TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Third-ranked Florida State dropped its Atlantic Coast Conference opener 8-5 to Boston College Friday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles (11-3, 0-1 ACC) got home runs from Taylor Walls and Dylan Busby, but the Eagles (6-6, 1-0 ACC) were able to use the momentum from a five-run third inning to beat FSU for the first time since 2012.
“Things are not going to go your way every night,” head coach Mike Martin said. “All you expect out of your team is that they go out there and compete, and we did that.”
Florida State starter Cole Sands (2-1) worked six innings, allowing five runs, all in the third inning. The Eagles used six hits and an FSU error to plate all five runs. In his five other innings, Sands allowed just three baserunners – two singles and a walked batter.
The Seminoles responded in the bottom of the third on Busby’s second home run of the season and 25th of his career, which scored Walls. After Quincy Nieporte walked on five pitches, Cal Raleigh grounded into the first of four double plays the Noles would hit in the game. Boston College starter Jacob Stevens (2-0) allowed just four hits in six innings.
The score remained 5-2 until the seventh inning, when the Eagles scored a pair of unearned runs. With a runner on second, a line drive to second baseman Matt Henderson put FSU in position to possibly double up the runner, but the ball split the webbing on Henderson’s glove and flew into right field. After an intentional walk to load the bases, an RBI single from Donovan Casey made it 6-2. Jim Voyles entered and allowed a sacrifice fly before retiring Michael Strem to end the inning.
“It broke the rawhide and went through,” Martin said of Henderson’s play. “It happens a lot in our game, and ended up being a big inning for them.”
Down 7-2, FSU scored its final three runs of the game in the seventh inning on extra-base hits from Walls and Raleigh. After a one-out walk to Henderson, Walls took a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall, his first of the season. After a pair of runs on Friday, Walls has scored 21 times in 14 games in 2017.
Busby was subsequently hit by a pitch, and a two-out single from Nieporte brought Raleigh to the plate. His RBI double scored Busby and moved Nieporte to third, but the two were stranded when pinch-hitter Kyle Cavanaugh struck out looking to end the seventh.
The Eagles added an insurance run in the ninth on Strem’s double. With two runners on and no outs, freshman pitcher Grant Stewart replaced Voyles and struck out the next three Boston College batters. On the season, Stewart has pitched 3.0 innings and has seven strikeouts.
Casey moved from right field to the pitcher’s mound and pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the year.
Nieporte and Raleigh both finished 2-for-4, while Walls and Busby had identical 1-for-4 games with two runs and two RBI’s. Tyler Daughtry and Henderson each drew three of FSU’s seven walks, while six of FSU’s nine strikeouts were called. Five of Boston College’s seven strikeouts were of the looking variety.
Friday’s game is the first time since 2010 that the Noles have dropped an ACC opener, and the first time since 2012 that FSU has fallen to the Eagles, snapping a 10-game FSU win streak. It also snapped a nine-game winning streak overall, the fifth-longest in the country.
“The way it is is this – Boston College did not make an error and had 13 hits. They deserved to win. Tip your hat and be ready to go tomorrow.”
With inclement weather expected in Tallahassee on Sunday, games two and three of the series will take place Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m. The second game will begin 45 minutes after the end of the first game, and both will stream live on the ACC Network Extra.
Fans with tickets for either game will have access to both games, and the stadium will not be cleared between games.
Two-time ACC Pitcher of the Week Tyler Holton (3-0, 0.47 ERA) will start the first game on Saturday, with Drew Parrish (1-0, 4.76 ERA) pitching the second game. The Eagles will throw Matt Gill (1-2, 6.00 ERA) and Dan Metzdorf (1-1, 2.60 ERA).
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).