TJ Knapp, Correspondent
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WWW.FranchiseSportsOnline.Net) – Ninth inning rally falls short as Florida takes the Tuesday matchup over Florida State 10-7.
Offense was abundant early on in this historic rivalry matchup as both starting pitchers were knocked out before the third inning. A 4-run second and a 6-run fourth accounted for all of the Gators runs. Half of these runs came off of a pair of key doubles from Christian Hicks and Jonathan India, 2 and 3-run doubles respectively.
The Seminoles offense showed promise early on, scoring five runs in the first four innings. A big opportunity went by the wayside in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the heart of the Noles lineup (Aplin-Nieporte-Mendoza) struck out in order. Between the lack of timely hitting and downright underwhelming pitching, it just wasn’t Florida States night.
Coach Mike Martin expressed his frustration after the game. “We got a 2-run lead, the place is rocking, we have everything going our way and we go around and give up four. You can’t do that.” 11 did however maintain a positive attitude, reiterating that he believes in his team but also acknowledging that some things need to change.
“Drew Carlton will be used in a different way. We’re going to do everything we can to get to the postseason. We know it is not going to be easy but I assure you we will battle.” Martin later said that Carlton’s role is still undetermined but the overall message was that he wants his veteran right-hander to throw more important innings.
There were a few bright spots for the Noles today; Taylor Walls led the game off with his fourth home run of the season and Drew Mendoza went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI doubles to extend his hitting streak to six games. Cal Raleigh went 2-for-5 with an RBI and came just short of a 2-run home run on a fly out in the ninth inning to end the game.
This is the third game this season Florida State has dropped to the Gators and with number 4 Clemson coming to town this weekend, the Seminoles have a challenging road ahead. Between the freak injuries and the mixed results it has been a whirlwind of a season. Martin himself said “I have never had a year like this.”
Florida State (21-14) will host ACC rival Clemson (28-5) this Saturday at 6 PM.