TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State baseball team ran its consecutive opening day streak to 35 after posting a 19-1 win against Rhode Island on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Leading the offensive explosion on the afternoon were Gage West, Ben DeLuzio, John Sansone and Taylor Walls who each tallied three hits.
West finished one hit shy of a cycle as he was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, driving in five runs, including a home run in the fifth inning. He followed later in the inning with a double to centerfield, finishing only a triple short of the cycle.
DeLuzio’s performance was highlighted by a ground rule double in fourth inning, putting two runners in scoring position as Florida State plated three runs in the inning.
Sansone was responsible for a double, two singles and two runs in five at-bats as he highlighted a top third of the order that finished with seven hits, seven runs and five RBIs. His first extra-base hit came in the fifth when he scored DeLuzio from third on a hit into right centerfield.
Walls was the lone hitter in the Florida State lineup with multiple extra base hits following doubles in both the fifth and ninth innings. Walls opened the flood gates in the fifth inning with a double to left centerfield as 10 Seminole runners crossed the plate to make for a 15-1 lead. Three at bats later he doubled down the right field line for the first hit of the ninth inning.
Holding a 5-1 advantage entering the fifth, Florida State capitalized on three Rhode Island errors to score 10 runs. Both West, who came away with a home run to right and a double to center, and Walls, who finished with a double to left center and a single to the left side of the infield, came away with multiple hits during the frame.
All three freshmen in head coach Mike Martin’s lineup notched their first collegiate hits. Catcher Cal Raleigh reached on a bunt in the first, scoring DeLuzio from third on the play. Jackson Lueck reached base on a single to past the shortstop to open the second inning and teammate Matt Henderson collected his first hit in the eighth inning when he dropped a single into centerfield.
Mike Compton moved his record to 3-0 on opening day as he allowed one run on three hits and struck out a pair of Rhode Island hitters in five complete.
Compton was followed on the mound by Alec Byrd, Jim Voyles, Ed Voyles and Chase Haney, who each worked one inning in relief.
Byrd struck out two Rhode Island hitters in 13 pitches and both Jim Voyles and Ed Voyles sat down two Rams batters in a pair of hitless efforts. Haney surrendered one hit, but struck out three to complete the ninth as the Seminoles moved to 34-3 all-time under Martin on opening day.
Florida State returns to action on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. when it sends RHP Drew Carlton to the hill. Rhode Island will counter left handed starter Tyler Wilson.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).