The Florida State Seminoles with legendary coach Mike Martin visited Tech for the first time since 2014. The Jackets lost four times to FSU in 2016 in Tallahassee and at the ACC Tournament. They have a very good team this year 23-7 (7-5) and are ranked as high as fourth, coming off a series win over Louisville last weekend at home and a home victory over Jacksonville Wednesday.
The Jackets were coming off a road loss to uga Tuesday. They were unable to, however, as the Seminoles won by a final score of 10-2.
Xzavion Curry (6-0, 2.72), the current ACC Pitcher of the Week, faced junior RHP Cole Sands (5-1, 5.22) on Friday. Sands was the winning pitcher in two of the Seminoles’ 2016 wins over the Jackets and did it again tonight.
Joey Bart led off the scoring with a massive one out solo blast over the left field wall in Tech’s first. The Jackets loaded the bases with two outs in their second, but failed to cash in, a bad omen. Curry meanwhile had a fairly large pitch count of 50 after two.
Disaster struck in the top of the fourth, when a walk and single put two on. A grounder to short was badly misplayed by Austin Wilhite, turning a possible DP into a run scored with still two on. FSU second baseman Nick Derr hit a three-run homer to right, and it was suddenly 4-1 with FSU fans loudly demonstrating they know how to spell the name of their school.
With Curry’s pitch count over 100 after five, Andy Archer replaced him on the mound. Xzavion had been let down by his defense and his control was not the best, unable to overcome a very tight strike zone of the umpire.
Archer got through the sixth, but gave up two runs in the seventh on a two-out double by Cal Raleigh to make it a daunting 6-1.
Robert Winborne came in to pitch the eighth after Tech could do nothing with a couple of base runners in their seventh, the first on base since the third.
Sands pitched into the eighth, but was pulled after he walked Bart to lead off and threw a ball to McCann. Sands had pitched extremely well through 114 pitches with 1 run and 4 hits.
Sophomore LHP Clayton Kwiatkowski came in for the Seminoles. The Jackets put one run across on an RBI single by pinch-hitting Michael Guldberg, but left the bases loaded for the second time in the game.
Jonathan Hughes came in to pitch the ninth, but wasn’t effective and hit a batter. He also gave up a two-run home run before yielding to Bailey Combs. Combs got the three outs, but not before two more runs scored to make it 10-2.
Curry suffered his first loss of 2018 as the Jackets fell to 17-13 (6-7) and FSU improved to 24-7 (8-5). Sands got the well-earned win.