May 6, 2014
DeLAND, Fla. – Fourth-ranked Florida State (37-11) completed the regular season sweep of Stetson (20-30) Tuesday night defeating the Hatters 9-4 in front of a pro-Seminole crowd of 2,883 on Melching Field inside Conrad Park.
The win was FSU’s seventh straight over Stetson and third in a row in DeLand. The Seminoles also improved to 12-4 on the year against schools from the Sunshine State.
“It’s always fun to come to DeLand,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “Pete Dunn runs a class program. It was nice that we had the crowd that we had tonight.”
Josh Delph paced the Seminole offense Tuesday night going 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, two walks and a season-high three RBI. The Bartow, Fla., native drove in FSU’s first three runs of the game on a two-run single in the third and two-out RBI single to right in the fifth.
“Josh really, really got it done,” added Martin. “That was fun for all of us to see him have that success. He is having a very good year; to drive in three quick runs for us was huge.”
John Sansone collected a pair of doubles, scored twice and drove in a run on a sac-fly in the eighth. Brett Knief was a perfect 2-for-2 with two singles and an RBI. Justin Gonzalez reached base on his first two plate appearances drawing a pair of walks and scoring both times. The senior shortstop collected an RBI on a sac-fly in FSU’s four-run seventh.
Making his second career start on Tuesday, FSU starter Kenny Burkhead would not factor in the decision but worked a career-high 3.0 innings as he allowed two runs on five hits. The Deltona, Fla., native finished the game with a walk and a strikeout.
Peter Miller was outstanding in relief throwing 3.0 shutout innings to move his record to 3-3 on the year. The senior right hander gave up two hits and two walks while striking out four.
“The biggest story tonight was just how good our pitching staff did,” said Delph. “With a lot of guys injured, to come in on a Tuesday and hold Stetson to four runs was a great job.”
Mitchell Jordan (2-7) suffered the loss for the Hatters as the freshman right hander allowed three runs on two hits as he walked two and struck out one in 2.2 innings in relief.
Stetson got on the board first on Tuesday night stringing together back-to-back two-out doubles off Burkhead in the bottom of the second. Kyle Zech blasted a shot just past the diving glove of Jose Brizuela at third, while Mike Fernland followed with a double that one hopped the wall in left to bring home Zech to give the Hatters a 1-0 lead.
The lead was short lived as the Noles answered right back in the top of the third scoring two runs off Stetson starter Kurt Schluter. Sansone and Gonzalez opened the inning with a double and walk, respectively. After a sac-bunt by Danny De La Calle moved both runners 90 feet, the Hatters went to the bullpen and brought on Adam Schaly. Delph greeted the sophomore southpaw with a two-run single to left to give the Seminoles their first lead of the night at 2-1.
The Hatters tied the ball game on another clutch two-out hit by Fernland in the bottom of the fourth. Stetson put the first two batters on following back-to-back singles off Burkhead. Miller came on in relief of the Seminole starter and struck out the first two batters that he faced before the Stetson left fielder singled back up the middle to bring home Josh Powers to even the game at two runs apiece.
FSU retook the lead on a two-out RBI single by Delph in the top of the fifth. Gonzalez reached on a one-out walk, his second of the night, moved to second on a groundout by De La Calle and scored on Delph’s second hit of the game, a base hit to right off Jordan.
The Seminoles added to their lead in the seventh plating four runs, three coming with two outs, to take a 7-2 advantage. Gonzalez opened the scoring with a sac-fly to left plating Ben DeLuzio, who opened the inning with a walk. Pinch hitter Brett Knief singled through the hole on the left side to bring home Sansone, while DJ Stewart drove in two with two outs as he beat out an infield single to first.
Stetson cut the deficit to 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh off Strode taking advantage of a Seminole throwing error. With runners at the corners and no one out, Strode got Tyler Bocock to ground into a 4-6-3 double play and then got Patrick Mazeika to line out to short to end the inning.
Florida State responded once again plating two more runs in the eighth extending its lead to 9-3. Brizuela and DeLuzio opened the inning with a single and double, respectively, as Brizuela scored on DeLuzio’s hit courtesy of a Stetson throwing error at second. DeLuzio would score a batter later on a sac-fly to left off the bat of Sansone.
The Hatters added an unearned run late off Winston in the ninth but it wasn’t enough as the Seminoles went on to the 9-4 victory.
Florida State stays on the road and will head to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina for a three-game conference series beginning Friday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m. Games one and two of the series will air on ESPN3 and the Regional Sports Network, respectively. Saturday and Sunday’s game are scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
Audio for all three games will be available on the Seminoles.com All-Access player. Locally fans can listen to the game on 1270 AM (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday & Sunday). As always, fans can receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Baseball team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUBaseball and to follow the team on Instagram (NoleBaseball).