Noles Bats Turn Hot
Florida State had found breaks. They had relied on being opportunistic. There was scratching and clawing, and maybe even a few frayed nerves after the Seminoles pitching staff had to grind out a pair of close games to open the Regional.
But solid batting was the one component missing from Florida State's postseason arsenal entering Sunday's final game against Auburn. As a team, FSU was stuck in the cellar with a .200 batting average (10-of-50).
The Seminoles turned the corner Sunday night, knocking out 11 hits to topple the Tigers 10-4, closing out the Regional.
Florida State settled in behind the plate early, producing four runs in the second-inning. Danny Wardell opened with a double, and was driven in by Josh Spivey. Ryne Jernigan reached first after pitcher Jared Shore bobbled his bunt, then Shane Robinson cleared the bases with a three-run shot off the left-field scoreboard.
In the fifth Ryne Malone and Gibbs Chapman scored after being walked to open the inning, and Jernigan advanced Jack Rye home to give the Seminoles an 8-4 cushion.
"I think that if you look at the games we've played with Florida State they are so well coached and so disciplined that when you give them three base runners, which we did last night, and we did a little tonight with the walks, and they do such a tremendous job of taking advantage of walks and playing the short game. It pays off for them," Auburn coach Tom Slater said.
Taking advantage of what was presented - that was nothing new. It was brand of baseball that the FSU had played throughout the regional - efficient and effective. For every opportunity presented, there was a run scored.
"Any time you can look at a score sheet (and see) they had 10 runs on 11 hits - that's productive baseball," Slater said. "They made us pay for every mistake we made."
C: Schuyler Williamson, Army
1B: Karl Amonite, AU
2B: Tyler Johnstone, AU
3B: Josh Donaldson, Auburnr>
SS: Ryne Jernigan, FSU
OF: Shane Robinson, FSU
OF: Clete Thomas, AU
OF: Bruce Edwards, AU
P: Kevin Lynch, FSU
P: Bryan Henry, FSU
DH: Joel Collins, S. Alabama
MVP: Bryan Henry, FSU
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