April 27, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Top-ranked Florida State (34-7) scored 11 runs in the first three innings en route to a 17-6 victory over Rhode Island (26-17) in the first meeting between both schools Friday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Seminoles tallied 28 base runners in game one against the Rams recording 14 hits, nine walks and three hit by pitches, while two more runners reached on an error and a fielder’s choice.
Florida State and Rhode Island each finished the night with 14 hits, while both clubs struggled a little bit defensively making a combined five errors.
“That is a good Rhode Island ball club,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I was very impressed with the talent on that club. For a majority of the game, we played extremely well. They took advantage of every mistake we made in the fourth. But we kept our poise and I thought Leibrandt kept his poise as well. I am very proud of our guys. It was a good win for us tonight.”
Jayce Boyd led all hitters on Friday night as he tied a career-high with five hits. The junior first baseman went 5-for-6 with four RBI and two runs scored. Boyd was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle collecting three singles, a double and a home run. He recorded hits in his first four at-bats with an RBI double in the first, a two-run home run in the second and singles in the fourth and sixth innings.
“It was good offensive night, for our team as well,” said Boyd. “We got some runs early which helped settle us down a little bit. They are a good ball team. They fought hard and made it tough on us all night. To keep grinding it out and scoring runs against them was big.”
The top of the Seminole line-up did a bulk of the offensive damage in game one as Sherman Johnson, Devon Travis, James Ramsey and Boyd went a combined 10-for-18 with nine RBI, 11 runs, five walks, two doubles, a triple and two home runs.
Travis joined Boyd with a game-high four RBI, his second four RBI game of the season and fourth of his career. He connected on his fourth home run of the season in third inning, a two-out, three-run shot to left to give FSU a commanding 11-2 lead.
Ramsey finished the evening 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, while tying a career-high with four runs scored. He recorded a RBI triple in the second, his sixth of the season and 15th of his career moving him into sole possession of third place all-time for career triples.
Johnson registered a base hit in the first inning, walked twice and was hit by a pitch.
Making his first career start at shortstop Friday night, Giovanny Alfonzo went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in his first two at-bats. He drove in a run with his single in the second inning for his first career RBI. Alfonzo would drive in his second run of the night drawing a walk with the bases loaded in the sixth.
Brandon Leibrandt got all the run support he needed after the first two innings as the freshman southpaw improved to 5-1 on the year. Leibrandt allowed six runs, four earned, on 10 hits in 5.0 innings of work. He struck out a career-high eight batters, while he did not issue a walk for the first time in 11 starts this year.
Gage Smith, Brandon Johnson and Bryant Holtmann all saw relief action on Friday night working scoreless baseball. Smith faced seven batters in 2.0 shutout innings allowing just one hit. Both Johnson and Holtmann worked a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, respectively.
Holtmann faced the minimum in the ninth and struck out Greg Annarummo for the final out of the game.
Rhode Island’s Chris Pickering (5-6) was charged with the loss as he allowed 11 runs on 11 hits in 5.0 innings of work.
The Rams drew within five of the lead after the fourth thanks to a four-run inning in which they scored all four runs on two outs. But the Seminoles got the four runs back in the sixth taking advantage of four walks, a hit-by-pitch and a single.
The Seminoles added a run in the seventh and eighth inning for the winning margin.
Florida State and Rhode Island will return to the field for game two of the series on Saturday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles All-Access, while fans can listen to the game locally on 100.7 FM and over the internet on Seminoles.com. Live stats will be available via gametracker, while fans can receive updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball.