TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State redshirt sophomore Andrew Karp threw nine strikeouts and allowed just three hits over seven innings, but USF scored four runs in the ninth inning to beat the Seminoles 4-2 Tuesday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Karp, who threw just 14.1 innings in nine appearances in 2016, retired the final 12 batters he faced.
“The guy was absolutely gorgerous,” head coach Mike Martin said of Karp. “Nine K’s, first outing of the year. We played beautiful defense.”
In fanning a career-high nine, Karp escaped the only real damage he faced in the second inning, when a pair of two-out singles put runners on the corners. Karp responded by striking out rightfielder Cameron Montgomery to end the inning.
Thanks to a first-inning double play to erase a baserunner who reached on an error and a caught stealing from Cal Raleigh to Taylor Walls, Karp and the Seminoles faced just 23 USF batters through seven innings.
Florida State scored a run in each of the first two innings and held a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth inning. A two-out double from rightfielder Rhett Aplin plated Walls in the first inning. Walls recorded two more walks in the game and now has six in four games this season. For Aplin, it was his second hit of the year after mashing a two-run home run against VCU last weekend.
J.C Flowers knocked in FSU’s second run of the game on a fielder’s choice to third base. The throw to the plate was not in time, allowing Matt Henderson (who reached on a walk) to score and make the game 2-0 FSU. Through four games, Flowers has three RBI and three runs hitting primarily in the nine-hole.
USF starter Ryan Valdes went three innings, allowed two runs and walked three while giving up just one hit. In relief of Valdes, the USF bullpen went six innings, allowing no hits, one walk and striking out eight. The only Seminole to reach base in the final seven innings of the game was Walls’ walk with one out in the eighth inning.
He was subsequently erased on a double play.
USF used three walks, two hit-by-pitches, a single and sacrifice fly to score four runs in the ninth inning. Mark Savarese (1-0) pitching a scoreless eighth inning for the win, and Andrew Perez threw a perfect ninth for his first save.
Alec Byrd (0-1) earned the loss, walking his only batter on five pitches.
Florida State returns to the diamond Friday at 4:00 p.m. when they host Samford. Fans can watch the game live on ACC Network Extra (formerly ESPN3) or listen live on the radio in Tallahassee on 106.1 FM or anywhere through the FSU GameDay App.
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).