FSU baseball: Walk-off home run gives Noles chance at UNC series win

FSU baseball (14-9, 9-8 ACC) defeated North Carolina (14-11) in walk-off fashion Saturday afternoon.

The win gives them a chance to win the series Sunday in a series that’s been tightly contested through two games.

The Tarheels scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning Friday to take game one, and the Noles used a Nander De Sedas home run in the bottom of the ninth to take game two.

The Sunday game is important for the Noles as they look to accumulate as many wins as possible in their 50-game schedule.

The Noles did all of their damage with the long ball Saturday and Robby Martin got things started in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run bomb.

FSU pitching Saturday was solid, but issued too many walks and only forced six strikeouts. North Carolina stranded 12 runners on the day, so credit to the FSU bullpen relieving Bryce Hubbart after 3.2 innings.

It’s the second consecutive outing Hubbart has been knocked around the park by opposing offenses.

The bullpen went 5.1 innings and allowed two hits with two strikeouts and four walks. Wyatt Crowell was the only FSU hitter with two hits, and Vince Smith had a double. Crowell also got a huge strikeout with the bases loaded to end a UNC threat in the top of the sixth inning.

FSU will turn to veteran Conor Grady Sunday and will need him to avoid an early exit like his last outing against Wake Forest. The FSU bullpen has used several arms over the past two games.

The FSU hitters need to do a better job of putting the ball in play as they have struck out 29 times the last two games. UNC has put the ball in play and likely will against Grady Sunday. Here’s to hoping the FSU defense will show up like Saturday and the Noles take home the series win.

The first pitch is at noon with the game airing on the ACC Network.