TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State starting pitcher Tyler Holton will miss the remainder of the season with a torn UCL. Holton will undergo Tommy John surgery this Thursday. The junior ace left the Seminoles’ opening game last Friday in the 5th inning after manager Mike Martin had a trainer go check on him. After the game, Martin said that Holton felt the same type of pain back in high school, but nothing ever came of it. Holton, who came into this season leading all returning pitchers in the nation with 144 strikeouts last year, was pitching a one-hit shutout when he was pulled.
“Tyler is a fine young man and we’re all disappointed at this setback in his career,” Martin said. “He’s doing the best thing right now. We’ll be there for him and help guide him through the rehab process, but as a team, we have to keep moving forward on our goals for this season.”
In an update after last Saturday’s game, before the diagnosis was made, Martin said he would consider having a look at freshman Austin Pollock to become the No. 4 starter if Holton had to miss extended time. Pollock allowed no runs in 4 innings last Saturday.
Florida State recovered from a slow start to notch a victory over Xavier Saturday afternoon, 7-2.
Cole Sands took the mound for the Seminoles (2-0) for his first start of the season. In 2017, he went 6-4 while throwing a 5.40 ERA in 83.1 innings. Today, he found himself in trouble from the very first batter when Xavier shortstop Ryan Attenberger doubled to right field. After Sands allowed a single on the next at-bat, right fielder Joe Gellenbeck hit a single to right field to give the Musketeers (0-2) their first runs of the game. Three batters in, manager Mike Martin and pitching coach Mike Bell went out to the mound for a quick meeting with Sands. The following at-bat, Sands allowed a sacrifice fly out to center field, bringing home Conor Grammes. Still with one out, two runs allowed already, and a runner still on base, Sands retired the next two batters on strikeouts.
“It was just kind of nerves,” said Sands. “I was a little on top of the zone. I had to get the ball back down, and get the ball back to the corner of the plate.”
Sands (5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB) would go on to retire 15 of the next 16 batters that he faced, picking up a career-high 9 strikeouts.
“What I wanted him to know was he was literally in a position to get out of the innings if he could get a popup or a strikeout,” Martin said of Sands’ first inning. “I think that is when Cole really showed his true colors. He bared down, and got us in the dugout.”
After being in a two-run hole early, the Seminoles answered quickly when freshman shortstop Mike Salvatore reached on a walk to lead off the inning, and scored on a Rhett Aplin double.
Two innings later, Salvatore scored again, this time off a Cal Raleigh sac fly. Salvatore would score three runs despite only having two official plate appearances.
The score sat at 2-2 going into the bottom of the 4th. Salvatore drove home J.C. Flowers (2-for-3, 2 R) on a sac fly to left field to break the tie. The Seminoles would keep this lead for the remainder of the game.
The Seminoles got some insurance in the 5th inning. With 2 outs already in the inning, Cal Raleigh laid down a bunt that hugged the third base line to beat the extreme defensive shit Xavier set against him. Following a Nick Derr walk, Flowers smacked a ball up the middle that careened off of pitcher Matt Kent’s leg. Shortstop Ryan Attenberger was able to field it, but not in time to catch Flowers at first. With the bases loaded, senior Rafael Bournigal doubled to right center field to clear the bases, giving FSU a 6-3 lead.
In the top of the 6th, Tallahassee native Austin Pollock came in relief of Sands to make his college debut. Pollock (4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) cruised through his first two innings, but came close to surrenduring his first run of the game in the 8th inning when Conor Grammes hit a double to center field. With Ryan Attenberger racing home, J.C. Flowers relayed the ball to Salvatore, who was able to throw out Attenberger at the plate.
The Seminoles shut out the Musketeers in the last 8 innings.
With starting pitcher Tyler Holton out, Martin said he and his staff would consider giving Pollock a look at being in the top four of the pitching rotation.
The Seminoles close out their opening series on Sunday against Xavier at 1:00 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Godby enters the District 2-6A Tournament Final as defending District Champions after they defeated the Rickards Raiders 61-52 to claim last year’s title. This year, the Cougars are set to have a rematch with the Raiders as they both find themselves in the finals again.
On Wedensday February 14th, the Godby Cougars defeated the Wakulla War Eagles to clinch a spot in Friday’s District Championship game. The Cougars beat the War Eagles 61-40 at Suwannee High School, the host site of the tournament. Earlier this season, the Raiders and Cougars met in a district matchup that saw the Raiders win 69-50. Rickards point gaurd Gentry Sparks led the scoring that game with 19 points. Senior gaurd Trey Jones of the Cougars scored 13 points. Both of these are players to watch, as well as Vincent McCray, who has been the Raiders leading scorer throguhout the season. These teams will clash head to head on Friday February 16th at Suwannee High School.
Lincoln will start their 2018 baseball season in a tournament against Colquitt County High School and potentially Columbus High School on February 24th in Georgia.
Lincoln hopes to maintain their success from last year, as they went 26-6, and went on a 19-game winning streak to end the season and their first state championship, outscoring their opponents in the postseason tournament 21-2 in 5 games.
Overall, last season, Lincoln only lost 2 away games, 3 home games, and 1 neutral site game, while allowing 77 runs and scoring 172 runs in 32 games.
Though, only 9 players from last year’s varsity team will be returning, including Josiah Miller, who led last year’s varsity team in batting average (.370), hits (34), RBIs (28), doubles (9), and Home runs (5), and Dallen Leach, who finished 2nd in batting average (.337), RBIs (21), and Home runs (4), all of which he finished behind Josiah Miller. The pitching staff, however, took a hit, as their two most successful starters in Zach Taylor and Austin Pollock, graduated last year. They combined for a 19-3 win-loss record, 27 appearances and both had below a 2.00 ERA in 2017.
This year’s roster will feature six seniors, nine juniors, and two sophomores, who came straight from the freshman team last year.
After the regular season tournament, Lincoln will play against Lowndes High School on February 27th.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State Seminoles baseball team started the season on the right foot with a 9-1 victory over the Xavier Musketeers, behind a great pitching performance from Tyler Holton, and a quick start on offense.
Manager Mike Martin, whose team started in a 0-1 hole to start the season last year, was happy with the early production from both sides of the ball tonight.
“Tonight’s ballgame was a good start, a little bit better than last year…It wasn’t a great beginning last year,” Martin said. Martin is entering his 39th year as the skipper for FSU. “ I was very proud of the way the young men approached the game. Had some key hits, but let’s face it, we had some outstanding pitching.”
Holton, who leads all returning players nationally with 144 strikeouts last season, was dominant throughout the game. After allowing the first batter of the game to reach on an error at third base, Holton proceeded to retire the next 12 batters he faced. In the fifth inning, Xavier second baseman Sam Flamini doubled off Holton to give the Musketeers their first hit of the game. Holton struck out the next two batters but then walked catcher Nate Soria. That’s when Mike Martin and a team trainer came out to look at him and pulled him from the game.
Martin said it was tenderness in his throwing arm, and it’s a problem he had back in high school as well.
“He acted like that’s exactly the way it felt (when it happened in high school). So, therefore, he’s gonna have to take some time off,” Martin said. “Once we get the diagnosis, we’ll know what to do.”
Holton finished with 4.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.
The Seminole offense was off to a hot start, scoring two runs in each of the first two innings. Much like last year, the Noles found ways to get on base without getting many hits. They were walked a total of 10 times. Of the 28 baserunners FSU had, 13 of them reached via walks or hit-by-pitch.
Junior college transfer Mike Salvatore reached base first for the Seminoles after getting walked. Junior left fielder Jackson Lueck was walked immediately after. Rhett Aplin got the Noles’ first hit of the season on a single to center, but the Seminoles would have to wait for their first run of the year, as Salvatore was thrown out at the plate. Xavier pitcher Trevor Olson hit Drew Mendoza to load the bases and walked Cal Raleigh to bring Jackson Lueck home for the first run of the season.
The Seminoles continued their offensive output in the third when designated hitter Nick Derr hit a solo home run for FSU’s first of the year. He went 2-for-3 with two runs.
Another offensive explosion came in the sixth inning. With two outs, Mendoza reached on a single, followed by walks for Raleigh and Derr. With the bases loaded, J.C. Flowers hit a line drive off shortstop Chris Givin’s glove, driving home Mendoza and Raleigh. Then, freshman Reese Albert came in as a pinch-hitter, and delivered a single to center, driving home two more runs. Four new Seminoles got hits in their debuts. Aside from Albert, Rafael Bournigal, Cooper Swanson, and Jared Herron all collected hits today.
“It’s great for our little camaraderie for our ballclub. A couple of guys got their first taste of D1 baseball, and started off their career with a base hit,” Martin said. “That part of it is always fun for the coaches.”
Junior pitcher Cobi Johnson entered the game for the Seminoles in the eighth and retired six of the seven batters that he faced. Of those six batters, he struck out four. This was the first time Johnson has pitched since injuring his arm in April 2016. Johnson was happy with his season debut.
“I’m just so happy to be able to compete again and be pain-free up there on the mound. I’m just so happy I could cry,” Johnson said.
The Seminoles take on the Musketeers again Saturday at 1 p.m. Cole Sands will take the mound for FSU.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) The Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball team (18-8, 7-7) kept it sweet on Valentines Day by overcoming an 18-point deficit against the No.11 Clemson Tigers (20-5, 9-4) in overtime to win 81-79.
The Seminoles started off sluggish turning the ball over on their first three possessions. The Tigers made sure to take advantage by turning those turnovers into points and gaining an early 10-3 lead with 15:25 remaining in the first half.
“Several of our turnovers were them (Clemson) playing good defense, but about six or seven of those turnovers were just poor decisions we had made” Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Turnovers looked to plague the Seminoles early in the first half with the Tigers scoring 16 points off the Seminoles turnovers.
The Tigers led at half 41-29 behind there 48 percent shooting (13-27) and 44 percent shooting behind the arc (7-16). Tigers guard Marcquise Reed led all scorers with 14 points in the first half.
In the second half, the Seminoles came out with a bang led by Phil Cofer’s 17 points. Cofer was held to only two shots in 15-minutes in the first half and didn’t manage to score. In the second half, he shot 8-11.
“Trent is an extremely talented player with a high basketball IQ and is extremely competitive as well,” Hamilton said.
Trent Forrest played 31 hard fought minutes off the bench for the Seminoles, shooting 7-11 from the field, nailing two big free throws late in the game and coming up with a block in overtime to secure the win.
“If you all had not said anything I wouldn’t have even known, we are in the middle of an unbelievable conference race right now,” Hamilton said.
While Hamilton is happy to win the overtime thriller against the Tigers, he managed to pick up his 500th win and 300th win at Florida State. Hamilton is more focused on his team playing better defensively and executing more efficiently.
The Seminoles currently hold the ninth spot in the ACC and look to stay above .500 in conference play when they take on the Pittsburgh Panthers at home on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The No. 13 Florida State men’s tennis squad faced Florida A&M in what was the first of two matches on the day.
FSU headed into the match-up fresh off the heels of a hard-earned victory against a top-10 University of Florida squad. Many suspected that fatigue would play a part in the matches, but the Seminoles seemed as energized as ever as they swept doubles and won 3 straight singles.
“Our team has been very consistent this year,” Noles head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We give good effort all the way through the match.”
All three doubles teams dominated their FAMU counterparts.
The Whitehurst twins set the pace with a dominating 4-2 victory over Jermaine Le Grand and Labelo Alex Mosehle. With that performance, they bring their overall record to 12-4.
Alex Knaff and Guy Iradukunda struggled a bit more against Adam Nourelidin and Nani Federico, yet still pulled out a 6-3 victory. Sebastian Arcila and Chase Wood rounded out the victories with a 6-2 win over Rodney Sturgis and Hasona Samer.
A couple of fresh faces got a chance to get some experience today.
“We use opportunities like this to build,” Hultquist said. “Today we had an opportunity to play some guys who don’t get in much and let them get some experience.”
One of those individuals was Arcila, who coming into today, only had one singles win under his belt. He won 6-3 and 6-0 over Moshele. Terrence Whitehurst also played in his eighth and ninth singles matches of the year, bringing his overall to 4-4. He won both matches 6-1.
Other singles matches victories included:
Iradukunda vs. Nourelidin (6-4, 4-2), Knaff vs. Federico (4-6 2-1), Rana Roop vs. Bhullar Hasona Samer Hema (6-1 6-14) and Terrell Whitehurst vs. Espinoza Luis Barres (6-1, 4-1).
Next week, the Seminoles plan on keeping their winning streak alive in the National indoors tournament on Feb. 16. The Rattlers plan to bounce back against Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday in Fort Meyers, Florida.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Saturday night at the Al Lawson Center the Florida A&M Rattlers men’s basketball team took on the North Carolina Central Eagles in a late-season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup. Scoring outburst from Desmond Williams and Marcus Barham in the second half helped lead the Rattlers to a 65-56 win over the Eagles.
The Rattlers led at the end of the first half 28-25 despite being out-rebounded by 11, finishing with 14 compared to the Eagles’ 25. Senior small forward Desmond Williams led the Rattlers in the first half grabbing six. The Eagles’ top rebounder in the first half was 7-foot junior center Raasean Davis, with 10 rebounds, three of which came on the offensive glass.
The second half was more of the same as the final total of rebounds for the Rattlers was 31. The Eagles out-rebounded the Rattlers by 16 grabbing 41 boards, 21 on the offensive glass.
“We took good care of the basketball. We turned it over only eight times and they had 15 turnovers,” FAMU head coach Robert McCullum said. “Their 15 turnovers sort of negated their big advantage that they had on the boards.”
Williams, the Rattler’s leading scorer, struggled in the first half shooting 2-7 with only five points. He also committed three turnovers and was given a technical foul for hanging on the rim. During the second half, Williams had 16 points on 6-10 shooting and shot 4-4 from the free throw line. He also cut his turnovers down from three in the first half to only one in the second. Barham added 20 points in the game.
“At halftime, I always reset. It’s a new game when the second half starts,” Williams said. “I’ve had a bad game and my coaches still call plays for me after my bad first half. It helps my confidence and it shows that if I’m down on myself, my teammates and coaching staff still believe in me.”
This win improves the Rattlers’ overall record to 5-22 and their conference record to 4-7. The Eagles’ overall record sits at 12-12 and 6-4 in conference play.
Shooting percentage in the first half told the story as the Rattlers shot 41.7 percent, 44.4 percent from three. The Eagles shot 32.4 percent from the field on 11-34 shooting, and 18.2 percent from three on 2-11 from behind the arc.
Of the 11 field goals made in the first half by the Eagles, five were made by Davis as he shot 5-10 from the floor giving him a double-double with 10 points.
The second half was more of the same as the Rattlers shot 42.9 percent from the floor and the Eagles shot 35.3 percent.
Williams was playing on an ankle that he hurt against Norfolk State. He could be seen wincing and limping throughout the game. Every time he went to the bench trainers would stretch the ankle
“It makes us all work harder. It makes us pull a little more extra weight because we know he was hurt,” Barham said.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers women’s basketball team defeated North Carolina Central Lady Eagles 84-81 in overtime Saturday in the Al Lawson Center.
The Rattlers trailed 36-25 at the half. Their shooting percentage caused them to be behind. NCCU shot 48 percent from the floor in the first half compared to 25 percent by the Rattlers.
Eagles’ guard Kieche White led all scorers in the first half with 14 points. She closed the game with 24 points. FAMU guard Florence Ouattara ended the first half with eight points, to pace the Rattlers. She also led the team in scoring with 20 points.
FAMU head coach Ledawn Gibson said the team made some adjustments in the second half. She also talked about all of the injured players on her team
”They came back in the second half with a winning altitude. They went with the gameplan, worked hard, played hard and did what they needed to do to win,” Gibson said. “Even though we lost some key players we still have a lot of talent. We’re nine strong right now and we are going to continue playing with what we got.”
Ecenur Yurdakul talked about her performance in the closing period and overtime. She scored nine of 17 points in the second half, including a three to tie the game at 71 and another to give FAMU a 74-73 lead.
“I just could not give up on my team, I trust everybody on my team and I just had to make some shots to get this win,” Yurdakul said. “The key to our team getting back in rhythm was our offense.”
Shakeyrra Morrison talked about her physical gameplan and her rebounding during the periods of the game. Morrison led the game with 12 rebounds. She scored five points in the third quarter, after only scoring four in the first half. She ended the game with 17 points.
“My type of game is getting the rebounds and putting it back up and getting some stops on defense and scoring on offense,” Morris said.
NCCU’s Rodneysha Martin and Paulina Afriye both closed the game with 12 points. Caira Benton also added 11 points.
Rattler sophomore forward Dy’manee Royal added eight points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Guard De’Ayra Davis added 10 points and three blocks including one as the clock expired.
The Lady Rattlers next play on Monday against the Morgan State Lady Bears at 8 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – TheSt. John Paul Panthers basketball team hosted the Florida High Seminoles. Florida High beat the Panthers 68-57.
Although St. John had home court advantage, Florida High came out in the first quarter moving the ball and scoring rapidly with fast breaks. Six minutes into the quarter, both teams were tied at four. Freshman Terrion Arnold scored a three for the Seminoles. Patrick Copenhaver responded back with a three of his own.
The first quarter ended with a 23-13 lead for the Seminoles.
In the second quarter, Zhyan Scott scored the first four points for the Panthers. Senior Andre Lightbourne scored a three for Florida High at the 5:53 mark in the second. Logan Roberts responded with a three for St. Johns, but the Panthers still trailed 32-24. With 57.5 seconds left before halftime, Panther junior Chosen Levarity blocked freshman Tre Donaldson.
The Seminoles began the third quarter with turnovers off of bad passes. The Panthers used the opportunity to score. Brain Woodland hit two threes for the Panthers to start the quarter.
The Panthers were able to cut the lead to six, bring the score to 47-41.
The Panthers used a full-court press against the Seminoles in the fourth quarter. An Arnold turnover leads to a Panther score.
The Panthers were able to close the gap to 51-49 at the 5:03 mark in the fourth, but the trio of Lightbourne, Arnold and Donalson were too much.
Lightbourne hit two three-pointers for the Seminoles. With 37.0 seconds left, Chosen Levarity drove to the line and was fouled but missed the second of two free throws to end the Panthers comeback hopes.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Saturday at 6 p.m., the Florida A&M University Rattlers men’s basketball team will take on the North Carolina Central Eagles at the Al Lawson Center. FAMU comes into Saturday’s contest 4-22 overall and 3-7 in their conference and NC Central has a 12-11 overall record and a 6-3 conference record.
This will be the teams first meeting this season and FAMU comes in as the clear underdogs. Leading the way in scoring for the Rattlers so far this season is senior small forward Desmond Williams with 17.8 points per game. Not far behind is senior guard Marcus Barham who is averaging 16.3 points per game. NC Central is led by junior center Raasean Davis who is averaging 15.4 points per game. For FAMU, the 7-foot junior center, Isaiah Martin leads the way in rebounds and block averaging 6.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.
The Rattlers are on a four-game losing streak and look primed to break that as 3 of their 4 wins are at home. NC Central lost their last game also against the Hampton Pirates who FAMU beat earlier on in the season.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – TheFlorida A&M women’s basketball team (4-18, 2-8 MEAC) will take on North Carolina Central (6-16, 4-5 MEAC) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Al Lawson Center.
Both teams are coming off of gloomy losses. FAMU took on Maryland-Eastern Shore (7-16 , 4-6 MEAC) on Monday and lost 87-70. In that game, senior guard Florence Quattara led the Lady Rattlers with a game-high 26 points. Senior Ecenur Yurdakul contributed with 10 points and seven assists.
North Carolina Central took on Hampton (11-11 , 7-2 MEAC) on Monday and came up short with a score of 62-53. Sophomore forward Paulina Afriye scored her second consecutive double-double with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Lady Rattlers average 59 points per game and shoot 36 percent from the field as a team. FAMU also averages 40 rebounds per game. North Carolina Central averages 60 points per game and on 34 percent shooting.