TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The combination of Ben DeLuzio at the plate Andrew Karp on the mound helped 10th-ranked Florida State (26-11) complete a mid-week sweep of Stetson (17-20) by an 8-6 margin on Wednesday afternoon at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Karp (1-0) capped off his first collegiate start by allowing three hits and one earned run in five innings of work. He tallied one strikeout among the 18 batters he faced.
FSU also got a solid showing out of the bullpen from Jim Voyles and Alec Byrd, who combined for three innings, one hit and one strikeout.
The Seminole offense was ignited by the combination of DeLuzio (2-4, 2 RBI), John Sansone (1-4, 2 RBI) and Dylan Busby (1-3, RBI). DeLuzio’s multi-hit performance, his seventh of the season, included a double in the seventh and a two-RBI single in the eighth that scored the decisive runs.
Sansone tied Taylor Walls for the team lead in doubles (15), following a two-out double that cleared the bases in the fifth. Busby connected on his sixth homerun of the season, 14th of his career, to account for the remaining extra base hit of the game.
“I am very proud of Andrew (Karp) today, he had a very good outing,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was also encouraging to get at least five innings from our starters in back-to-back days. I was very pleased with the performances from Byrd and Jim Voyles. Stetson is very competitive and they know how to play the game, especially under a Hall of Fame coach like Pete Dunn.”
Florida State assumed the early lead after Walls opened the first inning with a single into left field. Two batters later, Cal Raleigh brought Walls home on a single inside the right field line for the 1-0 Seminole advantage.
Stetson briefly knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth, but Busby opened the home half of the frame by sending his second homerun in as many days over the right centerfield wall, giving FSU the 2-1 edge. Steven Wells Jr. and Matt Henderson each reached base on a single, putting runners on the corners, before Sansone stretched the Seminoles’ lead to 4-1 with a bases clearing double to centerfield.
FSU added two runs in the seventh after Donovan Petrey opened the inning by being struck by a pitch by Stetson’s Josh Thorne. He advanced to third on a double down the left field line by DeLuzio. Henderson brought Petrey home on a sacrifice fly to centerfield and Walls assisted in DeLuzio’s crossing the plate in similar fashion for a 6-1 advantage.
Back-to-back two-out walks of Nick Graganella and Busby, coupled with a single by Petrey, in the FSU eighth loaded the bases with DeLuzio at the plate. The junior centerfielder responded with a single to right field, scoring Graganella and Busby, to provide the Seminoles with an 8-1 lead.
The Hatters rallied in the top of the ninth, scoring five runs on four hits, to make for the 8-6 final. Among the key plays was a single to right field by Kevin Fagan, which scored two Stetson runners, and an errant throw in the infield on a hit by Will McKenzie that also plated two runners.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).
One more win would bring another milestone. Florida State enters the NCAA tournament with 39 victories and can reach 40 wins for the 40th consecutive season this weekend.
It’s a mark that, as recently as the end of the last month, seemed to be on shaky ground.
But after 12-2 record during the month of May, the Seminoles are right back where history says they belong: Among the nation’s best and playing at home during the first weekend in June.
“I’ve thought that all along (that we could do this),” Martin said. “And our guys will tell you that. I think that what we have to do now is not fall in love with ourselves. We’ve got a very strong field coming in here. We’re looking at one game right now: Tennessee Tech.”