Strikeouts continue to pile up for FSU as Pitt takes Game 2 with 7-2 win

One night after striking out 19 times and getting shut out, the Florida State offense again struggled mightily against the visiting Pitt Panthers.

The Seminoles struck out 16 more times and managed just two runs — on a Reese Albert two-run double in the eighth — en route to a 7-2 loss on Saturday night.

Florida State is now 2-3 on the season for the first time since 2004.

“We’ve got guys obviously scuffling,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin Jr. said. “We’ve got to get the old guys to be themselves and the newbies to get more comfortable in situations, grind out [at-bats] and get better.”

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Box Score: Pitt 7, FSU 2

The Seminoles’ pitchers allowed just three earned runs and struck out 12 Pitt hitters, but they also walked eight. Freshman starter Carson Montgomery didn’t record an out in the second inning before Martin Jr. pulled him after his second walk of the frame.

Martin Jr. said after the game he had full confidence in Montgomery and will be getting him back on the mound as soon as possible.

Pitt scored three runs in the second, all unearned after a Mat Nelson throwing error, and then two more in the fourth on a two-run homer by Nico Popa off of FSU reliever Tyler Ahearn.

That was more than enough for the Panthers with the way the Seminoles were swinging (and missing).

Starter Matt Gilbertson struck out a career-high 10 batters in six innings, and then Pitt relievers Chase Smith and Stephen Hansen both struck out the side in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Junior Robby Martin struck out four times for Florida State. Elijah Cabell and Nelson both struck out twice, while also adding two hits each for the Seminoles.

“Some guys dig their own hole by taking something they should hit or get behind by swinging at something they shouldn’t have,” Martin Jr. said. “It’s our job. We’ll keep working at it. And once we come out of it, things change. You don’t have those negative thoughts in your head, you feel better about yourself.

“You’ve got to be able to put the ball in play. We need a spark. … Unfortunately a whole bunch of them are in a rut right now. But we’re going to come out of it.”

Martin Jr. said leadoff hitter Tyler Martin pulled his hip flexor during his at-bat in the fifth inning, and that’s why he was pulled in the middle of the game for Dylan Simmons.

Simmons then made a two-out error in the sixth inning, which allowed a Panthers run to score.

Florida State will look to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon with veteran right-hander Conor Grady on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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