The fourth-ranked Florida State Seminoles finished off a season sweep of Stetson tonight, beating the Hatters 9-4 before a sellout crowd in DeLand, Florida.
Sophomore righty Kenny Burkhead started just his second game for the Seminoles and was under fire early. He benefitted from a double play to escape a jam in the first inning, but Stetson opened the scoring in the bottom of the second frame, claiming a 1-0 lead on an RBI double.
The ‘Noles struck back immediately, however, when Josh Delph singled in John Sansone and Justin Gonzalez in the top of the third, giving FSU a 2-1 advantage.
The lead stood until Burkhead allowed the first two Hatters to reach in the fourth. He was relieved by Peter Miller, who struck out two before a Stetson hit knotted the score at 2-2. Burkhead’s final line: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R.
Once again FSU answered quickly, as Delph registered his third RBI of the game on a two-out hit in the fifth that scored Gonzalez and made the score 3-2. Florida State added another in the seventh when Ben DeLuzio walked and was doubled to third by Sansone. Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly extended the Seminole lead to 4-2. Brett Knief pinch-hit for Casey Smit, and his two-out single pushed the gap to 5-2. DJ Stewart’s infield single, coupled with a poor throw to first, plated two more and opened the ‘Nole lead to 7-2.
After throwing three shutout innings, Miller was relieved by Billy Strode in the bottom of the seventh. Stetson registered a run in the inning, aided by a Jose Brizuela error, but, again, FSU struck back quickly. Brizuela atoned by touching home in the eighth on a DeLuzio double, and the latter scored on Sansone’s sac fly to make it 9-3.
Jameis Winston, fresh off a suspension for a much-publicized shoplifting citation, worked the final inning for Florida State. More suspect defense allowed the Hatters to scratch across a sac fly to bring the final tally to 9-4.
The win improves the Seminoles’ record to 37-11. They’ll travel to Chapel Hill to play the North Carolina Tar Heels this weekend.