The Seminoles narrowly escaped the wrong side of history on Wednesday night, beating the Stetson Hatters 5-4 in the 12th inning on Jordan Carrion’s RBI single.
Had Florida State lost its sixth straight ball game on Wednesday, it would be the worst losing streak the program has seen since 1999. Yes, that 1999 — when FSU lost to Miami in the national championship game. Late-game heroics, however, bucked the looming streak and delivered FSU a much-needed win.
“It says a lot about the character and leadership of our team,” FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. said. “We got into a wild one. We didn’t have things going our way to say the least.”
Through five innings of play, Florida State (17-11, 6-6 ACC) trailed 1-0 and was getting no-hit by the Hatters (16-12, 4-5 ASUN). Logan Lacey earned FSU’s first hit of the game with a bunt at the end of the sixth inning. The Seminoles finally got on the board in the seventh inning with an RBI double by Isaiah Perry and a groundout RBI by Brock Mathis to cut Stetson’s lead to 3-2.
It looked as though Florida State would fall short until Jackson Greene blasted a two-out, two-run homer over the left-field wall to send the game to extra innings.
Carrion hit a single into center field to score Brett Roberts and win the game in the bottom of the 12th.
Carrion has had a rough go of swinging the bat lately, barely hovering over a .200 batting average at the plate, but put together one of FSU’s best swings on the night to deliver the final blow.
“You’ve got to be so careful with slumps,” Martin Jr. said. “The old saying is that it’s like the flu. You need to let it run its course because you can really ruin guys if you beat them up mentally or overhaul their swings. There were some guys that came through tonight.”
The Seminoles were very much kept in the ballgame by starting pitcher Carson Montgomery, who had his best outing of the season — striking out a career-high 13 batters and allowing three runs in 6.1 innings. Two of the three runs were inherited by Jonah Scolaro, who couldn’t strand the runners.
“(Montgomery’s) cutter was really going,” Martin Jr. said. “Sometimes it acts like a slider and sometimes it acts like a cutter and it makes it difficult to catch. He gave us what we needed. Everybody came in throwing the ball great.”
Scolaro, Jackson Baumeister, Davis Hare and Wyatt Crowell all contributed valuable innings of work to keep the ‘Noles within striking distance. Crowell was awarded with the win, bringing him to 2-0 on the season.
FSU pitchers combined to strike out the Madhatters 25 times — a new school record for Stetson.
Martin Jr. went on to give an interesting stat — that close to 70 percent of the team’s walks have resulted in runs against them, which is about 30 percent more than average. He didn’t give an exact time table but it would certainly help explain this sudden slump.
The Seminoles will travel to Atlanta to battle Georgia Tech in a three-game series this weekend with the weather permitting. It seems that it has been raining on Florida State both literally and metaphorically as this slump really halted the brakes on what was looking to be a strong showing of talent and pitching prowess at the halfway point in the season. Every team has it’s ups and downs – and Florida State looks to head upward against the Yellow Jackets.
The FSU – Stetson box score can be viewed here.
FSU plays at Georgia Tech on Friday at 6 p.m. (ACC Network Extra).