TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the 22nd time in school history, Florida State is going to Omaha for the College World Series after beating Sam Houston State 19-0 Sunday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. In front of 4,391 fans that braved a seven-and-a-half-hour rain delay, the Seminoles scored in each of the first six innings, while three pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout.
Sunday’s game was originally scheduled for a noon start, but rain and lightning delays moved first pitch back to 7:30 p.m. Sam Houston State starting pitcher Heath Donica (9-3) entered the game with a 1.91 earned-runs average, but allowed four runs in each of the first two innings, including a lead-off home run from Taylor Walls, his third to lead off a game this season.
Donica ran into more trouble by walking Jackson Lueck and hitting Quincy Nieporte with a pitch before Cal Raleigh doubled one run home and Matt Henderson’s two-run double made the score 4-0 Florida State before Sam Houston, the designated home team, came to bat in the first inning.
After recording 13 hits in Saturday’s 7-6 win, the Seminoles had three extra-base hits in the first inning Sunday evening, and seven of its first eight were doubles or home runs.
On the mound, Parrish (6-3) picked up where he left off last week in the regional against Tennessee Tech by striking out the side in the first. Parrish set a career-high with 12 strikeouts against the Golden Eagles and allowed just one run on two hits in 7.1 innings. On Sunday, the Rockledge, Fla., native allowed just two hits, a walk and notched nine more strikeouts in five scoreless innings.
The Seminoles doubled the lead in the second inning on an RBI single from Lueck and a three-run home run from Nieporte, his 10th of the season. Donica’s day ended after the second inning, allowing a career-high eight runs.
Walls’ second home run of the game came on the second pitch of the third inning against reliever Seth Ballew. It was Walls’ second career multi-home run game after hitting two against Florida Gulf Coast in 2016.
In the fourth, FSU scored six runs without a hit, utilizing one hit-by-pitch, three walks, and three Sam Houston State errors to build a 15-0 lead.
FSU added a run in the fifth after Walls and Dylan Busby singled, Lueck walked and Nieporte was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to score Walls. Walls scored a run in each of the first five innings. It was the first five-run game for a Seminole since Jayce Boyd scored five times against Texas A&M in the 2011 Super Regionals, and one shy of tying the school record.
Walls and Nieporte each had four RBIs on the afternoon, the second time this year FSU had a pair of players with four runs batted in in a game (Nieporte & Lueck, Oakland, March 3).
Cole Sands relieved Parrish in the bottom of the sixth inning with FSU leading 18-0. Sands finished with two hits allowed in three innings of relief, striking out four.
Kyle Cavanaugh hit his first home run as a Seminole to start the eighth inning off Sam Houston State’s sixth pitcher of the game, Brad Demco. FSU’s 19 runs scored are the most in a postseason game since a 23-9 win over Texas A&M in the 2011 Super Regionals, and the largest run differential in FSU’s 37-game Super Regional history.
Andrew Karp pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out Lance Miles to end the game as his teammates dogpiled at midfield to celebrate the Seminoles first World Series berth since 2012.
The Bearkats, playing in their first Super Regional, allowed a season high 19 runs and played 22 players.
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).