NoleGameday

Midweek Recap: The Way You Make Me Field

3/1 Tuesday Final: FSU 3 JU 7

3/2 Wednesday Final: FSU 11 VU 10 (14 Innings)

Three up:

Cal Raleigh 2-9 HR RBI

Raleigh has solidified himself as not only a leader of this team but as one of the big bats in this lineup. Raleigh hit his first career home run on Tuesday night against Jacksonville, and it was a no doubter off the bat and well over the right field wall. He bat in the 3-hole on Tuesday and has batted either in the 3-hole or the 4-hole for every game he has started this season. Coach Mike Martin mentioned during his post-game comments on Wednesday that Raleigh was initially supposed to have the night off on Wednesday. 14 innings later and all of a sudden Raleigh had caught for four innings and had five plate appearances. The last plate appearance, however, being the most important for the Seminoles as Raleigh delivered the walk-off sac fly in the bottom of the 14th inning against Villanova.  Coaches spoke very highly of his prior to the season but it’s very exciting to see Raleigh pay dividends for this Florida State team this early in his collegiate career.

Quincy Nieporte 1-7 RBI

Quincy Nieporte could have went 0-20 over these two games and he would still make the up list. The fact that he is back from his preseason suspension and that Coach Martin penciled him in at the 5-hole and 3-hole on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Nieporte is Florida State’s most dangerous hitter returning and was arguably the second-best hitter on the team last season behind D.J. Stewart. Expect Nieporte to be in that 3-5 spot in the order going forward and if he can produce like he did last season, Florida State should be able to have a steadying force to drive in runs.

John Sansone 4-11 5RBI

The John Sansone world crushing tour continues to roll onward this season. The senior leader for Florida State added a two-run single on Tuesday night and had, arguably, the hit of the season thus far for Florida State against Villanova on Wednesday night.  With two outs and the bases loaded and down two runs in the bottom of the 13th inning, Sansone ripped a two-run single through the left-side to tie up the game. Raleigh would later add the winning run on a sac fly, however the story is that Sansone has emerged as a force for this Florida State lineup. Sansone has been making excellent contact and always coming up with the timely hits for the Seminoles this season, if he can keep up similar types of production going forward, Florida State may have a very dangerous offense.

Three Down:

Infield Defense

As Florida State heads into its weekend series against St. Johns, one of the main concern facing the Seminoles is the issue of their infield defense. John Sansone, who moved over to third base this season, already has four errors through only eight games played on the season. The transition to playing third base has thankfully not affected his ability to hit, as Sansone leads the Seminoles in hitting through their first eight games. Errors and defensive misplays were the story of the Jacksonville loss as two of the runs were unearned and more could have been prevented, namely the disastrous 2nd inning, had routine balls been played correctly or the fielders communicated better. A throwing error by Chase Haney also allowed Villanova to score two unearned runs late in the game and take a lead. The Seminoles need to shore up their defensive miscues before ACC play as the ACC is stacked with talent and will make the Seminoles pay for their mistakes.

Ben DeLuzio 3-10 2RBI

After starting the season with a 3-4 performance in the first game of the season, DeLuzio has regressed. DeLuzio lost his lead off spot over the weekend to Taylor Walls and Walls batted lead off during both of the midweek games. He has been moved down to either the seventh or eighth spot in the lineup and is not having great at-bats. Coach Martin has reiterated that he believes DeLuzio is taking better swings and having better at-bats. DeLuzio is very talented, and his speed on the basepaths can be devastating, however he may find himself at the bottom of the order if he cannot turn his average around. The issue DeLuzio is not having is his defense. DeLuzio continues to play excellent defense in center field, culminating with the catch of the year thus far against Villanova. DeLuzio should be able to turn it around going forward, but with Walls mashing, he may not get the lead off spot back.

Starting Pitching

Holton L 3IP 9H 4R 4ER 2BB 2K

Johnson ND 3IP 4H 5R 5ER 3BB 2K

Florida State’s starting pitchers did not help them much during the week as FSU starters only accounted for 1/3 of the regulation innings pitched all week. Both Holton and Johnson showed flashes of the dominance that they’ve had in the past but were also both crushed by mistakes. For Holton, he had one bad 2nd inning against Jacksonville that turned into a nightmare. As aforementioned, the defense did not help Holton, but Jacksonville also crushed every mistake that he made. Coach Martin mentioned that Holton could not establish his inside fastball, which would explain why his fastball was all of a sudden very hittable. For Johnson, he had problems with control and the longball. After a dominant 1st and 2nd inning, but struggled in the 3rd and 4th innings. He ended up walking three batters and also gave up three home runs. Early on Johnson had his explosive fastball working with a knee-buckling slider. Both of these starters will have better days in the future, but it is also not encouraging that the bullpen had to be taxed before a weekend series against a very good St. John’s team.

Overall, this week was not the best for Florida State baseball. They got beat by a quality Jacksonville team who threw their ace, Michael Baumann who was lights out, against a young freshman starter. It’s never good to drop games midweek, but it is understandable as Jacksonville is a quality team. The Villanova game was even worse. Villanova is not a very good team, they only had two home runs entering the game on Wednesday and they hit three in the first four innings. Florida State eked out the victory, but it still leaves the team with a bad taste in their mouth, not to mention exhausted, that they had to go 14 innings with the Wildcats.

Florida State hosts St. John’s over the weekend and has a chance to beat another quality team. The games are on Friday at 6PM, Saturday 6PM, and Sunday 1PM at Dick Howser Stadium.

 

Vinnie Cervino
Lead Baseball Writer, Perpetually Pessimistic Sport Fan, Proprietor of My Own Delusions and Fallacies, 80 Grade Takes. Twitter @cervino_vinnie.

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