After two extensive rain delays, No. 24 Florida State dropped the series finale against Boston College on Sunday, 5-3.
FSU (18-14) had four hits and eight walks but couldn’t come through enough with runners on base (2 for 14) or in scoring position (2 for 10).
“You got to cash them in,” FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. said. “To create them is one thing but you’ve got to do things that make sense when it comes to pitch selection, being ready and leaving stuff alone when you shouldn’t. Great hitters that hit in the clutch when there’s runners in scoring position, that’s what they do. We’re going to continue to do it.”
After two games of quiet bats, Boston College (15-18) opened up the scoring in the third inning on an error by infielder Nander De Sedas. Eagles outfielder Dante Baldelli hit a triple that barely avoided Wyatt Crowell’s glove in center field. Baldelli reached home plate on the error during the next at-bat. Another run scored later in the inning on a fielder’s choice after Tyler Martin blocked a ball at first base but couldn’t get the throw home in time to keep the runner from scoring.
The Seminoles responded the following inning with a two-run homer by Robby Martin – his seventh of the season. The home-run followed Matheu Nelson’s eighth double on the year.
BC answered with single runs in the fifth and sixth inning, one run coming via an RBI single by shortstop Brian Dempsey, the other a sac-fly from Baldelli.
From there, Florida State failed to bring the game back to even footing, despite having multiple chances.
The ’Noles had the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings, and had two runners on in the bottom of the ninth. They were only able to muster one run out of these opportunities.
What makes the outcome sting even further is that the best part of the order – Tyler Martin, Nelson, Robby Martin – had at-bats during each opportunity. After a successful weekend up until Sunday, the best hitters in the lineup fell short.
FSU’s pitching staff had a mixed bag of a day. Conor Grady (4-2) pitched 4.2 innings and earned seven strikeouts while surrendering three runs (two earned). He was tagged with the loss. It wasn’t Grady’s best outing, but he didn’t get the support he needed from the defense early on before the second weather delay.
Both Chase Haney and Davis Hare surrendered runs but did well to keep the Seminoles within striking distance against a team that was hitting the ball well.
The weather was a looming factor all day. In fact there was more time spent in a weather delay (3 hours and 28 minutes) than there was spent playing the game (2 hours and 57 minutes).
But no matter the weather, this was a series sweep the Seminoles needed to have. They are 7-7 in their last 14 games after winning seven in a row in March. With weekend series still left against Georgia Tech and No. 10 Notre Dame, the time for inconsistency to cease is rapidly approaching.
It’s the small things. Errors, strikeouts, poor situational hitting – things that are still lingering nine weeks into the season.
The BC-FSU box score can be viewed here.
FSU plays at Georgia Tech in a three-game series beginning on Friday at 7:30 p.m. All three games are set for ACC Network Extra.