Florida State (13-3, 3-0 ACC) completed the series sweep against visiting Boston College (5-9, 0-3 ACC) Sunday afternoon after splashing eight runs during a two-inning scoring spree to defeat the Eagles 8-4.
Dylan Busby's three-run bomb that drilled the scoreboard in the fifth was just the icing on the cake.
After going three full innings without a hit, the Seminoles put together consecutive four-run innings in the fourth and the fifth, taking any hint of a hope out of BC. Gage West, who went 2-for-2 from the plate with 3 RBI, started things off with a 2 RBI single through the right side, and Danny De La Calle followed that up with a RBI single of his own. The speedy DeLuzio would cap off the fourth by taking home plate on a passed ball. West would drop a RBI duck fart in shallow center field in the fifth as well.
"it was one of those games that you look at the ball club and you're very pleased that there was no sittin' on their hands saying, 'we've won two out of three, let's relax'," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "Every game is important. It's a good start."
Cobi Johnson (2-1) ran into a bit of trouble in the first couple of innings, even cutting his finger while throwing a change-up in the second inning, but he settled down gained control of the game.
Johnson threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out five and walking three.
"I struggled early on, but I thought I settled down pretty good after that," Johnson said. "I just couldn't get the off-speed over [the plate] so I started focusing a lot on fastballs and getting strike one and strike two, and it went pretty well after that. I didn't have my best stuff out there and probably could have done a better job."
FSU will now turn its focus to Tuesday and Wednesday when it will take on a very good UCF team right here in Tallahassee. Alec Byrd will start for the Seminoles on Tuesday, Wednesday is not yet decided.
"UCF will probably be, up to this point, the best team we've played," Martin said. "They're ranked in the top ten, they have a lot of returning players - they have tremendous incentive because, of course, they did not get selected last year for postseason. It's going to be a real challenge for us and I'm looking forward to seeing how our young guys are going to react to that."
Florida State went hitless for six of the first seven innings of Saturday's game, struggling to break though until a three-run eighth inning on its way to the 3-2 victory over Boston College, sealing the series win.
He didn't get the "W," but Boomer Biegalski threw a gem - besides one pitch - against the Eagles. BC's Chris Shaw took advantage of a fastball left up in the zone and crushed it over the wall in right field in the top of the first inning, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead that would last seven-and-a-half innings. Shaw led the Cape league with eight home runs this summer, so it's no surprise when he gets hold of one.
But the poise FSU head coach Mike Martin has talked about all season again shined through, as Biegalski settled down and recorded five consecutive strike outs to follow up that one bad pitch. He threw seven innings, struck out 10, walked two and allowed three hits during his no-decision. Bryant Holtmann would get the "W" after an inning of relief.
"He's a guy that, as we said last night, is in total control of his emotions," Martin said. "His mound poise and presence is evident. I'm glad he's a Seminole."
A Dylan Busby double in the second inning would remain the only mark in the "hit" column through the first seven innings of the game, but the Seminoles were able to break through in the eighth.
After Josh Delph drew a walk and Ben DeLuzio flew out to center, Danny De La Calle stepped to the dish and doubled down the left field line, scoring Delph and putting the 'Noles on the board. That was De La Calle's fourth double of the year - more than he had all of last season (3). Following a walk/wild pitch advanced the runners to the corners, Darren Miller hit a very slow dribbler to shortstop that brought in the game tying run.
But the go-ahead run was the weird part.
A failed pick-off attempt sailed into center field, DJ Stewart was intentionally walked to load the bases for Gage West, who carries a big bat, and he got plunked on the third pitch to give FSU the 3-2 lead.
Billy Strode came in a recorded his sixth save of the year and the 'Noles snuck out with a win, but that's baseball.
"You just gotta understand that a lot of games are won in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, and our guys showed very good mental toughness," Martin said. "We hit some balls hard right at people, but we kept battling. It was a very important win for us. Very proud of our guys."
It was impressive, meticulous and most importantly comforting.
Mike Compton's complete game two-hit shutout of Boston College to open ACC play was a thing of beauty, and Florida State rode that wave all the way to a 7-0 victory Friday night.
It wasn't until the third inning that BC managed a hit against the right-hander, recording a pair, but then Compton and the FSU defense closed the door. Striking out seven and walking only one, Compton was decisive with his fastball and devastating with his change-up on the way to the second complete game shutout of his career.
"When you have an experienced guy on the mound like we had, it no doubt that it makes the night more comfortable, you might say, because he's pitched in every situation that you can pitch in," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. And for him to go out there and shutout a good baseball team is something that there's no way I expected. You don't shut people out in this league. It's very rare, very rare."
"I hope that somebody else will take the bull by the horns and strive for that."
A performance like that, especially to kick off conference play, can be a possible boost for the team and the pitching staff, but Compton's experience has him humble and looking ahead.
"It's a confidence booster but, at the same time, you gotta keep a level head," said Compton. "'Cause I remember last year - I think it was the first ACC series we had against Maryland - (I) went out there and there and threw a complete game shutout. The next week, NC State came in and it didn't go so well, didn't have that same outing."
"It's baseball, things are gonna change week to week. As a pitcher who wants to improve you can't look at the lines."
It was the sixth inning that saw four runs across the plate for the Seminoles, thanks to a 2 RBI single by Quincy Nieporte and a 2 RBI double for Dylan Busby.
But it was Danny De La Calle who broke things open for FSU in the third inning with a double down the left field line before crossing home plate on a Taylor Walls RBI double of his own. He went 2-for-4 on Friday. De La Calle, who, at times struggled at the plate last season, is currently hitting over .300 and showing no signs of slowing.
"It's more of a mental game," De La Calle said. "I thought, last year, I kinda had a weak mind. I'm coming up to back here and thinking 'just try to get a ball that you can drive,' you know, and help the team out."