John Nogowski tips his hat to the crowd at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, FL (courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)

FSU Wins Wild Game 9-8 in 13 Innings, Completes Sweep of NC State

 

No. 2 Florida State completed its sweep of no. 7 NC State with a 9-8 extra inning win on Saturday night. It took 13 innings, seven pitchers and 17 hits, but the Seminoles finally managed to win the night-cap of their double-header and put the finishing touches on the sweep of an ACC rival thanks to some late game heroics from 3B Jose Brizuela.

Down 8-7 in the bottom of the 13th, Florida State put together a one out rally, tying the game on 1B John Nogowski’s sacrifice fly and winning on Brizuela’s RBI single to left.

“[Their pitcher] was pretty good, he was throwing heat,” said Brizuela. “I took advantage of a first pitch fastball and put a good swing on it.”

It was the first walk-off hit of Brizuela’s career, giving FSU the sweep of NC State and improving the Seminoles’ record to 17-2 (5-1 in ACC play).

After a pair of games that saw excellent starting pitching performances from both squads, Saturday’s nightcap was hardly a pitcher’s duel.

NC State starter Brad Stone managed to get just three outs.

After working a quick first inning, he gave up a lead-off home run to RF Brett Knief to start the bottom of the second. Nogowski followed up with a double, Brizuela was hit by a pitch and then 2B John Sansone drove a ball off the center-field wall for the Seminoles’ second double of the inning to make it 2-1 and put runners on the corners with no outs.

That was all for Stone, who left after facing just seven batters. Andrew Woeck came on to close out the inning, but not before FSU C Danny De La Calle singled in two more to make the score 4-1.

Stone finished with 1+ IP, gave up three hits, a walk and four earned runs. He took a no decision.

NC State didn’t wait long to get the runs back though. Florida State starter Mike Compton never got into a rhythm against the Wolf Pack and only lasted until the fifth himself.

After giving up a  two-out solo home run to SS Trea Turner in the first, Compton let NC State back into the game with a three run third inning shortly after FSU took its 4-1 lead.

A pair of singles by C Brett Austin and CF Jake Fincher started the inning, then DH Carlos Rodon (NC State’s Friday night starter) singled in Austin to cut Florida State’s lead to two. Wolf Pack 3B Andrew Knizner singled in another run the next batter, followed by RF Bubby Riley driving in Rodon on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at four.

Compton worked into more trouble in the 5th when an error started an NC State rally that plated two more and knocked the redshirt sophomore the game. Compton finished having given up nine hits and six runs (four earned), like his counterpart, he didn’t factor into the decision.

Down 6-4, Florida State didn’t wait long to even the score again, this time using three hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to plate two runs and tie the game at six. Nogowski drove in his third run of the series with an RBI single and Brizuela drove him home with a double off the screen in right-centerfield.

A Justin Gonzalez RBI double briefly put the Seminoles back ahead in the 6th inning, but NC State tied it back up on a fielder’s choice in the top of the 7th.

Then the bats went quiet, neither team could score again in regulation.

Jameis Winston came on in the ninth for Florida State and worked a career high three innings, striking out seven and keeping NC State off the board.

On the other side Eric Peterson was excellent for NC State, holding FSU’s lineup at bay and continuing to buy time for the Wolf Pack.

Come the 13th, NC State finally managed to tack on another run to go ahead 8-7. After Kenny Burkhead put two on, 3B Andrew Knizner singled to left and drove in the go-ahead run for NC State.

But FSU wasn’t done, the ‘Noles used a Nogowski sacrifice fly and Brizuela’s game-winning single to win it in the bottom of the 13th.

Florida State travels to Gainesville to face the University of Florida on Tuesday, then the Seminoles will travel to Clemson, SC next weekend for an ACC series with the Tigers.

 

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