Sunday (By: Andrew Miller)
Florida State completed the sweep against UNCW on Sunday, by a score of 9-8. FSU’s record improves to 8-3 on the young season.
DJ Stewart got the ‘Noles on the board in the bottom of the first, hitting a two run, opposite field home run. As UNCW has done all weekend, they fought back and took a 6-2 lead heading into the bottom of the third.
In that bottom half, Florida State exploded for five runs on three hits and four walks. The Seminoles went on to score two more in the fourth, and never let go of that lead, eventually defeating UNCW 9-8.
The storyline this weekend was Florid State playing from behind all weekend, whether it was due to offensive struggles, base running errors, or starting pitching, but were able to come back each time to win the game.
"It’s in the determination of our young men, the fight that they showed, the ability to not try to do too much" Florida State head coach Mike Martin started with. "I think that’s the biggest deficit we faced all year, and our guys did a fantastic job of staying poised and not trying to do too much. I just tip my hat to those guys, they battled."
Gage West was the highlight of the Seminoles offense reaching base five times on Sunday, walking twice and hitting three singles.
"Any day you get on base five times is a good thing, I was comfortable, staying relaxed, and that’s what happens."
Cobi Johnson got off to a strong start, striking out the side in the first. However, everything would go downhill from there. He left the ballgame after 2 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs on six hits. Freshman Taylor Folsom and Bryant Holtmann then combined to allow one run over the next 5 2/3. Billy Strode, for the fourth game in a row, saved the game for FSU.
Florida State gets an off day tomorrow before USF comes in for a two game series beginning Tuesday at 4 PM.
Saturday (By: Andrew Miller)
Florida State and UNCW sat through an hour rain delay on Saturday before the teams took the field for game two of the series. Despite a slow start, and an early deficit, FSU was able to pull off a 5-3 victory.
After UNCW scored two early runs in the game, John Sansone put FSU on the board with a game-tying two run home run in the bottom of the fifth.
"I was looking for a fastball, I knew I hit it out off the bat, but was a little worried about the wind because I had one last night that the wind held up."
After allowing another run, the ‘Noles scored three in the bottom of the eighth to go ahead for good, due in part to good hitting, and heads up base running.
"Josh Delph did a great job of leading that inning off, had great base running in the inning as well", said Florida State head coach Mike Martin. "Gage had a big base hit to bring the runner home and I was pleased with Darren Miller’s base hit."
Freshman Boomer Biegalski started off with a shaky first inning, allowing one run and leaving the bases loaded. The Tallahassee native then got into a rhythm, retiring the next 14 hitters.
In all, Boomer pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs, striking out seven. Billy Strode came in to pitch the top of the ninth to close the ballgame out, and struck out the side, securing a victory for the Seminoles.
FSU’s hitting woes continued, only being able to muster out four hits in the first seven innings. However, the Seminole’s plate discipline is partially making up for the lack of hits, as FSU batters walked seven times, after walking eight times in yesterday’s game.
The two teams will finish out the series tomorrow, with FSU looking for their second home sweep of the season. First pitch is set for 1 PM.
Friday (By: DT)
Sometimes it's the comfort of familiar heroes, and sometimes it's a glimpse of things to come.
On Friday, it was an unsuspected stellar performance from sophomore lefty Alec Byrd and Ol' Reliable, DJ Stewart, that helped power the Seminoles past the Seahawks (6-1), 4-3.
Florida State (6-3) jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, pushing two runs across on a Dylan Busby single to right field. Busby also drove in a pair of RBI against Jacksonville on Tuesday.
But UNCW (formerly referred to as UNC Wilmington) answered, tallying a pair of their own in the top of the second - with the help of some sloppy defense from FSU's infield. Both FSU and UNCW would each add another run in the bottom of the second and the top of the third.
Then goose eggs - and that's where the magic happened.
After Mike Compton, who started the game on the mound for the Seminoles, fell into a bit of trouble, Byrd took the hill and became king for 4.1 innings.
He was relentless, catching batters up-and-in with his fastball and devastating them with his breaking ball. Allowing just one hit during a career high 4.1 innings (13 batters), Byrd recorded a career high eight strikeouts and didn't issue a walk. It was impressive, to say the least, and something the Seminoles need moving forward.
And then came Ol' Reliable, DJ Stewart, in the bottom of the seventh inning.
After being constantly heckled for six-and-a-half innings by a group of UNCW fans sitting behind the third-base dugout, Stewart stepped to the plate and drove the first pitch up and over the right-center fence and into the parking lot (or somewhere in Georgia).
FSU's pitching staff - who struck out 16 batters - would hold. Billy Strode came in to close things out in the ninth, recording his third save of the year, giving Byrd his first win of the season.
Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.