Wednesday (By: DT)
It wasn't Tuesday's onslaught, but it was just as encouraging for Florida State fans.
Sophomore left-hander Alec Byrd (2-0) pitched the Seminoles to another victory Wednesday evening, shutting down a Bulls offense that managed three runs against FSU's starter in the first two innings, on the way to a 7-3 victory.
Jim Voyles got the nod for the Seminoles, but Byrd got the win - and the tip of the cap.
When USF had the bases loaded and a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning, Byrd came to the hill and eventually spent 5 2/3 innings on the mound - longest appearance of his career - and refused to give an inch. He threw 5 2/3 innings, struck out six, walked one and did not allow a run. During his last two appearances, Byrd has thrown 10 innings, striking out 14 and walking just one, all while refusing to allow a run.
FSU head coach Mike Martin talked about Byrd compared to last season.
"How to you say 'no comparison,'" Martin said.
"Poise; a little giddy-up on his fastball; not afraid to throw his curve ball. He threw the most pitches that I can remember him throwing as a Seminole and that was 86 (pitches). If anybody deserved to win, it was him, the way he literally shut the other club down for 5 2/3 (innings). A big lift for us tonight, no doubt about it."
While FSU hit the ball hard from the first pitch, it couldn't keep from hitting it directly at USF defenders, frustrating a young ball club. But catcher Danny De La Calle stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third and hit a solo shot to opposite field, breaking the ice and putting FSU on the board. De La Calle went 2-for-3 from the plate with a home run and a double to deep left-center.
"We got a run today with one swing of the bat and it was like [whoosh sound], the lid is off - let's score," Martin said. ".Big, big hit for us."
The Seminoles brought across six more runs, with four of those coming during a sixth inning rally based on patience, on their way to the victory. Taking walks, getting hit by pitches and any other way they could do it, the Seminoles were ready to grind.
Freshman shortstop and recent lead-off hitter has been a major part in that, getting FSU off to aggressive starts at the plate. Walls finished with two hit on Wednesday, adding to a total of seven in his last three games - all as the lead-off hitter.
Taylor Folsom came in for the final two innings earning his first save of the season, allowing just one hit, one walk and striking out a batter.
The Seminoles now look towards the weekend when they'll kick off ACC play against Boston College. Friday's first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
Tuesday (By: Ariya)
Some days you are the dog and other days the hydrant.
On Tuesday afternoon, Florida State was a vicious German Shepherd using four home runs to dismantle visiting South Florida 24-1.
The 24 runs were the most the Seminoles scored since the 2009 Tallahassee Regional when they defeated Ohio State 37-6.
"Well I didn't see that coming, we obviously played extremely well", head coach Mike Martin said. "I can't tell you what it means to see a zero in that last column."
For the first time in 2015, Florida State committed no errors in a ball game. The fielding which has been a major issue this season was much improved behind Drew Carlton, who made is first career start against the Bulls.
The freshman pitched five solid innings giving up five hits, no runs, walking zero batters, and striking out five on just sixty-two pitches.
"I was able to locate to both sides of the plate and everything went my way tonight", Carlton said. "Having the big lead allowed me to just relax, focus, and put zeros on the board for my team."
Carlton had more than enough run support from his offense, led by DJ Stewart's two home runs. The junior all-american hit opposite field blasts in his first two at-bats, the second hitting high off the scoreboard in an impressive display of power.
"I definitely knew it was gone, the last few games I've been getting a little pull happy, trying to do too much", Stewart said. "Going opposite field is something I've been working on, just letting the game come to me."
Stewart's multi-home run game gives him five on the season and tied him for the national lead in college baseball.
Meanwhile, his teammates were following his lead as Dylan Busby connected on his first career home run as a Seminole, blasting a shot to left in the second inning. John Sansone followed with his third round-tripper of the season, towering a drive over the scoreboard in the fourth inning to push FSU's lead to 10-0.
In all, the Noles tallied 24 runs on 19 hits including 10 for extra bases. Highlighting the game was Friday night starter Mike Compton ripping a two-RBI double to left field in the 8th inning, his first career at-bat as a Seminole.
With the win Florida State moves to 9-3 on the season, while USF drops to 6-5-1.
The two teams will play again tomorrow at 4 PM with Jim Voyles getting the nod on the mound for the Seminoles.