Feb. 18, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – It wasn’t the start or the finish that Florida State (2-0) was hoping for on Saturday afternoon but the Seminoles fought through an early season test and found a way to win in the end hanging on for the 10-8 victory in game two of the series against Hofstra (0-2).
The Seminoles erased an early four-run deficit and then survived a ninth inning rally by the Pride to remain undefeated against Hofstra in 15 all-time meetings. With the win on Saturday, Florida State ran its streak of consecutive opening weekend series victories to 31 in years in a row.
“A couple of fortunate things happened, unfortunate for us in the ninth inning, but yet we persevered, stayed tough and got it done,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I learned a lot about our club today and to be honest with you, when we fell down by four, I was anxious to see how we would respond, and I thought we responded very well.”
Hunter Scantling (1-0) came on in relief in the second to pick up the win as he worked 5.1 innings allowing just one run on six hits as he walked one and struck out two.
“He kept us in the ballgame and gave us a chance to win,” added Martin on the performance of Scantling out of the bullpen today. “We felt like he was a guy that could come out of the bullpen and pitch well, and he certainly did today.”
Four Seminoles registered two hits apiece on Saturday led by juniors Justin Gonzalez and Seth Miller, sophomore Stephen McGee and freshman John Nogowski. Nogowski picked up his first collegiate hit on a single to left in the third and recorded his first RBI on his second hit of the afternoon in the eighth.
“It was a great feeling,” said Nogowski on picking up his first hit and RBI on Saturday. “I have never been that excited about a single before but it was awesome, I got the monkey off my back. I heard a cheer from the crowd; it was pretty special. Just to help out my team any way I can is what I need to do. Any time I can drive in runs, put together good at-bats, trying to protect JB and Rammer…it was a great experience today, I am just on top of the world right now.”
Freshman Jose Brizuela led all players with a game-high three RBI as the leftfielder from Weston, Fla., finished 1-for-4 with a two-run double in the fifth and a sac-fly in the eighth. Senior James Ramsey scored three runs on Saturday and reached base on all five plate appearances as he drew three walks, singled in the fifth and was hit by a pitch.
“It’s nice to get these games in and to see how our pitchers react and how our defense reacts and to see the new guys step up,” said Gonzalez on the teams fight to come from behind early in the game. “Nogowski had a big hit in the eighth for us. We want to try and avoid (stressful situations) but we know we are going to be in those situations especially on the road, so a test like this early is a great learning experience for everybody.”
Hofstra jumped out to an early 4-0 lead through the first two innings chasing FSU starter Peter Miller after just 1.2 innings of work in his first collegiate start. The Pride plated a run in the top of the first as Jared Hammer drove in Dalton Rouleau on an RBI groundout to short.
A Seminole error in the second led to three unearned runs for Hofstra as the Pride ran out to a four-run advantage. After Miller struck out T.J. Thomas for the first out in the second, Kenny Jackson drew a walk and advanced all the way to third on an errand throw by catcher Stephen McGee as he attempted to throw out Taylor Stuart at first after the Pride designated hitter swung at strike three in the dirt. Austin Nyman followed with an RBI single through the right side and two batters later Danny Poma came through with a two-run double down the line in left ending the afternoon for Miller.
Miller allowed four runs, one earned, on three hits as walked two and struck out four in earning the no decision.
“I don’t know who that was; I haven’t seen that all year long,” said Martin on Miller’s outing. “I don’t know who that guy was, that’s the only way I can answer your question, and I say that with respect to everyone, I don’t know who that was. Peter Miller is much, much better than what we saw out there today.”
The Seminoles cut the Pride lead to 4-3 in the third as Sherman Johnson and James Ramsey drew back-to-back walks to start the inning and came around to score on a double off the wall in left center by Boyd. A single by Nogowski put runners at the corners for Gonzalez, who plated Boyd on sac-fly to right.
The Pride answered with a run in the fifth to extend their lead to 5-3 as Rouleau led off the inning with an infield single to second. He would score two batters later on a single up the middle by Matt Ford.
Florida State sent nine batters to the plate in the fifth and scored four runs to grab its first lead of the ball game at 7-5. The Seminoles began the rally loading the bases off reliever Gregg Lettini (0-1) with a single up the middle by Ramsey, a hit by pitch to Nogowski and a throwing error on a groundball off the bat of Gonzalez. After a Hofstra pitching change, Brizuela greeted Andrew Barbarino by taking the first pitch he saw off the fence in right to score Ramsey and Nogowski and tie the game at five. Miller gave the Seminoles their first lead of the afternoon plating Gonzalez on an RBI groundout to first. Devon Travis added to the lead driving in Brizuela on an infield single to third.
Scantling did a good job in his first appearance of the season getting the Seminoles through the seventh by keeping the ball down all afternoon. Ten of his 16 outs were groundouts, while he allowed just one of the 20 batters that he faced passed second base.
“I was just trying to keep the ball down,” said Scantling. “I missed up a couple of times, but keeping the ball down to get quick outs is important and to keep my pitch count low.”
Brian Busch entered in the eighth and recorded two quick outs before a throwing error by Gonzalez at short extended the inning. After a walk to pinch hitter Scott Verbitsky, Martin went to the bullpen and brought on closer Scott Sitz. The junior right hander got Nyman to groundout to first to end the threat.
The Seminoles extended their lead to 10-5 with three important runs in the eighth. Ramsey led off the inning with a walk and moved to third as Boyd reached base on a fielding error in right. Nogowski brought home Ramsey on a single through the left side, while Boyd came home on an RBI double to left by Gonzalez. Brizuela rounded out the scoring for the Seminoles in the eighth plating pinch runner Josh Delph on a sac-fly to left.
The Pride would not go quietly in the ninth against Sitz as the first four batters to the plate reached on a walk, a single, a fielding error which drove in a run and an RBI single to center off the bat of Hammer. Sitz then got Matt Reistetter to fly out to center for the first out of the inning, but Thomas continued to add pressure with a single to center. Michael Ferranti legged out a fielder’s choice groundout at third to score Ford and keep the inning alive. But Sitz would preserve the victory and earn his first save of the season by getting Verbitsky to strike out swinging for the final out of the game.
The Seminoles and Pride return to the diamond for the third and final game of the series on Sunday, February 19 at 1:00 p.m. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles All-Access, while live stats will be available via gametracker. Fans can listen to all the action locally on 100.7 FM and on the internet at Seminoles.com.
Freshman RHP Michael Compton will take the mound for the Seminoles on Sunday making his first career start, while the Pride will send out RHP John Schilt.