In what was the tough first test of Link Jarrett’s baseball tenure at Florida State, the Seminoles passed with flying colors.
Hostile road atmosphere? Top 10 opponents? Go against an extremely powerful offense? None of this could deter FSU.
The Seminoles (5-0) did just about everything right in the opener of their three-game series at No. 8 TCU (3-2), earning a resounding 10-1 victory at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth , Texas. Friday night.
Most of that, no doubt, was thanks to FSU’s pitching staff. Jackson Baumeister and Wyatt Crowell combined to allow an unearned run on two hits in the win. That’s impressive against any opponent, but especially against a TCU offense that started the day averaging 11 points per game this young season.
For Baumeister, it was his first career start on Friday, moving up a day from the Saturday spot he started the season in due to a minor injury suffered by Friday starter Carson Montgomery which pushed him to the Sunday starting point this weekend.
While the scene may be daunting to some, Baumeister has thrived in the spotlight. He took a no-hitter in the sixth inning, allowing his only hit with two outs in the frame. The sophomore pitcher was unable to complete that inning but still had by far the best outing of his young career.
He pitched a career-high 5.2 innings and struck out a career-high eight batters, allowing just three base runners (one hit and two walks).
Crowell, FSU’s strongest reliever, was tasked with taking out the final of the sixth and did it with ease, earning a strikeout to block two base runners.
From there, the junior pitcher did the rest on the mound for the Seminoles. He recorded the Seminoles’ first save of the season, pitching the final 3.1 innings and allowing an unearned run on a hit.
The pitching pair retired 14 batters from the Horned Frog and walked four. And very important for the rest of the weekend, they filled all nine innings, keeping FSU’s bullpen in top shape for the rest of the series.
FSU offense comes to life after slow start
It took a number of innings for either team to generate a lot offensively in Game 1 of Friday’s series.
Nander De Sedas’ double in the third inning was the only hit by either team until the sixth inning. And he was blocked on base after his one-out hit was followed by a pair of FSU strikeouts.
FSU finally broke through against TCU starting pitcher Ryan Vanderhei in the sixth frame. It started with a first double from receiver Colton Vincent placed just inside the sack of third base and along the left field line.
Vincent moved up to third base on a bloop single from DeAmez Ross, then came on to score the long-awaited first inning of the game on wild pitch at the start of the very next at-bat.
As the next two batters were retired, FSU hit a pair of clutch runs with two outs after that. Jaime Ferrer chased Vanderhei out of the game with a wall double down the middle that scored Ross. Then Ferrer came back from second base to score on an error by TCU first baseman David Bishop, an aggressive base move that paid off.
FSU then added two more runs in the eighth inning on an RBI single from Treyton Rank and a sacrifice fly from Jordan Carrion. The killer blow was a five-run ninth inning for the Seminoles, highlighted by James Tibbs’ three-run double to left field.
After FSU had just one hit in the first five innings at the plate, they had much more success in their last four innings at the plate, racking up 10 runs on 10 hits over the course of this period to turn a close match into a convincing victory.
With that late charge, FSU hit double-digit hits and runs for the fourth time in five games this season.
With a win in hand, FSU now has two chances to come away with an impressive series victory over the eighth-placed Horned Frogs. The first of those two chances will come Saturday at 3 p.m. (ESPN+) with freshman pitcher Jamie Arnold on the mound for the Seminoles.
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