TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A home run by sophomore Dylan Busby sparked a six-run fifth inning for Florida State, who downed ACC rival Georgia Tech for the second time in as many days. The Seminoles (12-3, 2-0 ACC) captured their 23rd ACC opening series, since joining the league in 1992, by a 14-9 margin on Saturday afternoon at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.
Busby, who finished 2-for-5, connected on his 10th career home run as he led all Florida State hitters with three RBI. He was joined at the plate by Taylor Walls (2-5, 2 RBI, 3 runs) and John Sansone (3-4, RBI, 3 runs).
Meanwhile, hurler Chase Haney notched his second victory of the season in relief of starter Drew Carlton. Haney, who posted two strikeouts in 3.2 innings, held the Georgia Tech (12-2, 0-2 ACC) to one hit and one walk. He was followed on the hill by Jim Voyles, who yielded one hit while striking out three, along with Ronnie Ramirez and Will Zirzow.
“I am very proud of our ball club,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Down five to a club that is very competitive, obviously well coached, and to not panic and not lose their focus was a good win for us tonight. Every conference win is a ‘big win’, but when you’re down five and the other team is playing absolutely beautiful baseball, it just a real credit to our team to get that done today.”
The Seminoles erased the five-run deficit in the fifth inning when they sent 10 batters to the plate, tallying six runs and four hits in the process. Gage West opened the frame with a single up the middle and quickly returned to the dugout when Busby hit a two-run home run to left center for the first Florida State runs. Ben DeLuzio continued the fifth inning with a bunt back to the pitcher, who made an errant throw to first and allowed the speedster to eventually reach third on the play.
DeLuzio trimmed the Georgia Tech lead two, scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Henderson, before Walls singled up the middle for the third hit of the frame. A Sansone walk, coupled with a balk by Burton Dulaney, along with an intentional pass issued to Cal Raleigh loaded the bases for Quincy Nieporte. Nieporte reached on a two-base error to tie the game at five-all and Raleigh scored the go-head run on a wild pitch with West at the plate.
Florida State tacked on three runs in the seventh, recording the first on a single to left field by Sansone, which also resulted in a fielding error by left fielder Keenan Innis, plating Henderson and Walls. The senior third baseman crossed the plate, giving the Noles a 9-5 advantage, on an RBI single up the middle by Raleigh.
A five-run eighth inning provided Florida State with its seventh double-digit outing of the season. The scoring began with a single through the left side of the infield, plating Nick Graganella and Donovan Petrey. Two batters later Jackson Lueck brought home Walls from third and a sacrifice fly to right field by Hank Truluck scored Sansone. Busby closed out scoring for Florida State with a single to center, bringing home Raleigh, for the 13th hit of the afternoon.
Georgia Tech ended the Seminoles’ stretch of 14 unanswered runs with four in the top of the ninth. The Yellow Jackets took advantage of singles from Coleman Poje and Wade Bailey to move within seven. After a single up the middle by Connor Justus brought home Bailey and Poje, Martin turned to Will Zirzow to close out the game and give Florida State its second ACC win of the campaign.
Four hits, including a leadoff double by Bailey, allowed Georgia Tech to take a 3-0 lead after the first inning. Bailey’s double to centerfield was followed by a single to right by Matt Gonzalez, plating Bailey. Kel Johnson sent a double down the left field line, scoring Gonzalez, to give the Jackets a two-run lead. Joey Bart was responsible for the final run of the frame, reaching on an error at second base, as Johnson scored from third.
The Ramblin’ Wreck’s offense stretched the lead to four in the fourth inning with a series of doubles by Ryan Peurifoy and Justus. Justus scored Peurifoy on the ninth Georgia Tech hit of the game and rounded the bases himself on a fielder’s choice by Johnson for the 5-0 advantage.
The series between Florida State and Georgia Tech concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The pitching matchup features Florida State’s Cole Sands (2-1, 1.84 ERA) and Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Hughes (3-0, 0.50).