Animals Weekend Wrap-up: Georgia

Game 1: Georgia 3, FSU 8 (Summary by Bryan E)

Game one of the UGA series was about as slow moving as a game can get. Luke Weaver got the start, and though he didn’t bring his best, it was good enough to hold the lead as the Noles drew first blood with a run in the 1st. It was a very ho-hum night until the Noles blew up for 6 runs in the 4th off of timely hitting along with our continued knack for drawing walks. “Take me out of the ballgame” is my personal favorite and we got to belt it out in the 4th.

UGA drew this game out way too long. Their pitching kept the pace at a crawl. Made no sense to me. Final score was 8-3 good guys.

Gonzalez is having a helluva season so far on the field and at the plate. Strode came in to relieve Weaver after he gave up a 2 run bomb over the right-center fence by some kid named Posey. Strode looked good tonight. Real good. He struck out the side in the 6th and put down 2 in the seventh before being relieved by Gage Smith who, I believe, finished the game. Jameis is batting 1.000 after popping a short blooper to center field. He was promptly picked off at first base after taking a speedster’s lead. Speaking of speed…. Ben Deluzio has it in spades.

Tonight just seemed to lack the energy of a big name matchup, but that’s not on us. There’s a reason the St. John’s River flows north. It’s because Georgia sucks.

See you under the oaks tomorrow for what is predicted to be a perfect FL winter day.

The big news of Friday was, of course, the US Olympic Hockey team falling to team Canada in the semi-finals. And of course we immediately had people calling for us to not sing O Canada. Indeed there was lively discussion even within the Animals on the subject. But in the end, we stuck with tradition and sang it. For the break, I came up with ‘AWKWARD!’, which I thought summed up the situation, and held true to our long history of funny and irreverent.

Game 2: Georgia 4, FSU 10

Reluctant reporter with your game two UGA synopsis. PURE ENERGY. The weather was perfect. The tailgating was epic.

It was a sellout. I even heard estimates of 600-800 fans turned away. There’s a lot of excitement around our program and I can’t help but think that Jameis alone is good for 500 tickets a game. When you add in Jimbo and Candi front and center, Dick Howser has become quite chic.

As an aside, when I was doing my cheers in the third I hadn’t noticed that the Fishers were where they were, so when I stopped in the middle he was surrounded by 4 or 5 4(or so) year old kids and he was handling it like they were his own. I asked him if he wanted to do a cheer, he declined, but one little boy in front of him said “I do.” So he did one with me and I hope it made his day. Jimbo signed the kid’s glove as I wandered away. Class act.

This was a nasty little skirmish for the first few innings. Back and forth. UGA scores, we even up. They score, we even up. Someone tried to credit my terrible Noles cheers in the third for tying the game. I blame that damn garbage can for us not taking the lead. But, honestly, it’s been asking for it for years.

UGA’s weakness obviously is it’s relief pitching because they haven’t had a lot of trouble making contact with the ball. It was the 7th when the wheels finally fell off. The good guys broke the tie with 4 runs followed by 2 more in the 8th to seal the deal 10-4. Gage Smith got the win in what seemed like a short appearance, but when you’re playing UGA your sense of time gets warped. Today’s game was even longer than last night’s. Almost 4 hours.

I’m still giggling at the early “spayed or neutered?” call. Today was a good day to be an animal. I’m so thankful to be a part of this.

As Bryan mentioned, the weather Saturday was amazing. They really should have just gone ahead and scheduled a double-header, especially knowing that the weather was going to go south the next day. But Saturday was definitely one of those fun days in the section where everyone is a little loopy and silly. That’s how the ‘Spay or Neuter’ thing got started. Somebody mentioned Bob Barker and then that happened. For the O Canada break, we went with ‘At least we’re not Russia’, as the US Hockey team failed to medal in a bronze game they clearly didn’t want to participate in.

Game 3: Cancelled

The weather did not co-operate, and the game will not be made up. On the bright side, Compton will get the start vs the Yankees.

Go Noles!

Animals Weekend Wrap-up: Niagara

This year we are going to try to provide our own content on the site, rather than just linking to outside media. In part, this is due to so many of them keeping the baseball content behind a pay wall, but also because you probably already read those sites. While we won’t ever equal the work Drew Hankin did with his reporting on FSU baseball, we can promise to give you a glimpse of the things that go on in the section, something Drew never shared.

This could end poorly. ;)

Our own Bryan E. – former Animal Rookie of the Year – has taken the electronic pen up to write synopses of the games, which I will be posting here, along with tidbits from each game in the section.

Game 1: Niagara 2 – FSU 13

Nobody else has jumped in yet so I’ll give the reluctant review of opening day. Great Animal turnout. Lots of old friends making new friends under the oaks. Thanks to Moe’s for the chips and bigass pan of queso. Thanks to Gage Smith and his awesome mustache for delivering the queso k so that all fans present could possibly take in the white gooey goodness gratis on their next visit to aforementioned business.

To the game now… Luke had trouble painting the strike zone early in the 1st. Giving up a walk to the first man to stand in. Without the numbers in front of me ( or the desire to use them) I’d say the key descriptive word for the night was nerves. Our offense was banging on all cylinders but the transmission was skipping gears. 13-2 final score sounds like a curb stomping on any level of baseball, but it should’ve been much worse. Our bats swung hard and our boys ran fast without a cogent goal but then settled in to the standard pace of modern FSU baseball.

Slow, plodding, consistent at bats and generally solid defense built a 5 run lead in a shutout, rolling with a no hit 6 full innings for Luke Weaver, who I might add sported a lovely modern mullet. The seventh started with Strode who came out and added a HBP to 3 walks to kill the no-no. He was yanked for the new school stache, Gage Smith who side armed his way out of an ugly situation. We scored some more. We sang Sweet Caroline. Jameis drew a walk and scored later in the 8th.

The win was never in danger. Final score 13-2. Could’ve been better. Could have been worse. I’m just happy to be back in my seat making noise for the good guys. See you tomorrow

To say the Animals were a little rusty after the off-season would be kind. But, to be fair, we were all still a little drunk off of the football season…something that hadn’t been true in far too long. John B. had the break for O Canada and came up with ‘I’ve got the break’. Like I said, rusty. But it was a really great crowd for opening day, and everyone was glad to be back at baseball. The kids are growing like weeds, and the Animal breeding program continues to be successful, with two brand new Animal babies in the section this year.

Game 2: Niagara 1, FSU 4

Your reluctant reporter here with a day 2 synopsis. It’s too early to say with certainty if our bats are behind or Niagara has a dominant number 2… Well, their #2 starter is not dominant. Nor are their relief pitchers. One thing they can hit, though, is Gonzo. Through 2 games he has been HBP 4 times. Glad none were to his hips.

Niagara left Gilligan’s Island worth of men on base, as did our Noles, but it hurts a lot worse when you have 6 hits with no errors and are losing 1-0 to a team with one hit. Once the seal was broken the runs trickled in until the lead was secure.

Taylor Blatch came in relief of Leibrandt, who went 6 full and was credited with the win. I say knock knock. You say who’s there? I say not ready for primetime. You say Taylor Blatch. I nod and smile. Jameis came in and cleaned it up. With 2 RISP and no outs in the 8th Jaboo pulled the last six outs and sent us home smiling.

Final score 4-1 for the good guys. Another excellent showing for the faithful and a damn fine tailgate experience. Thanks to Matt for manning the grill under the oaks and all that brought their A-game, and meat, for making it another classic experience.
First pitch is at 11:30 on Sunday. Bring your brooms. Or leaf blowers. It’s gona be a sweep.

I’ll agree with Bryan that Blatch’s first appearance was not exactly one he’ll want to remember. But that’s what these early games are for. Learn from it, get better, come back and try it again. I was kind of glad to see Winston get the save opportunity out of the way early. It’s done, out of the way, and hopefully not a ‘thing’ any more.

For the O Canada break, John B dropped ‘Suck it, Putin!’ in reference to the US Olympic Hockey team’s thrilling victory over Russia earlier in the day.

Game 3: Niagara 0 – FSU 13

Reluctant reporter Game 3. Wow. 11:30 first pitch. Nobody’s going to show up today. Not the first time I’ve been wrong, and surely not the last. Great turnout under the oaks and a strong contingent in by first pitch. Good on you, Animals.

Slow start offensively as the good guys left men on base in the first two frames and fell prey to the greatest trick play in the book as the Peagles’ starter threw one past the catcher during an intentional walk to DJ and caught Delph out at the plate (sarcasm).

(EDIT)Gonzo broke the knot by being the first to score on a 2 run RBI in the third by Jose. On the day Gonzo went 3 for 3 with no new bruises. A nod to Chili Dog for the first Noles cheers of the season. Better him than me.

The true story of the day was the (endless) 5th inning. Oh Canada in every variation but French, 8 runs, directing the bumbling brothers to the circus, and the whisper cheers until I (yes… blame me) ruined it. I only apologize to DJ Stewart because he is the only one affected that can run faster mad than I can scared.

This was a looooooong game. Youth came in the seventh and did their part. Gage West, true freshman from Lincoln, went yard over the right field fence for the first round trip of 2014. Hopefully the first of many to come.

The game was called for time after 8 full, but I felt like Niagara didn’t want to go home. Who could blame them? Life is good under The Oaks at Doak.

(EDIT) How can I forget to mention Mike Compton? Solid. He will be a key reason that we succeed this season. If they don’t score, we always win.

As Bryan mentions, the O Canada inning was a doozy with the Noles plating 8 runs in the frame. We did normal O Canada, Fast O Canada, Backwards O Canada, and even Hummed O Canada. I had the break and went with ‘Brass Monkey’, a nod to Gonzo’s walk-up music.

I’d like to share with you a Tweet from Joel Brophy, a freshman catcher on the Purple Eagles squad.

Joel is by no means the first visiting player to express this kind of sentiment, nor will he be the last. I would put our house up against any other in college baseball. We simply have the best fans you can find. And I don’t mean just the Animals. Drew Fittry got a standing ovation from the crowd after his performance on Saturday, and it was well deserved. I’m not sure every fan base in the country would have given him his due, but I am certain that our fans would never NOT give an opposing player recognition for a great performance. That’s just part of what makes FSU baseball great.

Here’s to a great 2014 season and another run at Omaha! Go Noles!

Florida State’s DJ Stewart brings football mentality to baseball

It’s why he can’t help but make contact with an opposing player when sliding into a base.

It’s why he views each individual pitch as a competition in and of itself.

And it’s why, for the early part of his freshman year at least, he was loathe to do anything other than swing while at the plate.

“He’s got the football mentality. Hard-nosed, ‘I want to compete,’” Florida State assistant Mike Martin Jr. said. “And sometimes you feel like you’re not competing when you take a walk, but that’s winning baseball.”

That’s something that Stewart, a former two-sport star at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, has had to learn.

via Florida State’s DJ Stewart brings football mentality to baseball.

Seminoles Face off with Hoosiers for Return Trip to Omaha – Tomahawk Nation

This will be the 7th straight year that the Seminoles have hosted a Super Regional, advancing to the College World Series 3 of the last 6 times. Florida State swept through regionals in dominating fashion and look to be playing the best baseball of all the remaining 16 teams.

The Indiana Hoosiers are making their first Super Regional appearance in school history after going undefeated as a host in their regional. Indiana becomes the first Big Ten institution to reach a Super Regional since Michigan went to Oregon State in 2007

This is just the 3rd time Indiana has ever made the postseason and did so by winning the Big Ten which is the rated 6th in RPI according to Warren Nolan. The Hoosiers had an opening game scare against Valparasio as they scored 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth inning which included a walk-off homerun for a 5-4 victory. From there they had little trouble dispensing of Austin Peay defeating them 15-6 and 6-1 in the final two games. Now for a quick look at the Hoosiers. Earlier in the week I wrote this article highlighting the Hoosiers as a team, in todays preview we will take a closer look at the individual players.

via Seminoles Face off with Hoosiers for Return Trip to Omaha – Tomahawk Nation.