TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 22 Florida State snapped a four-game losing streak in Tuesday evening’s 7-6 win over No. 20 Florida Gulf Coast on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Sophomore Jackson Lueck was 3-for-5 in the game, including the game-winning, walk-off double that scored Taylor Walls in the ninth inning.
“I feel a lot better than I’ve been feeling,” head coach Mike Martin said. “We did a lot of things right. We struggled in some areas on the mound, but overall, our defense was excellent.”
Lueck led a Seminole offense that tallied 11 hits, while Drew Carlton (2-2) evened his record by pitching the ninth inning and striking out a pair of Eagles.
Florida State struck first with a pair of runs in the second inning. Cal Raleigh hit his fourth home run of the season to give FSU a 1-0 lead, followed by infield singles from Dylan Busby and Drew Mendoza. For Mendoza, the hit was the first of his career. Both runners advanced on a double steal, and Busby scored on a passed ball by catcher Spencer Levine from pitcher Mario Leon.
FSU added a run in the third on Rhett Aplin’s single. Aplin reached third on Leon’s failed pick off at first base before scoring on Quincy Nieporte’s sixth double of the year.
The Eagles got a pair back in the fourth on Nick Rivera’s sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot off Florida State starter Andrew Karp. Karp allowed a solo home run to Jake Smith to start the fourth inning that tied the score before being pulled in favor of Jim Voyles.
Karp went 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on six hits.
FGCU took its first lead when Julio Gonzalez tripled off Voyles and scored on a throwing error from Walls.
FSU retook the lead with two runs in the fifth to make the score 5-4. Lueck’s RBI single scored Matt Henderson and was followed by a single from Aplin that chased Leon. Relieving Leon, Christian Townsend hit Nieporte and walked Busby with the bases loaded to score Lueck.
The Eagles scored two more runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-5 lead. Chase Haney replaced Voyles on the mound, and allowed a two-run double to Smith. Smith finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored on the day, while Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a walk and a run in the leadoff spot for the Eagles.
FSU evened the score in the bottom of the inning. Henderson hit his first double of the season, and scored on Lueck’s RBI double off Kenton Hering (4-2).
In the seventh, freshman left-hander Clayton Kwiatkowski entered with a runner on second base and one out before retiring Eli Lovell on strikes and Corey Fehribach on a pop up to Raleigh. Kwiatkowski had three strikeouts in 1.2 innings before giving way to Carlton.
Hering did not record an out in the ninth, as Walls picked up his first hit of the game on a single up the middle and scored on Lueck’s double.
For the Seminoles, it is the second walk-off win this season after scoring three runs in the ninth against Jacksonville for a 10-9 win on March 21. J.C. Flowers had the walk-off single in that game.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak against the Eagles and improves FSU to 1-1 against FGCU this season. The Eagles won 5-2 in Ft. Myers on March 15.
The win is the first this season against a ranked team, and it is the fifth of six consecutive games against ranked foes.
Game two of the midweek series is scheduled for Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. With inclement weather expected in the area, check Seminoles.com for more information.
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).