Oct. 19, 2012
By Chuck Walsh, FSU Sports Information
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles) – Nine strikeouts and only one walk by a trio of pitchers helped the Garnet side to an 8-5 win over the Gold side in the annual Garnet and Gold fall baseball game on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium on Friday night.
Brandon Johnson, Billy Strode and Evan Geist held the Gold side to five runs over seven innings to lead the Garnet side to the win. Strode gained the win with two innings of work while Geist closed out the game for the Garnet team, striking out four in the final two innings of the game.
Despite the efforts of the three pitchers for the Garnet side, the two teams combined for 13 runs on 20 hits – 10 of which were doubles. Five different players had doubles for both sides including right fielder Brett Knief who stroked a pair of doubles.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for a lot of guys and they showed a lot or perseverance,” said Hall of Fame head coach Mike Martin. “We had a couple of mistakes that you can’t have and expect to win. But what impressed me is the guys would turn around and make a good defensive play.”
The win for the Garnet side marked a two-game sweep over the Gold side as the Garnet won by an identical score of 8-5 in the first game on Thursday night.
Sophomore Jose Brizuela was the hitting star during the game as he was 4-for-7 with two runs scores, three RBI and a double in the two game series. Freshman Alvin Swope was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, two RBI, one double and a walk in the two game series.
“I’m sure the nerves (of the young pitchers) were playing a role,” said Martin. “Some of them are much better than showed. They got hit around a little bit. But all and all I was very pleased with the night. I thought we played hard, we played the game right; 20 hits is certainly not something that you want to see but you might want to credit our hitters because we are starting to play a little bit better offensively.”
Among the hitting stars during Friday night’s game was Scott Sitz who slammed a double to right center field in the sixth inning of Friday’s game. Sitz, not known for his hitting prowess, gained the most important pitching victory of his career in a 4-1 win over UCLA in an elimination game at the 2012 College World Series in Omaha on June 20.
“I saw some guys that hit gappers hit by them the entire fall. Scott Sitz, of course, you won’t see that again but he certainly was impressive. I’ll tell you one thing, I wouldn’t hesitate if I thought I could see that same swing out of him again – he hit the daylights out of the ball.”
For his efforts at the plate Friday night and on the mound Thursday, Sitz took home MVP honors. The senior right hander worked two innings for the Garnet squad allowing just one run on two hits.
“I like Knief; I thought he had some good swings,” said Martin. “I thought Marcus Davis, before he got hit looked very good at the plate. Some of the guys struggled a little bit yet still played pretty well from the offensive standpoint. Ladson Montgomery – I thought he had some good at bats. I think the whole thing is when you’re looking at as many people as I looked at tonight, you think of one thing and that’s defense. John Sansone made a very nice play when Gonzo threw the ball up the line. He caught it and tagged the guy out.”
“It’s been a very good fall for us – that’s the whole thing,” added Martin. “It’s been a good fall. We have tried to do more this fall than we have in the past because of the young guys. We just tried to play like we’ve done all fall and that’s just do the little things – move runners when we had the opportunities. A couple of mistakes changed the game but it was still a good ball game.”