Erratic Oakland Pitching Helps FSU Baseball to Sweep


No. 11 FSU baseball benefitted from errant Oakland pitching today, and the Seminoles collected an opening series sweep over the Golden Grizzlies by a score of 5-1 at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee.

Oakland went through a total of seven pitchers– seemingly looking for one who could consistently hit the catcher’s mitt, and, preferably, the strike zone. All five FSU runs were aided by a wild pitch and a walk– the Grizzlies finished with seven wild pitches and eight walks, along with hitting two Seminole batters as well.

In the second inning, Gage West doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch before opening the scoring when he touched home on a Darren Miller groundout. FSU made it 2-0 in the third when DJ Stewart drilled a two-out single, stole second, and took third on a wild pitch. Dylan Busby knocked him home a batter later.

The Seminoles’ third run came in the fifth when Delph, DeLuzio, and Stewart led off with walks. Delphi was caught stealing, and DeLuzio was forced out at home, but Stewart scored on a wild pitch.

Oakland couldn’t get to FSU freshman righty Cobi Johnson, who made his first career start and looked sharp throwing five scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and two walks and striking out six. Said Florida State skipper Mike Martin of Johnson’s role in the victory: “Cobi was certainly the secret.”

The lone Oakland run came via sloppy play as well, in the top of the seventh. Mike Brosseau led the inning off against Alec Byrd with a line drive to DJ Stewart in left field. Stewart read the play correctly, got to his spot in plenty of time, but simply didn’t squeeze the ball, and it popped out of his glove. Byrd then walked Chris Van Dyke, and Brosseau scored from second on a single from Tyler Pagano to make it 3-1. 

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FSU picked up some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, when Taylor Walls walked, advanced around to third on a pair of wild pitches, and then, after a walk to Miller, scored on a Danny De La Calle single. Miller scored a batter later when Delph singled to make it 5-1. Billy Strode closed things out for the ‘Noles in the ninth.

Of course, Florida State is no stranger to seizing upon the mistakes of others under Mike Martin. FSU has been in the top three, nationally, in drawing walks since 2008 and has led the country in bases on balls five times during that period. 

The sweep improves FSU’s all-time record against Oakland to 7-0. The ‘Noles are now 14-1-0 against teams from the Horizon League. Florida State, now 3-0 on the young season, also continued its success in its opening series: the Seminoles haven’t dropped the opening series of a season since 1981.

Next up for the ‘Noles is a Tuesday road game against the Jacksonville University Dolphins before a weekend series against Georgia in Athens.