baseball Edit

Hot start, Wyatt Crowell help FSU baseball salvage series finale vs. FGCU

It looked like we were heading for the highest-scoring game of what was a slugfest of a weekend series.

Florida State led FGCU 10-7 through three innings and runs were anything but at a premium.

Wyatt Crowell had other intentions in mind. FSU's ace reliever entered in the third inning and pitched the next 5.2 innings, a new career-high. He allowed one run on four hits, issuing two walks and tied his career-high with seven strikeouts.

After FSU starter Carson Montgomery failed to get through the third inning, Crowell picked up the slack and then some. He brought the scoring to a screeching halt as the Eagles scored no runs over the ensuing five innings with No. 16 FSU (8-3) coming away with a 14-8 win in Sunday's series finale vs. FGCU (10-2) to avoid being swept.

"I've been (in this role) since last year," Crowell said. "It's a lot of fun. I love coming into big situations, especially against a team like that that has been hitting all weekend. I like coming into the middle of games with runners on base. It makes it a little bit more competitive, too."

Between his relief appearances Wednesday against USF and Sunday vs. FGCU, Crowell threw 8.2 innings this week. He allowed two earned runs on four hits over that span in those two appearances, striking out 13 batters.


His run allowed Sunday came in the ninth inning when he returned to try to close things out even as he neared 90 pitches thrown. He was pulled after leading off the inning by allowing a single and a hit-by-pitch

"Wyatt settled the game, did a nice job, All of his pitches were in play," FSU head coach Link Jarrett said of Crowell's outing. "His fastball had some life and velo, slider was good, used his change-up. Commanded the game, controlled the game, extended."

The FSU offense got off to its hottest start of the season in Sunday's series finale. Entering the bottom of the first trailing 1-0, FSU responded with a three-run first inning highlighted by James Tibbs' RBI double.

When the Eagles rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the second, the Seminoles responded again with a seven-run second inning. Second baseman Nander De Sedas gave FSU the lead for good two batters into the FSU second inning on his first home run of the season. Right fielder Jaime Ferrer followed that up with his third home run of the season, a three-run laser shot to left field.

Through two innings at the plate, the Seminoles had 10 runs on 11 hits, their seventh game this season reaching double digits in both.

"Proud of the fight today. Not an easy atmosphere to walk into, knowing how the previous games have gone and knowing the results of those. Not good enough," Jarrett said. "Today was a day they had to answer. We tried to make this a one-game championship."

After the Seminoles were blanked in the third through seventh innings, Colton Vincent gave FSU some pleasant insurance in the bottom of the eighth with a three-run double that anchored the four-run inning at the plate.

Vincent, Tibbs and designated hitter Ben Barrett each led the way with three hits as the Seminoles racked up 16 hits over the nine-inning game.

Starting pitching woes continue

Montgomery's underwhelming start was the third of those by FSU's weekend rotation in as many games this weekend. After both Montgomery and Friday starter Jackson Baumeister had success last weekend at then-No. 8 TCU, all three starting pitchers struggled against FGCU.

Like the two before him, Montgomery failed to get through three innings in his start. He was hit hard by FGCU's high-powered lineup, allowing seven runs, all earned, on eight hits. Three of those hits were home runs.

Overall, FSU's three starting pitchers in the weekend series threw a combined seven innings and allowed 12 earned runs on 17 strikeouts.

Up Next

FSU will remain at Howser for another week of home games next week. That begins Tuesday at 5 p.m. when it hosts Bethune-Cookman and continues next weekend when the Seminoles open ACC play against Pitt.

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