TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Third-ranked Florida State bounced back from losing the opening game of its series with Boston College to sweep a doubleheader Saturday on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium to win the opening conference series. The Seminoles (13-3, 2-1 ACC) took game one over the Eagles (6-8, 1-2) 11-1 behind home runs from Taylor Walls and J.C. Flowers, and won game two 13-0 with six scoreless innings from starting pitcher Drew Parrish.
Combined in the two games, Florida State hitters walked 19 times and were hit by six pitches, tallied 23 hits (including eight extra base hits) and scored 24 runs. On the mound, the Noles struck out 21 hitters, allowed just nine hits and one run while walking seven.
“When you play the way we played, it makes us, as a staff, very proud,” head coach Mike Martin said. “The games were very important, as all conference games are. Our guys came out and got it done.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us.”
Game one starter Tyler Holton (4-0) ran into trouble just once, allowing the only run of the game in the second inning on a single, two walks and a fielding error that made the run unearned. With the bases loaded, and just one out, Holton struck out the final two batters of the inning. He would go on to retire the next 10 before Michael Strem’s single in the sixth inning – the final Boston College hit of the game.
On the season, Holton has now allowed just one earned run in 25 innings pitched, good for a 0.36 earned run average. He finished with eight strikeouts on the day and now has 40 on the season in four starts.
Offensively, FSU struck early and often in giving Holton the runs he needed. Walls walked each of his first four plate appearances, and in his fifth, hit a solo home run over the left field scoreboard. His four walks tie a career high, and it was his second home run of the season after hitting one in the series opener Friday evening.
Catcher Cal Raleigh added three hits and a pair of runs scored, while left fielder Tyler Daughtry had three hits, two RBI’s and a run scored. Nick Derr did not record an official at-bat with three walks and a sacrifice fly, and Matt Henderson walked each of his first three trips to the plate. He walked in his final three plate appearances in Friday’s game.
Flowers hit a towering three-run home run in the sixth inning, his second of the season.
Freshman pitchers Clayton Kwiatkowski (two innings) and Brandon Reitz (one) combined to close out the win for FSU. Kwiatkowski had three strikeouts, and Reitz had one before forcing a pair of line drive outs to end the game.
Boston College starter Matt Gill (1-3) allowed four earned runs in just one inning of work.
In the second game, Parrish (2-0) threw six scoreless innings, allowing just six hits while striking out five. Four pitchers combined to sustain the shutout, FSU’s third of the season, with Chase Haney, Ed Voyles and Drew Carlton each pitching one inning. The outing dropped Parrish’s ERA to 3.12, while Carlton and Haney have ERA’s under two.
The offense stayed hot in the second game, leading just 1-0 into the fourth before scoring multiple runs in each of the next four innings.
Walls led off the game with a single, reaching base safely for the 30th consecutive game. He scored on a bases-loaded hit by pitch for Derr. Derr was hit with a pitch three times in the game, tying an FSU single-game record done three times prior – by Karl Jernigan in 2001, Justin Gonzalez in 2014 and Hayden Kelly in 2015.
In the fourth, FSU effectively ended the game, scoring six runs on three hits, three walks and a pair of hit by pitches. Walls had a two-run single and Raleigh had a two-run double, finishing the day with three doubles. He has a team-high seven on the season.
Daughtry tied his season-high and matched Walls’ game one total with four walks, while Henderson had a pair of RBI’s without recording a hit – a bases loaded walk in the fourth and a sacrifice bunt in the fifth.
After homering in game one, Flowers added a two-run triple in the second game and finished with five RBI on the day. His replacement, Ryan Mejia, laced a two-run single to centerfield in his only plate appearance of the game that capped the scoring for the Noles.
Game two’s 13-0 win is Florida State’s largest shutout victory since an identical 13-0 win over Niagara in 2014. It is also the largest shutout victory over an ACC opponent since beating Duke 13-0 in the 2003 ACC Tournament. It is the fifth straight season FSU has shut out the Eagles, and FSU now leads the all-time series 30-5.
In the fifth inning of game one, first baseman Quincy Nieporte came up lame trying to leg out a grounder to third base. He was replaced in the field the next inning by Kyle Cavanaugh and Nieporte did not play in game two. Afterwards, Martin said Nieporte was having hamstring issues but hopes he can play in Tuesday’s game against No. 2 Florida.
That game against the Gators will be in Gainesville at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the first of three between the in-state rivals this season. Andrew Karp (0-0, 2.41 ERA) will be on the hill for the Noles. The Seminoles will stay on the road for a Wednesday game at Florida Gulf Coast before flying to Blacksburg, Va., for a three-game ACC series with Virginia Tech beginning March 17.
The Seminoles next home game is Tuesday, March 21, at 6:00 p.m. against Jacksonville.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball)