Yesterday, the Florida State baseball team needed every last out to best UCF 11-10. Today, they decided to give themselves a bit more wiggle room, pasting the Knights by a score of 18-1.
The ‘Noles opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, when back-to-back doubles by John Sansone and Ben DeLuzio staked FSU to a 1-0 lead. Then things settled down, and it looked like yesterday’s shoot out might be offset by a tight-fought contest.
Not for long.
Jose Brizuela opened the ‘Nole fourth with a single, and after John Nogowski reached on an error, scored on a Sansone base hit. DeLuzio was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Danny De La Calle, who singled in a pair. Casey Smit, who got the nod to lead off and responded with a three-hit game, knocked in another, and the FSU advantage grew to 6-0 when De La Calle touched home on a wild pitch. Justin Gonzalez kept it going with a single to left, and then D.J. Stewart’s sacrifice fly gave the ‘Noles their sixth run of the inning and a 7-0 cushion.
The Knights got on the board in the bottom of the inning on a Tommy Williams home run. But the Seminoles got the run back in the fifth, when Jose Brizuela tripled and came home on a Ben DeLuzio sac fly, making the count 8-1. That improved to 10-1 in the sixth, when D.J. Stewart’s two-run homer brought around Smit.
FSU kept pouring it on in the seventh. De La Calle contributed another run-producing single, and Justin Gonzalez earned himself an RBI as well, drawing a bases-loaded walk. The Knights’ errant pitching continued, and De La Calle scored on a wild pitch, before Smit tagged and scored on a Jose Brizuela foul out, making the score 14-1. Nogowski doubled down the left field line, and the ‘Nole margin ballooned to 16-1. Nick Graganella came on to pinch hit for the Seminoles, and promptly joined the fun, picking up a two-out RBI single to bring it to 17-1. Gage West picked up a bat to pinch hit in the ninth. One solo shot later, it was 18-1.
A day after Florida State surrendered 10 runs to UCF, starter lefty Bryant Holtmann was exceptional for the Seminoles, allowing just one run on two hits while going four innings before giving way to Taylor Blatch. Blatch was also excellent, delivering two no-hit innings. Brandon Johnson came in to get some work in the seventh, and passed the ball to freshman Jim Voyles for the eighth. Kenny Burkhead pitched the ninth. FSU pitching allowed just four hits all day.
This was Florida State’s largest run tally of the season– they had previously registered 15 against Maryland. It was also their largest margin of victory, having earlier defeated Niagara by 13. The second-ranked Seminoles took both games in this brief series, and now heads back to Tallahassee at 14-2, where they’ll face the No. 7 North Carolina State Wolfpack.