TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida State (6-0) scored a 6-5 walk-off win over visiting Troy (4-3) Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium in front of 5,147 fans. Sophomore Drew Mendoza hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth after reliever Gage Hutchinson (1-0) pitched a perfect top of the ninth.
Drew Mendoza drives in the winning run!
WP: Hutchinson (1-0)
LP Sadler (0-1) pic.twitter.com/Um98Zc5a9s
— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) February 24, 2018
“I’ve always been impressed with Troy baseball,” head coach Mike Martin said. “Today was a classic example that they are going to fight for 27 outs. Good win. Jonah Scolaro and Hutchinson pitched very well.”
Mendoza’s single off Sadler Goodwin (0-1) came after Troy tied the game with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings and threatened more in the eighth. Mike Salvatore opened the ninth inning with a four-pitch walk, Jackson Lueck singled and Cal Raleigh walked leading to Mendoza’s hit, his second of the game. The walk-off was the first of Mendoza’s career.
“Something out,” Mendoza said of what he was expecting from Sadler. “Something above the knees that I could drive to the outfield. I probably shouldn’t have swung at that last one, it was down too, but I was fortunate to get a good piece on it.”
Pitching for the second straight game, Hutchinson entered with a runner on second in the eighth inning and gave up an infield single to give Troy runners on the corners. Leadoff hitter Matt Sanders popped out to first base and Joey Denison popped up to second base with the bases loaded. In the top of the ninth, Hutchinson sat down Hunter Mercer, Dylan Crutcher and Brody Binder on strikes.
“I love getting in there any time I can to help the club win,” Hutchinson said in his first gathering with the media. “It’s just fun to get in, at any point in the game, but late in the game when it matters most I really embrace that.”
For the fifth time in six games this season, FSU scored in the first inning, plating three runs on three hits and one Troy error. Salvatore had his first of two hits to lead off the game and has successfully reached base to open the game five times this year. Rhett Aplin walked and Raleigh lined an RBI single to left field to give FSU a 1-0 lead. Both runners advanced a base when the throw to catcher Hunter Kamplain got away.
Mendoza hit a sacrifice fly that scored Aplin, and Kyle Cavanaugh, making his first start of the season and third of his career, singled through the right side to score Raleigh.
Troy answered with a Sanders home run in the third inning to make the score 3-1. Sanders was 2-for-5 on the afternoon.
Starting pitcher Drew Parrish went 5.1 innings, striking out eight hitters and allowing five hits. Sanders’ home run was the only earned run against Parrish.
Sophomore Clayton Kwiatkowski entered with two runners on base and one out, and Troy capitalized on a bases loaded walk and wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-3.
After FSU scored a run in the bottom of the sixth without a hit, Troy scored two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game.
Florida State had runners on in the seventh and eighth innings before ground ball double plays got Troy out of trouble. The Trojans got no such luck in the ninth.
Drew Mendoza’s bases loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave FSU a walk-off 6-5 win over Troy. Mike Salvatore and Cal Raleigh walks sandwiched a Jackson Lueck single to put ducks on the pond.
FSU’s win was head coach Mike Martin’s 1,950th of his career. He needs just 26 more to become the winningest coach in college baseball history. He currently trails only Augie Garrido (1,975 wins). Martin is 11-1 in his career against the Trojans.
Florida State and Troy meet for the final game of the weekend Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Freshman LHP Austin Pollock (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his first career start for the Seminoles, while Troy will throw RHP Rush Hixon (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
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).