Florida State has one of their most Dominating Weekends against Duke

Ryan Syrkus

The Seminoles (30-6, 13-5) steamrolled the Blue Devils (21-17, 8-10) in a dominating three game series.

Coming off a tough loss to bitter rivals Florida, the Seminoles aimed to get back to their winning ways and stay atop the Atlantic Division in the ACC. After multiple rescheduling for the Sunday game, eventually moved to a doubleheader on Saturday, No. 7 Florida State (30-6, 13-5) rocked Duke (21-17, 8-10) in one of the most dominating series since the season began. The sweep over Duke continues FSU’s dominance over the Blue Devils.

Importance of the Series

With the series sweep over Duke, Florida State has secured their spot at the top of the Atlantic Division for one more week. Both Clemson and NC State are closely behind FSU and it appears the division will come down to the last weekend.

What to Take Away from the Series

It has been an odd season in which the Seminoles have continuously won games they could have easily lost. Trying to change that trend and cut down on defensive miscues, Florida State rolled over Duke in the most convincing sweep they’ve had all season. Getting great pitching performances from all three starters as well as most of the bullpen throwing just as well, the Noles handled the opposition with ease. The most important part of the series, other than getting the wins, was their lack of errors. Three consecutive errorless games is exactly what this team needed as they hope that trend continues.

Here is how each individual game broke down

Game 1
FSU 16 Duke 2

Florida State had one of their most dominating performances of the year and it came to a surprisingly good Duke team. Making his second Friday night start of the year, Luke Weaver baffled Duke hitters for seven innings. Only giving up six hits and one run while striking out six, Weaver gave the Noles the base for a win. The FSU hitters would take care of the rest.

Headed by Marcus Davis and John Sansone, the Seminoles would run all over the Blue Devils on their way to a 16-2 win. Of the 16 runs scored, Davis and Sansone brought in seven while scoring four.

While Davis and Sansone brought in and scored a large portion of the runs, they were joined by Brett Knief and Jose Brizuela as each of the four finished the game 3-4.

MVP of the Game

John Sansone – Although the award can go to essentially the entire offense and to Luke Weaver, it was Sansone who opened the game for FSU in the 4th with his two-RBI single through the left side of the infield. Sansone’s hit gave FSU a 4-1 lead and the team would not look back as the Noles would score an additional 12 runs before concluding the game.

Things to Work On

Florida State played a nearly flawless game. Weaver’s biggest “threat” came in the 3rd when Duke had two on and two out. The offense was hitting like they were at the start of the season against inferior teams. Overall, the team played a great game.

Game 2
FSU 8 Duke 5

After struggling this season compared to last, FSU starter Brandon Leibrandt came out strong against Duke in the early game of a doubleheader. Lasting 7 innings and facing an additional batter I the 8th, Leibrandt only gave up one run on eight hits while matching a career high of 10 strikeouts.

The Seminole offense continued their strong outing from the previous night, scoring six runs in the first three innings. Led by Jose Brizuela’s 3-3 day, Florida State would eventually have a 7-0 lead before Duke got on the board.

Things would start to get interesting in the 9th wit Bryant Holtmann on the mound. Up 7-1, Holtmann allowed Duke to steadily climb back into the game. Duke’s Jeff Kremer would hit a bases loaded double, scoring three to bring the score to 8-5. All of Duke’s four runs in the last inning came with two outs. With men warming up in the bullpen, Holtmann would get Grant McCabe to groundout to third and give FSU the win.

MVP of the Game

Brandon Leibrandt – Having his best start since a one-hitter a few weeks ago, Leibrandt would be the main reason FSU won the game as he kept Duke from scoring until late in the game. Lasting seven innings, Leibrandt gave up eight hits and one run while striking out 10.

Things to Work On

Once again, Florida State played a great game. Although it did not factor into the outcome, it would have been nice to see Bryant Holtmann get that final out prior to giving up the three-run double. At the same time, it did not seem to be anything to be concerned about.

Game 3
FSU 8 Duke 3

Although it was not his most dominant performance, Scott Sitz was still impressive on the mound in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Going five innings and giving up three runs on six hits, Sitz still gave the team a chance to come away with a victory.

For the third consecutive game, FSU scored at least eight runs. The Noles brought in six runs in the first two innings with Jose Brizuela leading the way. Brizuela would end the night going 3-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.

FSU had a major contribution from their bullpen as Billy Strode and Robby Coles pitched a combined four and only giving up three hits. Strode and Coles struck out five while walking none.

With the sweep over Duke, Florida State has now won their 10th consecutive games against the Blue Devils and eight consecutive series sweeps over Duke in Tallahassee.

MVP of the Game

Jose Brizuela – Finishing 3-4 with three RBI and two runs in a game is impressive. However, it was more than just one game. Throughout the series, Brizuela was FSU’s most consistent hitter going 9-11 and, at one point, reaching base in 11 straight at-bats.

Things to Work On

Scott Sitz showed that he is human after all. It wasn’t a bad outing, but it wasn’t his best either. His toughest inning came in the 4th when he had the bases loaded with one out. Eventually two would score in the inning, but Sitz still managed to stay calm and prevent any major damage from occurring.

Looking Ahead

Florida State is back at it on Tuesday night against South Alabama for single mid-week matchup. South Alabama is currently sitting at 27-10 and might give FSU one of their toughest mid-week games to date. The Jaguars have a series sweep over Arkansas and a close lose to Mississippi State.

FSU leads the all-time series with a record of 35-26-1. The Noles also lead the all-time series in Tallahassee at 24-15-1, but lost their last meeting 2-7 in 11 innings back in 2006.

Tuesday’s game is set for 6 p.m.

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