May 19, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Top-ranked Florida State (43-12, 24-6 ACC) wrapped up the regular season with a 6-2 victory over No. 13 NC State (38-15, 19-11) in front of a crowd of 4,891 on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
With the win, the Seminoles finished the ACC regular season with a 24-6 record tying the league mark for victories in a season. It is the third time in league history a school has reached 24 wins as the Seminoles join the 2006 Clemson Tigers and 2008 Florida State Seminoles.
On Saturday, Florida State drew 11 walks including 10 in the first four innings to clinch the regular season series from the Wolfpack. The Seminoles have now won 11 straight conference series against NC State in Tallahassee.
“They went out there and competed and got it done against a very good NC State team,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It makes me proud to be a Florida State Seminole.”
Mike Compton received all the run support he would need in the series finale as the freshman right hander returned to form working 6.0 strong innings against the Wolfpack as he improved to 10-1 on the year. Compton gave up just two runs on six hits as he walked one and struck out seven.
“It was a big lift for us,” said Martin on Compton’s outing. “He threw the ball down; he threw the ball to both sides of the plate. Coach Bell has done a fantastic job with him. Compton showed me something really, really big when we made a couple of mistakes in the fourth. He looked me dead in the eye; he knew exactly what he needed to do. His only focus was the next pitch and that is exactly what he did today. A big lift for our baseball team.”
“It was all about keeping the ball low,” said Compton. “To get that win for the seniors means a lot, they have had my back all season. To give them a lift was something special.”
Luke Weaver came in to pitch the final 3.0 innings to earn his first collegiate save. The freshman right hander gave up just one hit and one walk while tying a career-high with five strikeouts.
“Luke pitched very well,” added Martin. “We wanted him to get his feet wet since he hadn’t pitched in a week.”
The walks issued by the first two Wolfpack pitchers would come back to haunt them as five of the six walks would turn into Seminole runs.
FSU opened the scoring in the first as NC State starter Anthony Tzamtzis (5-4) walked the bases loaded and then issued his fourth walk of the inning to Stephen McGee which brought home Devon Travis for the first run of the game. Josh Delph then drove in the second run of the inning on a sac-fly to left.
The Seminoles added a run in the second when Sherman Johnson drew a two-out walk off Tzamtzis and then scored all the way from first on a blistering double to straight away center off the bat of Travis to give FSU a 3-0 lead.
Florida State pushed its lead to 6-0 in the fourth taking advantage of two more walks and a hit-by pitch. Travis and James Ramsey opened the inning drawing back-to-back walks off Wolfpack reliever D.J. Thomas. After a fly out by Jayce Boyd, NC State went to the bullpen and brought on Vance Williams. The senior right hander would hit McGee to load the bases and Delph would plate two more lacing a single just inside the bag at third and past the diving glove of Trea Turner. John Nogowski drove in McGee for the third run of the inning on an RBI groundout to second.
The Wolfpack would cut into the lead in the sixth when Ryan Mathews connected on a two-run shot to right center off Compton. The home run was Mathews’ third of the series and 15th of the season.
The home run did not faze Compton as he retired the next three batters in the sixth on a pair of strikeouts and a fly out.
Weaver would close the door on the Wolfpack over the next three innings allowing just one hit, a double to Chris Diaz in the eighth. After issuing a one out walk in the ninth, Weaver got Brett Austin to ground into a game ending double play back to the mound.
Delph led the Seminoles on Saturday with two hits and a career-high three RBI. Jose Brizuela finished with two hits, while Johnson, Travis and Boyd all recorded a hit a piece.
“I felt good today,” said Delph. “I felt good in batting practice, I felt like I had it figured out. I just went in there with some confidence and took some good swings.”
The top four hitters in the Florida State line-up drew nine of the 11 walks including three each from Ramsey and Boyd.
Florida State will now head to Greensboro, N.C. as the top seed for the ACC Tournament which begins Wednesday, May 23. The Seminoles will face #4 Virginia, #5 Clemson and #8 Georgia Tech over four days in a round robin style format. Dates and times for the tournament will be announced by the league office on Sunday, May 20.
“I am excited to be entering the second season,” said Martin. “We know that this ACC Tournament is really, really strong. I would pay to watch that tournament with what I know is in the field. Of course, we know we play Georgia Tech in the first round. It sets up to be a very interesting tournament.”
Under the pool-play format, each team will play one game against each of the other three opponents in its division Wednesday-Saturday (May 23-26). The two teams with the best records within their respective division brackets will advance to the title game on Sunday, May 27, with the winner earning the ACC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Game times Wednesday through Saturday are set for 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday’s Championship Game will begin at 12 noon.
For further updates on the Florida State Baseball team and the upcoming ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., stay tuned to Seminoles.com.