FSU baseball: Takeaways from ‘Noles series against No. 1 Wake Forest

The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Samford Bulldogs 7-0 on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.Fsu V Samford Baseball535
The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Samford Bulldogs 7-0 on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.Fsu V Samford Baseball535 /

FSU baseball (20-30, 7-20 ACC) got a walk-off win over No. 1 Wake Forest to avoid getting swept in their three-game series.

The Noles had won four consecutive games going into the series, but I don’t think anyone expected FSU to do much against the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest has one of the most complete teams in the nation.

They are good in all phases, and I think most folks would have been satisfied with not getting routed. Well, that’s what happened in game one, with Wake Forest run-ruling FSU 10-0 in eight innings. However, we saw something we’ve seen most of the year from this team, and that’s they don’t quit.

They played tit-for-tat with Wake Forest for eight innings and went into the ninth inning tied 3-3 before Wake Forest tagged Doug Kirkland for three earned runs. The point is, FSU was right where they wanted to be with a guy that’s mowed down opposing batters for the past few weeks.

Wake Forest had to earn the win. Fast forward to Sunday’s game, and FSU has to respond to adversity immediately, with Wake Forest hitting a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. They added another run in the top of the seventh for a 3-0 lead before FSU scored three runs in the bottom of the frame.

The score stayed there until the bottom of the ninth when Jordan Carrion worked a one-out walk, and Nander de Sedas hit a single, with Carrion getting thrown out at third trying to go first to third.

De Sedas advanced to second base on the play, which brought freshman Jordan Williams to the plate with two outs. Here’s how he walked off Wake Forest:

However, it was this play in the top of the ninth that signifies where this program is and where’s it capable of going:

That’s a true freshman making a tough play in a pressure situation to give FSU baseball a chance for another true freshman to eventually get the walk-off hit.

Sophomore Conner Whittaker pitched an outstanding game Saturday and gave the Noles a chance to win with 7.2 innings. True freshman Jamie Arnold was outstanding in his start Sunday.

Andrew Armstrong was outstanding in relief, and Doug Kirkland shook off a tough Saturday to rebound and pitch well Sunday.

The FSU offense didn’t hit it well against Wake Forest (only batted .195), but they have a great pitching staff. However, most of the production came from young guys in the lineup, as only five of their 17 hits came from players classified as juniors or seniors.

Do you notice a trend? I’ve pointed it out several times this year, but this team is incredibly young, playing against arguably the toughest schedule in the country without their best pitcher for 90 percent of the year. If you put Parker Messick and Bryce Hubbart on this year’s team they probably win 40+ games.

I keep saying it, but Link Jarrett didn’t lose this team this year and tough as it has been. They had a shot to win two of three games against the No. 1 team in the nation. They continue to play hard and once he has a chance to improve this roster and fully get his fingerprints on this program? It will be a much different animal in Tallahassee compared to recent years.

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