TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dylan Busby hit two home runs and had three RBI, Taylor Walls was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and Florida State (24-15) knocked off Stetson (16-23), 7-3, Wednesday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Clayton Kwiatkowski earned his first career win, pitching 3.2 innings in relief of Will Zirzow.
“The way we approached the game was very mature,” head coach Mike Martin said. “[Stetson’s] a good ball club…but I was very pleased with the way we went out and got after it. That last column had a zero, and that makes us excited.”
Walls and Busby both started 3-for-3 and accounted for each of FSU’s first six hits. Busby’s two home runs give him seven on the season, tied for the team lead, and he is the first FSU player this year with two in one game. He had three RBI for a fourth-consecutive game, and his average sits at .298.
“[Busby’s] seeing the ball well,” Martin said. “He has the ability to semi-carry a team, and he’s doing a good job of getting us off to a good start in the ball game.”
The Seminoles struck first with a bases loaded walk in the first inning. Walls and Busby singled off Austin Bogart, followed by walks to Quincy Nieporte and Rhett Aplin.
In the second, Matt Henderson was hit by a pitch for the sixth time this season, and third time in four games, before scoring on Walls’ fifth double of the year. After Walls was caught stealing third, Busby hit his sixth home run on a crushed ball over the left field wall to give FSU a 3-0 lead through two innings.
After Stetson tied the game with three runs in the top of the fifth inning, the last two of which came on a home run from Jack Gonzalez off reliever Clayton Kwiatkowski, FSU answered with four in the bottom of the inning.
Walls’ second double of the game, off reliever Mitchell Senger (0-2), paved the way for Busby’s second home run and gave FSU a 5-3 lead. With two outs, Cal Raleigh hit his sixth home run of the year and second in two games. Stetson’s Tyler Keller took over on the mound and hit Aplin and Drew Mendoza before walking Henderson with runners advancing on a wild pitch to give the Noles a 7-3 lead.
Will Zirzow, making his second career start after going three innings against FGCU earlier this month, allowed a pair of runs in 4.1 innings, striking out four. Kwiatkowski went a career-high 3.2 innings, allowing three hits and striking out three. The freshman left-hander is the 11th different player to earn a win for FSU this season.
Next up for the Seminoles is a three-game trip to Coral Gables for a series against Miami (18-19). Both teams have identical 9-9 records in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Friday and Saturday’s games will begin at 7:00 p.m., with the Sunday finale set for 1:00 p.m.
After Wednesday’s game, Martin announced that Florida State’s rotation will remain unchanged for a ninth consecutive week – RHP Cole Sands on Friday, followed by left-handers Tyler Holton and Drew Parrish.
All three games will stream on ACC Network Extra on WatchESPN, and Eric Luallen will provide play-by-play audio on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee and nationwide on the FSU Gameday App.
– The win was FSU’s 12th straight over Stetson and the Noles improve to 60-22 all-time against the Hatters. FSU’s longest winning streak in the series is 13, from 1992-2010.
– Dylan Busby entered the game second among active players in the ACC with 133 RBI and third with 28 home runs, two behind the leaders.
– Over the past four games, Busby has 12 RBI (three on Wednesday and each game vs. No. 3 Clemson).
– Busby is the first Seminole to hit two home runs in a game this season, and his seven are tied for the team lead with Quincy Nieporte.
– Taylor Walls had two doubles in a game for the second time this season. In the 1- and 2-holes, Walls and Busby combined to go 6-for-9, while the 3-through-9 spots in the lineup went 1-for-20 (Raleigh’s home run).
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).