The fourth-ranked Florida State Seminoles fell to Duke 7-5 Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee.
Peter Miller, Jim Voyles, and Taylor Blatch struggled to find the strike zone combining for seven walks and giving up six earned runs in just five innings pitched.
Alec Byrd was he lone effective Seminole pitcher on the day tossing four innings, giving up two hits and a run, while striking out three Duke batters.
Duke scored two runs in the 1st and three in the 3rd to take an early 5-1 lead, highlighted by Ryan Deitrich's seventh round-tripper of the season in the 3rd inning. The Blue Devils added a single run in both the 4th and 6th innings extending the lead to 7-1.
The Noles made things interesting in the latter portion of the game as in the 7th inning Justin Gonzalez connected on his second dinger of the season, a two-run blast that easily cleared the wall in left field.
Trailing 7-3 in the 9th, John Nogowski singled to start the inning off, followed by a Ben Deluzio walk after a Jose Brizuela fielder's choice. Hank Truluck brought Brizuela home on a single to center field cutting the lead to 7-4 and giving the Seminole's life with two outs remaining.
Justin Gonzalez stepped up as the tying run at the plate and promptly drove a deep fly ball down the left field line that would curl foul, saving Duke from a tie ball game. The very next pitch Gonzalez sent another deep fly ball to left field that seemed gone off the bat, but the wind knocked it down giving Gonzalez only a Sac fly cutting the Blue Devil lead to 7-5.
That's all the Noles would get as the very next batter, Ladson Montgomery sent a sharp grounder up the middle that was snagged by the Duke defender and tossed to second to end the game at 7-5.
With the loss Florida State ends a fantastic regular season at 41-14, while finishing 21-9 in the ACC. It's a true credit to this team to have finished in fantastic shape for a national seed, despite the injury problems all year. The Seminoles will be the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament this week and I will have the updated pools later today.
UPDATE: FSU will be the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament. The Noles will play #7 UNC/#10 NCSU play-in game winner first, followed by #6 Maryland, and finally #3 Virginia. Dates and times are TBA
Fourth-ranked Florida State got four hits from DJ Stewart and held on late to defeat Duke 9-8 Friday night inside Dick Howser Stadium.
"I've said this many times and I'll say it again, it's the greatest game in the world", said Head Coach Mike Martin. "There's twenty-seven outs to get and I tip my hat to our guys for getting it done when the going got tough."
Through six innings the Seminoles held a 5-2 lead thanks in large part to a solid outing by Mike Compton and some clutch hitting by DJ Stewart and Jose Brizuela. Both notched multiple RBIs in the process with Brizuela's coming in the 3rd and 4th innings and Stewart's coming in the 3rd and 6th innings respectively.
On the night Compton pitched five and a third innings, giving up seven hits and two runs, while walking none and striking out four Blue Devil batters.
After Duke cut the lead to 5-3 in the 7th the Noles promptly added four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Josh Delph's two-run double down the right field line plated Justin Gonzalez and Danny De La Calle extending FSU's lead to 7-3. RBI singles by DJ Stewart and Ben Deluzio pushed the lead to 9-3, capping the inning and giving Florida State a comfortable six run cushion heading into the last few innings of the game.
Or so it seemed....
With neither team making noise in the 8th the Blue Devils came to bat in the 9th with just three outs left in the game. A lead-off single by Matt Berezo was followed by a strikeout for Brandon Johnson. A walk, an RBI double to left field, and a Sac fly brought the lead to 9-5, with two outs.
A ground ball to second was then booted by John Sansone, extending the game and allowing another run to score cutting the lead to 9-6.
The Noles brought on closer Jameis Winston who promptly balked a runner to second, missed the bag on a toss from John Nogowski after a chopper to first, and then gave up a two run double to left field by Jordan Betts to cut the lead to 9-8.
With five runs in and the tying run on second, Duke's Chris Marconcini lifted a high fly ball to deep right-center field that seemed gone off the bat, assuring the Blue Devil's improbable comeback. However, to the exhale of 4,595 Seminole fans, Ben Deluzio tracked the ball down at the wall to give FSU a 9-8 win.
"When he hit that, I honestly thought it was gone", said DJ Stewart. "But luckily the wind wasn't blowing out like it was earlier in the game and it was a huge relief to see Ben track it down."
The win moves Florida State to 41-13 on the year and to 21-8 in the ACC. The Seminoles look for the sweep tomorrow at 1 PM, with neither team having named a starting pitcher.
The fourth-ranked Florida State Seminoles, behind a fantastic pitching performance from Luke Weaver and some timely hitting, defeated the Duke Blue Devils 3-0 inside Dick Howser Stadium Thursday night.
Florida State struck first in the 3rd inning after John Sansone led the inning off with a double to left field and would later come around on Danny De La Calle's RBI single through the left side of the infield. Later in the inning, an RBI single by Casey Smit to right field plated De La Calle to give FSU a 2-0 lead. DJ Stewart's RBI groundout to second would cap the scoring in the inning and ultimately the game at 3-0.
That's all the run support Seminole ace Luke Weaver needed as he hurled seven scoreless innings, giving up just five hits, walking one, and striking out four Blue Devil hitters.
The Blue Devils threatened in the 7th inning as they loaded the bases with three straight hits. But Weaver would get a lineout and a groundout, both fantastic plays by Justin Gonzalez, to escape any damage.
"Luke Weaver was the story tonight", said Head Coach Mike Martin. "He pitched an absolute beautiful baseball game."
The expected first-round draft pick has now pitched fourteen straight innings of shutout ball, dating back to last weekend's outing against North Carolina.
Gage Smith and Jameis Winston each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, with Winston getting his sixth save to finish the game off.
With the win Florida State improved to 40-13 on the season, the thirty-seventh consecutive year reaching that mark as program and in every season under Mike Martin's watch.
"That's an accomplishment in which the players deserve all the credit", said Mike Martin.
"We're a great program, we have a lot of talent that comes through here and will continue to come through here, said Casey Smit. "We're a very big program in the college baseball world."
Florida State and Duke will play game two tomorrow night at 6 PM inside Dick Howser Stadium. Mike Compton takes the hill for the Seminoles while the Blue Devils will send Drew Van Orden to the bump.