TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Dylan Busby was one of four Florida State hitters with at least two hits in the Seminoles’ (38-20) 18-6 victory over Alabama State (38-20) in their first game of the Tallahassee Regional on Friday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The victory advances FSU to the winner’s bracket where they will face fellow opening round winner Southern Miss on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Busby finished 3-for-6 from the plate, including a double and a triple, and was responsible for a career-high five RBI. FSU also had three-hit performances from Quincy Nieporte (3-5, 2 RBI), who finished the night with two doubles, and Taylor Walls (3-5, 2 RBI, double). Freshman Cal Raleigh contributed two hits and an RBI for FSU, including one double.
Starting hurler Drew Carlton (7-3) earned the win after scattering eight hits and five earned runs over 6.2 innings. Carlton faced 29 batters, threw 115 pitches and finished with five strikeouts in his 16th start of the season.
Carlton was followed on the mound by Mike Compton, Chase Haney and Ed Voyles. That trio combined to strike out three Hornet hitters as they limited the Alabama State lineup to two hits, one run and three walks.
FSU’s offense started off red hot as it exploded for seven runs on five hits in the first. Walls singled to left to open the inning and moved to second after a fielding error that allowed John Sansone to reach base. Jackson Lueck delivered his first postseason hit, a single to center, as Walls provided FSU with the 1-0 advantage.
Raleigh loaded the bases for Busby, who scored Sansone from third on a fielder’s choice for the 2-0 FSU lead. Two batters later, Tyler Holton singled to right field to score Raleigh as the Noles assumed the three-run lead.
With the bases loaded, Ben DeLuzio drew a walk to score Busby from third, as FSU forged ahead 4-0. Matt Henderson, the ninth batter to go to the plate, provided FSU with a 5-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to left field. The Seminoles scored their final two runs when a single to right by Walls, which also included a throwing error by the Alabama State catcher, allowed the combination of DeLuzio and Holton to cross the plate.
Alabama State made it a 7-1 affair in the second after Dillion Cooper, who doubled to left field to open the inning, crossed the plate on a single to left by Hunter Phillips.
FSU enjoyed its second multi-run inning of the game by capitalizing on a walk and three hits to open the fourth. Lueck leadoff the frame with a walk and quickly moved to second on a single to right field by Raleigh. Busby doubled down the left field line, scoring the tandem of Lueck and Raleigh, as the FSU lead ballooned to 9-1. Nieporte followed with his second hit of the game, a double to left, to score Busby and push the Seminoles’ lead to 10-1.
The Hornets snapped their four-inning scoreless drought in the seventh as they emerged with five runs on five hits. Ray Hernandez got the offense started with a single to left and scored two batters later on a single by Hunter Allen. Yamil Pagan doubled to left to plate Allen for the 10-3 Seminole lead.
Alabama State scored five runs in its half of the seventh inning.
ASU’s Diandre Amion highlighted the inning with a two-run home run over the right field wall, cutting the FSU lead in half, 10-5. The Hornets added their final run of the game on a single by Chris Biocic that plated Carlos Ocasio, who earlier reached base on a fielding error, which cut Florida State’s once comfortable lead to four runs.
FSU utilized five hits and two Hornet errors to put seven runs across in the seventh and in the process extended its lead to 17-6. Henderson collected the first hit of the inning, a double to right center, and scored on a double to left centerfield by Walls. Walls advanced to third as the Hornet defense attempted to cut down Henderson at the plate and scored on a throwing error by the Alabama State shortstop.
Sansone and Lueck provided FSU with two runners after both being hit by pitches. Sansone scored and Lueck advanced to third when Raleigh roped a double to left centerfield for a 13-6 Seminole lead. With Raleigh and Lueck in scoring position, Busby hit a bases clearing triple to left field to push the Seminole lead to 15-6. Busby scored from third on a double by Nieporte, capping off the seventh inning.
Sansone came through again for the Seminoles in the eighth, with a one-out double into right centerfield. Sansone move to third on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Bryan Bussey drove in the final FSU run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to make the score 18-6.
With the win, the Seminoles advanced in the winner’s bracket to face second-seeded Southern Miss on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. The Golden Eagles exploded for an 11-run sixth to defeat South Alabama 14-2 in the opening round of the Tallahassee Regional Friday afternoon.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).