Feb. 21, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Eighth-ranked Florida State (4-0) came from behind for the fourth time in as many games this year to remain undefeated downing Jacksonville (0-4) 16-9 Tuesday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Seminoles pounded out 14 hits and drew 13 walks en route to winning their fourth game in a row over the Dolphins. The 16 runs were the most scored by FSU in the series since the 2006 Athens Regional when the Seminoles defeated JU 18-0.
“It was a good win, it really was,” said Florida State head coach Mike Martin. “When you fall behind by four, it was a game in which you could see the experienced players take charge of every opportunity that was provided to them. I was very pleased with our at-bats.”
Jayce Boyd led all players on Tuesday with his first four-hit performance of the season. The junior first baseman registered a double, three singles, walked once, scored twice and tied a career-high with five RBI. Boyd quickly extended his hitting streak to 10-games with a two-run single down the left field line in the first.
“He certainly came to the plate with the idea that he was going to put the ball in play,” added Martin. “It was a big lift for us when he drove that ball down the line in left to score a couple runs for us in the first inning.”
“I felt pretty good out there tonight,” said Boyd. “To keep the focus and to grind out at-bats is something that Mike Martin, Jr., preaches all the time and that is something that I was focusing in on when I was at the plate.”
Freshman John Nogowski continued to swing a hot bat as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a career-high three RBI.
Sherman Johnson and James Ramsey combined to reach base eight times on Tuesday as Johnson drew three walks and singled in the sixth, while Ramsey walked twice, was hit by a pitch in the sixth and singled in the eighth. Both Johnson and Ramsey are tied for the team lead in walks through the first four games with eight apiece.
Devon Travis celebrated his 21st birthday with a pair of doubles and two runs scored, while Justin Gonzalez registered his third two-hit game of the season with a pair of singles in the first and sixth innings.
Freshman Mario Amaral also got into the mix picking up his first collegiate hit and RBI as he singled back up the middle with two outs in the eighth. Overall, 10 of the 16 runs scored by the Seminoles on Tuesday came on two outs.
Mack Waugh (1-0) registered the win as he worked 3.1 innings allowing two runs on five hits as he walked two and struck out a career-high seven. The senior right hander entered the ballgame in relief of starter Luke Weaver with one out in the second and quickly found trouble as the first three Dolphins that he faced reached to load the bases. But Waugh registered a double play to end the inning as he got Jonathan Murphy to strike out swinging and then Stephen McGee to pick off Adam Brett Walker at first.
“Coming out of the bullpen in a situation like that you are just trying to get back in the dugout and let our offense do what they can do,” said Waugh. “I just wanted to come in, throw strikes and get groundballs and I was able to do that tonight.”
Waugh helped the Seminoles turn the momentum in their favor as he retired the Dolphins in order in the third and at one point struck out four JU batters in a row.
“A solid outing for Mack Waugh,” said Martin. “He certainly deserved that win tonight. He came in and shut them down. His numbers were very impressive.”
Weaver went just 1.1 innings in his college debut as he gave up six runs on three hits in earning the no decision. He walked four and struck out one.
Robert Benincasa was impressive in his two innings of work as he did not allow a hit and struck out four. He came on in relief of Brian Busch, who started the sixth and issued a hit-by-pitch and a single to Dan Gulbransen and Walker, respectively, but Benincasa kept FSU’s two-run lead in tact as he struck out the next three batters that he faced.
“More than anything it is confidence,” said Benincasa on his ability to come into a game out of the bullpen and with runners on base. “It’s understanding how I can pitch and using that to my ability rather than giving in to hitters. I am standing on the mound with a little more confidence. I think being a junior, I have a little more experience, a little more poise out there; I feel I am really able to execute pitches.”
“(Robert) Benincasa and Gage Smith pitched very well,” added Martin. “I was very excited to see Benny go out and again have a good outing. Coming in with first and second and nobody out and striking out the side was no doubt a key for us.”
The Seminoles quickly fell behind on Tuesday as Jacksonville ran out to an early 6-2 lead thanks to a solo home run by Kevin Lehane in the first and a grand slam off the bat of Taylor Ratliff in the second. But FSU clawed its way back and after scoring two runs in the first and one in the second and third, took the lead for good with a five spot in the fourth. Florida State sent 11 batters to the plate that inning and showed great patience drawing five walks.
FSU widen its lead to 15-8 thanks to six more runs in the sixth. Ramsey opened the scoring driving in a run as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Boyd stepped in with a two-run single followed by a two-run double to right off the bat of Nogowski.
The Seminoles return to the diamond this weekend at home as Florida State hosts a three-game series against FIU beginning Friday, February 24 at 4:00 p.m. The first two games will air live over the internet on Seminoles All-Access, while live stats will be available via gametracker. Fans can listen to all the action locally on 1270 AM (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and on the internet at Seminoles.com.