FSU takes early lead, Crowell picks up four-inning save in win over Miami

After being blown out in Game 1, Florida State capitalized off a four-run third inning to beat Miami 6-4 in Game 2 of the doubleheader.

“It was a short day,” FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. jokingly began his press conference. “I was really impressed with our guys’ bounce back, enthusiasm and focus.”

The Seminoles (31-18, 14-12 ACC) got on the board in the first inning against the Hurricanes (37-13, 18-8 ACC) when Tyler Martin scored on a balk by Miami right-hander Karson Ligon. 

Jordan Carrion kicked off the third-inning rally by blasting his second home run of the season to also score Tyler Martin. Brett Roberts doubled to center field to score Reese Albert, and Alex Toral plated Roberts with an RBI single. Toral ended the game with 2 RBI against his former team in Game 2 after going 0 for 4 in Game 1. 

“I’m glad he (Toral) was the same guy,” Martin Jr. said. “A lot of times when you see old friends and teammates you either get too amped up or go into a shell. I thought he was even-keeled, talkative. It was good to see.”

The Canes responded by plating three in the fifth inning amongst a comedy of errors by the Seminoles. Wild pitches, dropped third strikes and a fumbled ball in center field by FSU aided the Hurricanes’ scoring effort.

It was a sloppy ending to what otherwise was a solid outing for Hubbart. He threw five innings while only allowing three runs on four hits. Only one of the runs was earned. Hubbart also had 10 strikeouts. It was the second consecutive game Hubbart has earned 10 or more strikeouts and his fourth time reaching the mark this season. 

“It being one of my only night games of the year, it’s something that you look forward to,” Hubbart said. “Having the environment helped … At the end of the day I’m trying to give my team the best chance to win whether I strike out 10 guys or strike out one.”

After Reese Albert scored on a sac fly from Alex Toral, the Hurricanes responded with a run on a passed ball at the top of the 7th inning to bring the score to 6-4, where it remained for the rest of the ballgame. 

Wyatt Crowell entered the ballgame in relief of Hubbart and threw four innings to earn his second save of the season with the fans at Dick Howser chanting his name. 

“It was awesome,” Crowell said. “I got the chills about 30 times. It was electric; I had so much adrenaline against Miami with all those fans there.”

Crowell also contributed seven strikeouts to a 17-strikeout night for the Seminoles. 

“That’s some real stuff right there when you think about the breaking ball that has the depth that he does,” Martin Jr. said. “He’s gonna be one of those guys that in these types of games, he’s gonna be thrown in there.”

Offensively, Tyler Martin reached base in all six of his at-bats in Game 2, reaching on three hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. Martin also stole two bases, including a heads-up play in which he stole third once he recognized the Miami infielders did not call for time. Jordan Carrion and Brett Roberts had their second consecutive multi-hit game, accounting for three of the team’s six runs.

“I’ve caught a lot of crap (about Tyler),” Martin Jr. said. “I’ve said it a lot, he’s a good player. You think I’m going to take my kid and put him in there if he can’t do it? I’m not going to do that. This place is special. He’s a tough out, he knows the strike zone and does heads up things.” 

Despite some individual performances throughout Saturday, Florida State could have been more productive. The Seminoles left 12 runners left on base and were 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position in Game 2. Combined with Game 1, the Noles were 3 for 29 with runners in scoring position and left 19 runners on base between the two games.

Although it wasn’t enough to cost them both games on Saturday, the Seminoles will have to do better to win the series on Sunday. It was a game filled with all the emotion you would expect out of a Top 25 matchup between two heated rivals. There was a lot of chirping, chanting and emotion. Florida State will look to channel that emotion and close out Miami in their first visit to Dick Howser since 2018.

“In terms of pure energy, I think that was the loudest I’ve ever seen Howser and I’ve been here for two and a half years,” Hubbart said.

Box score: FSU 6, Miami 4

The FSU – Miami game 2 box score can be viewed here.

Up next: Miami at FSU

FSU and Miami will face off in the series finale on Sunday at noon (ESPN2).