had the pitching to do it, but the offense and defensive liabilities were apparent. Here are my observations from the 17 games we experienced:
- Defensive struggles continue
- Offensive struggles continue
- Pitching is good enough to beat anyone
I’ve written extensively about the defensive struggles of the program in the past few seasons. This year is no different, and arguably worse as they had 34 errors through 17 games. That’s averaging two errors per game, and their opponents only had 16 errors for comparison’s sake. That’s awful for a program the caliber of FSU baseball.
It’s not a good sign when the head coach is a guy that’s also the hitting coach by trade, and the team struggles offensively. The team was batting .259 through 17 games with an on-base percentage of .415.
The ugly part is they had already struck out 212 times in just 580 at-bats. That’s a strikeout 37 percent of the time, and it’s not like they have faced a murderer’s row of pitchers through 17 games.
The FSU pitching staff could be the best its been in quite some time. They collectively have an ERA of 2.50 with 208 strikeouts against 68 walks. They are only allowing a batting average of .188 to opposing hitters.
A college baseball team can go a long way with two of those three things being good. However, a team only being good at one of those three isn’t going to win consistently, and that’s the challenge for Mike Martin Jr. going forward.
The pitching staff can take them a long way, but either the offensive or defense needs to be greatly improved if FSU is ever going to compete for a national title consistently.