With a record of 27 wins to 6 losses, the ‘Noles were ranked much higher than anyone expected them to be for a team with so many fresh faces. The sold out baseball game on Tuesday, April 9th had an attendance of 6,719, the fifth largest crowd Doak Campbell stadium has ever seen. This may not seem like that big of a number, but baseball fans are a whole different animal than football fans. They are abnormally faithful, incredibly superstitious, and louder than…well I guess you’ll just have to go see. To anyone who’s never had the please of having boiled peanuts spilled on them and profane pitcher goading screamed at inhuman decibels, spring is just not complete.
It started out relatively slow, with the exception of DJ Stewart’s homerun. FSU and UF stayed tied for most of the game. Junior, Peter Miller pitched a solid game but was relieved in the 5th inning. Pitching is hands down the most physically taxing and psychological position in baseball, so a pitcher almost never stays in the whole game, most teams have anywhere from four to nine pitchers. Unless you’re the Yankees then all bets are off. Both teams played evenly for the first six innings, the score was tied 2-2 when potential future FSU football quarterback, James Winston hit a double to the right field wall to score one run, this is called going back side (its not what you think backside just means hitting to right field). However as all great athletes do sometimes Winston pushed his luck and got thrown out at third. This lead was short lived anyway, Florida scored on a passed ball soon after. A passed ball is always considered an error but it depends on the pitch who’s error it is, if the pitch is wild it’s a pitcher error if its solid it’s the catchers error.
This year the noles seem to have a propensity for starting off weak against Florida, pulling it together in the middle and then falling just short at the end, but again this is a relatively young team. With a team like this you can expect two things for certain, a lot of talent and a lot of errors. This undeniably talented team gave Florida the win on dropped catches and small fielding errors.
*Terminology Timeout* An “error” is basically anything that goes wrong that could conceivably have gone right. For example if a ball is hit to the center fielder and it tips his glove but he doesn’t catch it, it’s an error. But if he’s playing shallow (too close to the infield) and the ball is hit over his head it is not an error.
it was not a shut out by any stretch of the imagination. Both teams had ample opportunity to win the game and in the end Florida ended up taking the win. With the game in the winding down and the score still tied at 3-3, FSU third baseman committed a two base throwing error, which put Florida’s runner to second base. This was immediately followed by yet another field error, this time by the pitcher on a missed pick off, this moved Florida’s runner into scoring position on third. You know what they say about how a man at third hardly ever fails to score. The next batter hit a deep pop fly allowing the runner to tag up and score.
*Terminology Timeout* “Tagging up” is when a ball is hit up in the air, and instead of running to the next base, the runner anticipates that the ball will be caught and remains on the base until it is. Once the ball is in the fielder’s glove the runner can go.
This tagging up gave Florida the final lead of 4-3 to end the game. Coach Martin expressed his disappointment in the team’s inability to pull out the win at the end but he was not bitter about the loss and saw it as a learning experience. Florida played a better game fundamentally; FSU had four errors to UFs zero. On the bright side freshman centerfielder DJ Stewart went 3 for 4, meaning out of his four at bats he got three hits. He hit a single a double and a homerun, which scored FSU’s first run, he was one double away from hitting a cycle, which is really rare. The season is no where over and there are plenty of exciting games to come.