FSU baseball (2-1, 0-0 ACC) must have thought it was deja vu Saturday with them losing their opening game against North Florida.
The Noles lost their season opener last season against Niagra before storming back to win the next two games.
The same thing happened Sunday with the Noles sweeping a doubleheader to win the series. The first game is what we’ve come to expect from FSU baseball the past few years.
Remember those things I mentioned they needed to improve upon a few weeks ago? That didn’t happen as the Noles had two errors and struck out 13 times out of 31 at-bats. Nole pitchers did themselves no favors with six walks and a hit by pitch.
The doubleheader was better from a hitting perspective, but there are several things to improve on if they want a chance to win anything in 2021.
- Pitching-The pitching was decent for the most part, with experience showing with Connor Grady on the mound in the third game. He doesn’t throw hard but changes speeds and locates his pitches well. The best part? He makes batters earn what they get. Most of FSU’s young pitchers don’t understand that yet as they issued too many walks in the three-game series. They need to do a better job of getting ahead in the count.
- Hitting-I saw some great at-bats Sunday compared to Saturday. There were still too many strikeouts, but the Noles took advantage of scoring opportunities more effectively. The third game was a pitcher’s duel until North Florida’s pitcher tried to showboat after an inning-ending strikeout. The next inning FSU made him pay with a three-run bomb and knocked him out of the game. That’s the type of response you want to see from the team when a pitcher does that.
- Defense-The Noles has some key double-plays to get out of jams, which was awesome to see. However, the errors continue to rear their ugly heads way too much.
It sucked to lose the season opener but nice to see the team bounce back in the doubleheader. FSU has to get out of the habit of allowing runs in the first inning and playing from behind. They also need to do a better job overall with runners in scoring position.
The Noles had the bases loaded with no outs and didn’t score one time. They had two other opportunities with two runners on and no outs and didn’t score any runs.
Also, they need to do better on the basepaths as they had runners picked off a couple of times.
FSU baseball will return to action Friday in ACC Conference play against Pittsburgh at 6 p.m.