TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State baseball team completed its three-game sweep of Rhode Island on Sunday with a 23-4 victory that included 24 hits and eight extra base hits. The win, in front of 4,382 in attendance on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium, gave the Seminoles their 35th consecutive series victory on opening weekend.
Among the seven players with extra base hits included Jackson Lueck (1-1, 2 RBI, triple), Hank Truluck (2-2, 2 RBI, 2 doubles), Taylor Walls (2-4, 2 RBI, 3 runs, double) and Gage West (2-3, 1 RBI, double).
Senior John Sansone started the extra base hitting barrage with a home run over the left field wall in the first inning, smacking home runs in consecutive games for the first time in his collegiate career, after a grand slam on Saturday.
Donovan Petrey, who went 3-for-5 at the plate with three RBIs, led the way for the Florida State (3-0) at the plate. He was one of 15 hitters in the Seminole lineup to have at least one hit, seven of which came away with multiple hits.
Freshman hurler Cole Sands also impressed the Florida State faithful as he allowed two hits, one run and one walk while striking out six Rhode Island hitters in five innings. He posted the first win of his Seminole career with the outing.
“Sands showed good composure and he had all three pitches going, which was nice to see,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Coach Mike Bell did a great job of calling the game to put (Sands) in good position to be successful and by virtue of that he was topping out in the 90s. That was a good overall outing for Sands.”
Sands was followed on the mound by combination of Matthew Kinney, Cobi Johnson, Andrew Karp and Tyler Warmoth. Kinney, who made his first appearance for the Seminoles, surrendered two hits and tallied one strikeout in the sixth inning. Fellow newcomer, Warmoth, closed out the game with three strikeouts as Florida State notched 13 strikeouts as a staff.
Johnson worked the seventh inning for the Seminoles and finished with two strikeouts in 12 pitches.
The Seminoles pounded out 24 hits in the game, including five in both the sixth and seventh innings which resulted in seven and three runs, respectively. Florida State scored at least 20 runs for the first time since a 24-run outing against South Florida on March 3, 2015. The Noles capped off the weekend with a 50-20 edge in total hits and a 50-6 advantage in runs.
With a 3-0 advantage entering the third inning, due in large part to Sansone’s two-run homer, Florida State put three runners across the plate in the third inning. The first run of the third came when Walls doubled to left to score Gage West from second. Two batters later Dylan Busby singled to left to score West and the Seminoles scored their final run of the inning with a single by Petrey that brought in Darren Miller.
After a five-run fourth, the Florida State lead ballooned to 13-1 with two runs in the fifth. Consecutive hit batters opened up the sixth inning for the Noles, who witnessed seven runs cross the plate. With the bases loaded, following a single by Nick Graganella, Steven Wells slapped a single through the left side to bring home Holton from third. That was followed by a two-run double from Truluck, scoring both Graganella and Petrey.
Bryan Bussey grounded out to short, scoring Wells from third, but Lueck’s triple extended the seventh inning by scoring Truluck, before Petrey completed the inning with a single into right field that brought home Miller.
Florida State is set to host College of Charleston this weekend, beginning on Feb. 26. The meeting with Cougars is a rematch of the Tallahassee Regional in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).