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Cabell’s slam, FSU’s walks lead to sweep of Cincinnati

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Florida State completed the series sweep by defeating Cincinnati (0-6) 10-1 on Sunday. This brings the Seminoles’ winning streak to six games after dropping their season opener against Niagara last weekend. 

This is the fourth time in the last five games that the Seminoles (5-1) have scored 10 runs or more, yet the road to those 10 runs on Sunday was a bit abnormal.

The only offense FSU could muster early were walks and advancements off wild pitches. The team was held hitless through 3.1 innings before outfielder Elijah Cabell launched a grand slam over the fence in right center field. This was his third home run of the season, his third of the series, and his second grand slam as a Seminole. 

“It was kind of funny,” Cabell admitted. “Conor (Grady) looked up at the scoreboard and said that we were getting no hit. I told him not to worry about it and that something big was going to happen. I went up to the plate and (Mike) Metcalf told me to look for something up. I looked for something and I hit it … And it just went out. It was exciting and it really helped take pressure off Conor.”

The Seminoles have continued to have issues at the plate early. Sunday was no exception as they struck out early and often against Cincinnati’s Drake Batcho (0-1). Batcho struggled mightily with his command in his outing. In his three innings, Batcho gave up five walks and threw four wild pitches, but also struck out seven Florida State batters in that same time span. 

This performance was very similar to Friday’s game in which Florida State struck out nine times to Evan Shawver in his five innings of work, despite the left-hander issuing four walks and throwing two wild pitches. FSU’s bats got warm late in that game as well to secure a come from behind victory. 

“If I knew the answer to it, I’d fix it,” head coach Mike Martin Jr. said. “I don’t think, generally speaking, that it’s nerves. It’s decisions … taking the good pitches and swinging at the bad ones that turns into pressing – ‘I’ve got to get a hit, I’ve got to get a hit.’ Human nature takes over and it snowballs. All you need to do is make good decisions that turn into a good at-bat.” 

Apart from Cabell’s grand-slam, Nander De Sedas and Robby Martin batted in runs with singles to center and right field. Tyler Martin and Matheu Nelson also gained an RBI via bases-loaded walks against Cincinnati (0-6).

The Seminoles’ pitching staff had its best game of the series on Sunday, relinquishing one run on six hits. The lone Bearcat run came from a solo homer off the bat of Griffin Merritt – his second of the series. Conor Grady secured his second win of the season, pitching another good game. Bryce Hubbart, Parker Messick, Jonah Scolaro and Brandon Walker all contributed a shutout inning.

Sunday’s box score can be viewed here in PDF format.

FSU’s next outing will be on the road against Jacksonville on Tuesday before returning to Dick Howser Stadium the following weekend for a series with Florida Atlantic and Texas Tech. The Seminoles will play FAU on Friday and Saturday afternoon, with games against the Red Raiders on Saturday night and Sunday.

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