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Seminoles Hold on for Win over Eagles

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Florida State gains momentum with win over Florida Gulf Coast.

Ryan Syrkus

Florida State (25-4) was looking for a way to get back on the winning side of things after dropping their first series of the year at Virginia Tech. Florida Gulf Coast (18-7) gave the Seminoles some struggles, but their comeback fell short as they dropped one at Dick Howser Stadium 12-9. The second game of the series was rained out on Wednesday and will not be rescheduled due to the travel schedule of each team.

FSU 12 FGCU 9

The Seminoles jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning due in large part to John Sansone’s two-run homer to left and DJ Stewart’s two-run double to right center. Everything was looking up for FSU to win this game with ease. Billy Strode was pitching well, the bats were getting on base. Everything was working well.

Then FGCU figured out a way to tag Strode.

It wasn’t until two consecutive singles and a walk in the 5th that Strode began to struggle. With the bases loaded, the Eagles began to chip away, eventually pulling ahead 6-5 by the end of the inning.

FSU still trailed by one entering the bottom of the 6th. The Seminoles would eventually get a bases loaded walk from DJ Stewart to tie the game. With two outs and the bases loaded, Stephen McGee stepped up to the plate and took a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall giving FSU a lead they would not give up again.

FGCU would fight back and get a few more runs, but each time the Eagles scores, Florida State would quickly respond in the bottom half of the inning.

Strode would finish the day tossing 4.1 innings and giving up four runs on four hits. Although short, Gage Smith had a good day going 2.1 innings only giving up a hit and an unearned run with two strikeouts which earned him his fourth win of the year.

MVP of the Game

Stephen McGee – Even with the impressive relief outing from Gage Smith or the exceptional at-bats from John Sansone and DJ Stewart, it was McGee’s grand slam in the 6th inning broke a tie game and gave the Seminoles a lead they would not relinquish. This was McGee’s first grand slam of his collegiate career which came on a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the inning.

Things to Work On

With two more errors in this game, the season total is now up to 42 for the Seminoles. Through 29 games, FSU is averaging 1.45 errors per game. The two errors this game only caused one run to come in, but it’s a little eye-popping that a top 5 team in the nation has so many errors.

Looking Ahead

Florida State will travel south to Miami for a three game weekend series. After starting the season 10-0, the Hurricanes have seen their share of struggling. With series losses to Florida, North Carolina, and Duke, Miami now sits at 20-12 and dead last in the Coastal Division of the ACC at 5-7.

However, Miami has picked up wins against UF and UNC as well as a series win over Virginia Tech.

All-time, Florida State hold a 143-121-4 record against Miami with the series tied at 62-62-2 from games played in Coral Gables. FSU swept UM last year in Tallahassee and took two of three the last time they were on the road against Miami.

First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday.