April 21, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Top-ranked Florida State (32-7, 18-2 ACC) received some timely hitting and solid pitching, while withstanding a one hour and 37 minute rain delay en route to a 6-1 victory over No. 18 Miami (26-13, 12-8 ACC) Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The win gave the Seminoles their seventh consecutive series victory in the ACC, while it marked the third straight series victory over the Hurricanes. With the win, FSU maintained its six-game lead over NC State in the Atlantic Division.
“There are a lot of things you can say about today’s victory, but it starts with the guy on the mound,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I thought Mike Compton had a very good outing. I thought Weaver really gave us a lift, coming in and accomplishing what he did. Obviously, a good win for us, I am just proud of our young men.”
A day after the veterans paced the Seminole offense to a win over their intra-state rival it was the young faces that did the damage on Saturday.
John Holland tied a career-high with his second three-hit game of the season as he drove in two runs during FSU’s four-run second inning. He finished with two singles, a double, two RBI and a run scored.
“John has really worked hard,” said Martin. “He has done a good job and is seeing the ball well. I am very proud of what I am seeing at the plate from him.”
After play resumed following the rain delay, John Nogowski broke the game open in the eighth with a two-out, two-run single to give the Seminoles a 6-1 lead.
Sherman Johnson and Seth Miller each drove in a run, while James Ramsey, Stephen McGee and Johnson all picked up a hit. Ramsey finished the afternoon reaching base on four of his five plate appearances recording a single, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Mike Compton worked 5.0 plus innings allowing a run on five hits as he walked one and struck out three to remain perfect on the year at 7-0. The freshman right hander did not allow a runner to advance past second through the first five innings as all five hits he allowed were singles.
“It was definitely a good feeling, going out there and getting some shutout innings especially after the two shaky starts I had the previous weeks,” said Compton. “I think it was very important to come out and put up a lot of zeros on the board especially against a good team like Miami.”
Compton got into trouble in the sixth with the Seminoles leading 4-0 as the first three Hurricane batters to the plate reached to load the bases with nobody out.
But Luke Weaver came on and allowed just one run to score on a sac-fly by Chantz Mack to preserve the lead. After the fly out, the freshman from DeLand, Fla., got Rony Rodriguez looking on strikes and then Brad Fieger to pop up to Devon Travis at second to end the inning.
“That is why I am so glad that coach Bell wanted to be sure we got these freshmen in ball games early in the year to prepare them for that moment,” said Martin on Weaver coming in with the bases loaded. “When Luke went out there, he had been in situations like that. It was very good for him to have success again in that situation.”
Weaver finished the afternoon working 3.0 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out four.
Robert Benincasa closed the door on Miami in the ninth as he retired the side in order on a pair of strikeouts and a pop up.
The Seminoles gave Compton all the run support he would need in the second inning taking advantage of two Miami errors to score four times off Hurricane starter Eric Whaley (3-3). Florida State sent nine batters to the plate that inning with Holland providing the big hit. With the bases loaded and no outs, Holland laced a single to center plating McGee and Jose Brizuela to give the Seminoles a 2-0 lead. Holland and Justin Gonzalez would end up on second and third on the play as the throw from centerfielder Dale Carey one hopped Miami catcher Garrett Kennedy at the plate and skipped into the Hurricane dugout.
Back-to-back sac-flies by Miller and Johnson gave the Seminoles a 4-0 advantage.
Three of the four runs scored off Whaley in the second were unearned. The Hurricane starter lasted just 4.0 innings on Saturday as he allowed three hits and a career-high six walks.
“There were people that got on for me to allow me to come through today,” said Holland. “It was a total team effort today. I was just fortunate to come up at a good time and capitalize.”
The score stayed that way until the sixth when Kennedy singled off Compton to open the inning and eventually scored on the sac-fly from Mack off Weaver.
After play resumed following the rain delay, Nogowski came through with his two-out, two-run single to account for the winning margin.
Florida State and Miami are back in action for game three of the series on Sunday, April 22 at 12:30 p.m. The game will air live on CSS, while fans can listen to the game locally on 100.7 FM and over the internet at Seminoles.com. Live stats will be available via gametracker, while fans can receive updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball.