Category Archives: College

Florida A&M Passing Game on Display in Orange and Green Game

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Florida A&M Rattlers football team played their Orange and Green Game Saturday at the Bragg Memorial Stadium at noon. The ending score was 31-0, with the Green team coming out on top. The Rattlers passing game was the highlight of the game.

In the first half, FAMU’s passing game was clicking. On the first play of the game, Ryan Stanley, the red-shirt sophomore quarterback, threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Chad Hunter. The field goal attempt was made to give the green team a 7-0 lead. The two linked up again on a 10-yard touchdown to put the green team up 16-0.

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In the second quarter, Stanley hooked up with Kevin Troutman, the junior wide receiver, on a 46-yard pass converting a first down from their own 20-yard line. In the middle of the second quarter, Tahj Tolbert, a redshirt freshman quarterback, checked into the game. Tolbert completed a pass to convert a first down on a 30-yard pass to Christian Mastramico.

The Rattlers passing game was still on point in the third quarter. A 40-yard pass from Stanley to Troutman was one of the key plays that setup FAMU to be in the red zone. With 14:33 left in the fourth quarter, Tolbert threw a touchdown strike to Dock Luckie, the redshirt freshman wide receiver.

FAMU’s first-year head coach Willie Simmons talked about how the offense played and how the team played overall. He also talked about how he and his team are ready for this season.

“I thought today was a very productive day. I wanted to see those guys compete on both sides of the ball.It was good to see the game close. It was a good competitive game,” Simmons said. “Offense was able to put some drives together. I thought all of those guys individually made some good plays.” 

“All in all thought today was a good scrimmage, a great combination of 15 really good days of spring ball. We are looking forward to this season.”

Stanley talked about how the offense and offensive scheme is going. He also talked about the bond he and Hunter had on the field.

“We put in all of our playbook, which really gives us a head start come fall time and that helps with everybody getting the feel of each other,” Stanley said. “I’m really comfortable with this offense. I trust the coaches and all of the reads they are teaching me and I really like this offense. I fell we are going to be very explosive”

“Chad is my guy. That’s a playmaker.” Stanley said. “That’s what playmakers do. My job as a quarterback is to get the ball in his hands and he is one of our go-to guys.”

Florida A&M will open up this season against Fort Vally State Wildcats on September 1 at 5 p.m. at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

 

 

 

Andrew Karp Named Weekend Starter

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State starting pitcher Andrew Karp has been moved into the weekend rotation, starting Sunday Apr. 22 at Boston College. He was originally scheduled for Sunday, Apr. 15 against Duke, but rain forced the teams to cancel the game. It will be the junior’s first weekend start since last year, where he made two such appearances, combining for a 6.43 ERA in 7 innings against the University of Virginia and University of the Pacific.

The decision comes in the midst of freshman Austin Pollock’s recent struggles. Pollock was originally put into the Sunday spot in the rotation when FSU’s ace, Tyler Holton, suffered a season-ending injury on opening day.  Pollock is posting an 8.87 ERA in five conference starts.

Karp has been the main starting pitcher for weekday games, including pitching in each of the last six games against the Florida Gators over the last 2 seasons. With his six starts against UF, FSU coach, Mike Martin said that he thinks the experience could help him adapt to the brunt of ACC play.

“Any time you’re given the ball three straight times against a team that’s as talented as Florida, and you pitch as well as he did, you’ve got to feel ‘I don’t know what [The ACC teams] have, but I know what Florida had, and I know what I can do,” Martin said.

Karp, who has a 2.88 ERA and a team-leading 65 strikeouts, credits his progress to staying in Tallahassee after the College World Series last year.

“I stayed here right after Omaha. I stayed here and I lifted everyday with coach Seth [Diters], and definitely got my body in position where I’m able to go out there every week and compete,” Karp said. “I wanna throw as many innings as possible. I wanna go deep into games, save our bullpen, and give our team a chance to win.

Coach Martin said that he first noticed Karp was a weekend-caliber starter last year, in one of his starts against UF.

“Lost on a check swing. Pitched very well against them all three outings this year. Lost a one-run ballgame in Jacksonville. So I would say going back to that game is when I said, ‘This guy’s got a good chance to pitch in our rotation,'” Martin said. “He’s earned it, I’m anxious to see how he does with it.”

Karp was needed this past Tuesday against Stetson University. He pitched a one-hit shutout in five innings, collecting  nine strikeouts on 71 pitches. He’s expected to throw around that same amount on Sunday.

His first weekend outing of the year is expected to come Sunday, Apr. 22 at Boston College. It will be his first ever appearance against the Eagles.

Godby-FSU Alumn Looks To Hear Name Called At NFL Draft

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Jacob Pugh is one of many athletes hoping to hear his name called during the NFL Draft. Pugh began his path to the draft in Tallahassee, where he attended Amos P. Godby High School.

Pugh made his talents known there as a defensive end in his junior season in 2012. That year, he collected a total of 98 tackles along with 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions.

During Pugh’s senior season, he saw much of the same as he ranked in the top-100 players in the country and led the Cougars to a playoff appearance.  He had 64 total tackles along with nine sacks and three fumble recoveries. Pugh ended his high school career with a trip to the Under Armour All-American game.
The following spring, Pugh signed his letter of intent with the Florida State Seminoles. His freshman season he transitioned from defensive end to linebacker. Pugh recorded twelve tackles and two interceptions on the season.

His sophomore campaign saw an increase in his playing time. He played in 10 games that year with 32 tackles and three sacks.
Pugh had a breakout season in his junior year. He made 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Instead of entering the draft, he stayed for his senior season.  

Pugh called last season a “nightmare”, as FSU only won two of its first seven games. Pugh also had injury problems that kept him out for an extended time his senior season; only playing in eight games with 21 tackles.
Pugh now looks forward to entering the draft and pursuing a career in the NFL. At the combine, he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash, recorded a 38.5 inch vertical jump and  122 inch broad jump. Pugh is projected as day-three selection. 

TCC to take on Chipola College

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Tallahassee  Community College Eagles will play Chipola College on the road on Monday, as well as at home on Wednesday.

The Eagles will look to maintain their success, as they have gone on a six-game winning streak, as well as an  8-2 record over their last 10 games.  TCC is 31-14 so far this season, while going 9-7 in conference play, and 21-10 at home. They are 10-4 on the road.

A reason for this success is the team’s batting. They have a .303 batting average as a team this season. Cole Vann, a sophomore outfielder, is a major contributor. He leads the team in home runs (six), slugging percentage (.583), doubles (12) and hits (47). Vann is also second in on-base percentage (.503) and RBI (34).

The team’s pitching has helped as well, though they have a 4.12 ERA. Jake Kinney, a sophomore relief pitcher for the Eagles, has helped with a team-low 1.21 ERA. Kinney also leads the team in strikeouts per nine innings (16.38), saves (5) and appearances (19).

The Eagles’ pitching has improved as the year has gone on.  In the month of February, the Eagles gave up 145 hits, 77 earned runs and accumulated a 4.94 ERA in only 16 games. However, in March, they only gave up 120 hits, 56 earned runs as well as having a 3.61 ERA, despite playing in four more games.

After the Eagles play Chipola, they will finish the season playing three two-game series against Gulf Coast State College, Pensacola State College and Northwest Florida State College.

Florida State Falls to Florida

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the eighth time in a row, and the 13th in the last 14 games, the Florida State Seminoles fell to the Florida Gators.

The No. 1 Gators (29-6) defeated the No. 10 Seminoles (24-10) 6-3 in Tallahassee on Tuesday.

“We made a couple of mistakes, and they were taken advantage of,” coach Mike Martin said.

Alex Krutchik | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

After jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the 3rd off a Cooper Swanson home run, the Seminoles committed 2 errors in the 4th inning to help UF get ahead.  Florida third baseman Jonathan India stole second, and advanced to third when FSU catcher Cal Raleigh threw the ball wide of shortstop Mike Salvatore. From there, India scored on a double from Wil Dalton. Two batters later, Austin Langworthy singled to left to score Dalton, and advanced to second when Raleigh couldn’t field the throw coming in from the outfield. Langworthy would then score on a Blake Reese single.

The Seminoles offense battled, but every run they scored was quickly answered in the very next inning by Florida. In the 5th inning, FSU second baseman Nick Derr scored on  a Mike Salvatore sacrifice groundout to pull the Seminoles within a run. The Gators answered with 2 more runs in the next inning to push the score to 5-2.

Seminole left fielder Jackson Lueck hit a solo home run to right-center field in the 7th. The very next inning Gator catcher JJ Schwarz answered with a home run of his own. Schwarz has gone 22-for-65 (.369) for 8 home runs and 25 RBI in his career vs FSU.

The Seminoles had a lot of chances to capitalize on offense. They loaded the bases in the 6th inning, but Swanson grounded out in front of the catcher before anything could get started.

This marks the eighth time in a row that FSU has fallen to UF. The last time FSU beat UF was in the 2016 super regionals in Gainesville. This is the second year in a row that the Gators have swept the three-game “Sunshine Showdown” series.

“I wish I could explain a little bit of my frustration,” coach Martin said. “But we still have 22 games left in the regular season. And he hope we can continue to get better every day.”

The Seminoles return to the field for a 3-game weekend series vs. Duke, starting Friday at 6 p.m.

SPORTS BRIEF: TCC WINS NCJAA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Tallahassee Community College women’s basketball team beat Trinity Valley Community College  64-51 on March 24  to win their first National Junior Athletic Association Women’s Basketball National Championship.

The leading scorer for the Lady Eagles (29-6, 8-5) was freshman guard Nakiah Black off of the bench, pacing the team with 13 points, five rebounds, three steals and one block. Freshman forward Jamyra McChristine finished second in points with 12, seven rebounds and one block.  Japonica James ended the game with 10 points and eight rebounds. 

Sophomore guard Mercedes Brooks led the Lady Cardinals (32-6, 16-4) with 17 points, six rebounds and one steal.  This was her fourth consecutive game scoring in the double digits. Michal Miller finished with 10 points, three rebounds and one block.

The Lady Eagles shot 39 percent from the floor compared to the Lady Cardinals’ 31 percent. Tallahassee recorded 48 rebounds to Trinity Valley’s 38. The Eagles also shot 37 percent from the three-point line.

The Lady Eagles forced 14 turnovers and turned them into 12 points. The Cardinals scored two points off of TCC’s 11 turnovers. 

This is the Lady Eagles first women’s basketball championship and the first national title for the school since the softball team won the NJCAA crown in 1994. 

The Lady Eagles finished their season 26-6.

 

Florida State Loses To No. 18 Louisville

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The No. 5 Florida State Seminoles baseball team (22-7, 7-5 ACC) fell short by a score of 6-1 against the No. 18 Louisville Cardinals (19-8, 5-7 ACC) Saturday afternoon at the Dick Howser stadium.

The Seminoles struggled on the offensive side, ending the game with one run and four hits. Head coach Mike Martin talked about the team’s performance today and for the series.

“I want our guys to know that they battle. They kept battling and I’m very proud of how we played this entire weekend,” Martin said. “When we have an opportunity to win the third game and secure a sweep and we don’t we are disappointed”.

As far as relief pitching, the Seminoles’ C.J Van Eyke ended the game allowing only two hits, one run, three walks and one error. Martin talked about Van Eyke’s performance and his chances of hopefully being a starter.

“C.J Van Eyke pitched very well for six innings. Two hits, one run and four strikeouts…that is pretty impressive. I am very very proud of C.J and how he took charge of the ball game,” Martin said. “Yes, he is in the conversation. He enjoys competition, he controls his emotion, he doesn’t put undue pressure on himself, he is a battler and he is a winner.”

 

The Seminoles will go up against the Jacksonville Dolphins April 4 at the Dick Howser Stadium at 6.00 p.m.

Weekly Report: FSU Spring Football Report with Head Coach Willie Taggart

 

Brianna Biancardi, Correspondent (@bribiancardiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. – Florida State’s head football coach Willie Taggart held his first official pre-spring press conference this past Monday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Taggart addressed the media and responded to questions regarding the program, team and upcoming spring practices.

Taggart initiated the conference with a shoutout to the men’s and women’s basketball team for their success, including the men who will now advance to Elite 8 on Saturday night against Michigan. Taggart continued to express his support for the Noles and finished his commencement by stating, “It’s good to be around winners.”

Taggart then referenced to Florida State football. By the look on his face and the sound in his voice, his excitement about the upcoming spring season, as well as his involvement within the program, was crystal clear.

“I’m ready to see them go through the next process of another spring ball, Coach Taggart said. “We’ve been in the wait room and now it’s time to go out and execute on the football field.” Continue reading Weekly Report: FSU Spring Football Report with Head Coach Willie Taggart

Preview: No. 9 FLORIDA STATE VS. NO.4 GONZAGA

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –  The ninth-ranked Florida State Seminoles (22-11) will take on fourth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-4) Thursday in Los Angeles at the Staples Center at 10 p.m. to advance to the elite eight. 

Both teams are coming off of wins. The Seminoles got a 75-70 win against the top-ranked Xavier Musketeers (29-6). The leading scorer for the Seminoles was senior guard Braian Angola, ending the game with 15 points, six rebounds, two steals and one block. FSU senior forward Phil Cofer contributed 10 points and two steals.

The Musketeers were led by senior guard J.P Macura, ending the game with 17 points, two steals and one rebound. Karem Kunter finished the game with 15 points and six rebounds. 

The Gonzaga Bulldogs beat the fifth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (25-9), 84-90. The leading scorer for the Bulldogs was freshman guard Zach Norvell Jr., ending the game with 28 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and four assists. Sophomore forward Rui Hachimura pitched in with 25 points, five rebounds and four blocks. 

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the Seminoles and the Bulldogs met back in 2010 in the NCAA tournament, with the Bulldogs coming out on top 67-60.

This is Gonzaga’s fourth consecutive year in the Sweet 16. The Noles are shooting 68 percent from the field, compared to the Bulldogs, who are shooting 50 percent. 

Waltman’s Uses Experiences From Being a Player as Lincoln’s Coach

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – At five years old, when Terese Waltman’s parents first asked if she wanted to sign up to play softball, she responded telling her parents “No. All I want to do is go to the concessions stand by myself.”

The Lincoln High School softball coach began playing when she was six years old, just a year after she told her parents she did not want to play. Waltman was inspired by her sister, who is two years older than her, to begin the sport. Along with softball, she was very active, playing basketball, tennis and golf. She mostly spent her time focused on softball and basketball.

“I think it was actually when I got into ninth grade I had to make the decision. Am I really going to focus on softball or basketball?” Waltman said. “After I finished basketball season, I realized I was wanting to leave basketball practice and go pitch in the yard with my dad or leave a basketball game and go hit with him.” 

Her sophomore year of high school, Waltman began receiving letters of interest and by her junior year was going on official visits. She narrowed down her top three schools to Georgia Tech, University of Alabama and Florida State.

“I had my older sister so I kind of followed the ropes she took and saw how the recruiting process worked,” Waltman said.

After watching her sister play in college at the University of West Georgia, she decided what she wanted. She wanted the opportunity to prove herself as a player at a top university.

“I wanted the big university aspect of it. At that point, I did everything in my power and worked really hard and was able to earn a scholarship,” Waltman said.

Waltman committed to Florida State University at the end of her junior year and officially signed as a senior. Through her experiences as a player, Waltman learned a lot about herself. 

“I’ve learned how strong of a person I am. You can face adversities and see how you react to them and overcome them,” Waltman said.

Less than a week after finishing four seasons at Florida State, Waltman headed to Germany for a summer to play softball internationally. She competed for the European cup and her team took fourth place. She was named Most Valuable Pitcher at the global tournament.

Waltman returned to Tallahassee and first began her coaching career at Lincoln High School in fall 2011, with her first official season in spring 2012. Waltman has used her experiences as a player to help develop the way she coaches her athletes. 

“I’ve been in their shoes. I know what it feels like to be in those pressure situations,” Waltman said. “I think it has helped me relate to them instead of demanding to do this and that.”

Off the field, Waltman has become a comforting voice to her players. Senior catcher Taylor Thorpe said it’s like having another parent.

“Basically, [she] is like our second mom or sister. I can talk to her about anything. I’ll text her that I need help with something and ask for her advice,” senior catcher Taylor Thorpe said.

 

FSU Bats get going to overcome an early 5-run deficit

Alec Chessari, Correspondent (@AlecChessariFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)

Alex Krutchik | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FSU got an early season victory behind dominant pitching

Through the first 11 games this season it has been mostly the pitching staff for the Seminoles but tonight the bats came through.

“You know when you play 12 games you think you have a good feeling about your ball club, but when you fall 5-runs down after four innings you kind of just look around and wonder is this bunch going to be satisfied with what they accomplished in three weeks or are they going to fight?” FSU Coach Mike Martin said.  “Well they answered that tonight and as one of the coaches of the team I am proud to be a part of it because that’s what life’s about and this ball club really showed me something tonight.”

The No.4 Florida State University Baseball (12-0) defeat the Kansas Jayhawks (8-3) 10-5 in game one of a two game series at Dick Howser Stadium.  The series was supposed to be played Tuesday and Wednesday but due to unexpected weather first pitch was tonight at 6 P.M. and game to will be played Tuesday at 6 P.M. as well.

“I thought Jonah came in and pitched extremely well. Karp struggled a little but he was right over there on the side line when he came out yelling for his ball club” Coach Martin said.

The Seminoles couldn’t get anything going through the first three innings.  Andrew Karp threw out the first pitch for the Seminoles and gave up a home run to the Jayhawks second batter James Consentino.  Karp finished his night with five innings pitched, 101 total pitches, 69 strikes, eight hits, five runs, seven strikes and a 1.56 ERA.  Jonah Scolaro came in and pitched the last four innings for the Seminoles only giving up two hits striking out six batters and got the save.

The Seminoles brought the heat in the bottom of the fifth inning batting in five runs to take their first lead. Rafael Bournigal got them going with a two run home run destroyed down the right side.  Cal Raleigh then sends one right down the center field and hits the top of the fence for the two RBI double that would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Another big inning in the seventh earned the Seminoles three more runs batted in.  Steven Wells RBI single loaded the bases with no outs.  J.C. Flowers and Bournigal each Sac fly to bring in a runner home to advance the lead 9-5.  Mendoza’s late RBI single would then send Rhett Aplin home to give the Seminoles the 10-5 lead.

FSU Player Stats

Pitchers

Andrew Karp (3-0) completed 5 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 7 strikeouts and 2.42 ERA.

Jonah Scolaro: 2 saves, completed 4 innings, 2 hits, 6 strikeouts, 52 total pitches and 35 strikes.

Box Score

Rhett Aplin: 3 at bats, 2 hits, 2 runs, a double and .293 AVG

Cal Raleigh: 4 at bats, 2 runs, 3 hits, 2-RBI, one double and .326 AVG

Drew Mendoza: 3 at bats, one run, 2 hits, 3-RBI and .458 AVG

Rafael Bournigal: 1 at bat, 1 homerun, 3-RBI and .206 AVG