TALLAHASSEE, FL — Rightfielder Matt Diaz belted two home runs and drove in three runs as he led Florida State (50-18) to a 10-7 win over Liberty (32-28) in the first round NCAA Atlantic II Regional.
Right-hander Jon McDonald (10-3) struck out six batters in eight innings in the win for Florida State. He gave up seven runs on 10 hits in the outing.
Tim Harrell (9-4) surrendered nine runs on 13 hits and struck out six batters in seven innings in the loss for Liberty.
Diaz put the Seminoles on the scoreboard, 1-0, in the second inning with a solo home run to left field.
Centerfielder Brian Cox ripped a two-run home run to centerfield and designated hitter Terry Henderson drove in catcher Jeremy Salazar on a double to right fiel to give the Seminoles a 4-0 lead in the third inning.
Liberty cut FSU’s lead to 4-3 on two home runs in the fourth inning. Shortstop David Dalton belted a solo homer to centerfield and first baseman Ryan McClellan followed with a two-run shot to centerfield.
Diaz added two runs to the Seminoles’ cause with his second home run of the day. His two-run homer to leftfield was Diaz’ 16th of the season and increased FSU’s lead 6-3.
Second baseman Brooks Badeaux singled and scored on a fielding error to give FSU a 7-3 edge in the sixth inning. In the seventh inning, Henderson doubled and came home on basehit by first baseman Kevin Cash. Diaz gave FSU its ninth run when he scored on botched double steal increasing FSU’s lead to 9-3.
Liberty rightfielder Steve Wright belted a grand slam home run in the eighth inning to cut the Seminoles lead to 9-7.
Third baseman Jose Zabala doubled to right field and scored on a basehit by Cox for added insurance in the bottom of the eighth.
Right-hander Scott Proctor pitched a scoreless inning of relief to earn his sixth save of the season for the Seminoles.
Florida State will face Delaware tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.
LIB 000 300 040 7 11 3 FSU 013 021 21x 10 15 0
E-Dalton, T. Harrell, B. Miller.
DP-FSU 2. LOB-Liberty 4, FSU 6.
2B-Henderson 2, Zabala.
HR-Dalton (10), McClellan (12), Wright (18), Cox (15), M. Diaz (16).