TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Junior catcher Cal Raleigh tied a career high with three hits, including his first home run of the season, and had three RBI in No. 4 FSU’s 12-7 win over Kansas Tuesday evening at Dick Howser Stadium. In the two-game sweep of the Jayhawks, Raleigh hit 6-for-8 with five runs batted in and four runs scored.
“Our guys got after it,” head coach Mike Martin said. “Got a couple breaks early, a couple mistakes we took advantage of them. A lot of things went our way, but a credit to our guys to take advantage of those mistakes.”
Clayton Kwiatkowski (1-0) started his first career game, pitching 3.1 innings, allowing two solo home runs and striking out a career-best six. The game capped both teams fifth game in five days after the series was pushed up one day due to inclement weather in the Tallahassee area.
“We wanted to get two innings out of Clayton,” Martin said. “He pitched well and ran out of gas in the fourth. He gave us one inning longer than we were looking for. There were guys we wanted to get in the game that we didn’t get a chance to.”
Florida State scored three runs in the first inning against Kansas starter Steve Washilewski (0-1). After the first two batters were retired, FSU got three hits and an error to take the lead it would not relinquish. Rhett Aplin singled and Raleigh doubled to make the score 1-0. Drew Mendoza, FSU’s leading hitter, reached on an error by the first baseman that scored Raleigh and extended the inning.
Steven Wells walked and J.C. Flowers singled to make the score 3-0. FSU has scored in the first inning in nine games this season.
FSU added to its lead in the second on Raleigh’s second RBI of the game. Mike Salvatore opened the inning with his first double of the year and scored on Raleigh’s single.
Kwiatkowski set a career high with six strikeouts in the game, including striking out the side in the top of the third. FSU scored two more unearned runs in the bottom of the frame against reliever Tyler Davis. Davis put three hitters on base (two via HBP and a walk) before a throwing error from KU shortstop Benjamin Sems on a Jackson Lueck grounder scored Wells and Flowers and gave FSU a 6-0 lead.
After a pair of solo home runs against Kwiatkowski in the fourth inning cut the lead to 6-2, Cobi Johnson made his fifth appearance out of the bullpen and forced a pop up and a strikeout to limit the KU damage.
Raleigh answered with his first home run of the year in the bottom of the inning. Over his last five games, Raleigh is hitting 10-for-20 with nine RBI and six runs scored. His average has risen from .192 to .326 in that time.
“He’s seeing the ball real well,” Martin said. “He’s getting more comfortable with each at-bat with his approach. Just glad to see him doing nothing more than what he is capable of doing. That’s what we all knew Cal was capable of doing.”
Kyle Cavanaugh and Mendoza both notched RBI singles in the fifth inning to extend FSU’s lead to 9-2. Cavanaugh reached base in all three plate appearances (single and two walks).
Johnson struck out six hitters in his 2.2 innings, with four coming in the sixth inning. Devin Foyle reached on a strikeout which was followed by Owen Taylor’s two-run home run. Johnson struck out the next three hitters, the last he would face in the game.
Jared Herron hit his first career home run in the sixth inning to give FSU a 12-4 lead. His three-run shot off Jonah Ulane was FSU’s second home run of the game and sixth of the season.
The Jayhawks scored a run in the seventh and two in the eighth to cut the score to 12-7, but Conor Grady pitched a perfect ninth inning to lock up the FSU win.
In the fifth inning, Kyle Cavanaugh’s RBI single in his first plate appearance scored Nick Derr and gave FSU an 8-2 lead. Cavanaugh added two walks on the game.
FSU’s win was head coach Mike Martin’s 1,957th of his career. He needs just 19 more to become the winningest coach in college baseball history. He currently trails only Augie Garrido (1,975 wins). He is now 2-0 against Kansas.
Florida State opens ACC play undefeated for the first time since 2013 when they visit Wake Forest for three games beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. All three games will stream live on the ACC Network Extra.
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).