Feb. 19, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Ninth-ranked Florida State (3-0) scored five runs in the first and never looked back in defeating Hofstra (0-3) 13-6 to complete the series sweep on Sunday in front of 4,651 fans on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Seminoles improved to 16-0 all-time against the Pride, while head coach Mike Martin moved to within 24 wins of reaching 1,700 career victories.
“It was really fun to see our guys play the way they are supposed to play against a team that is much improved from what we saw last year,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I was very impressed with the Hofstra team, but at the same time very impressed with our guys by the way we played the game and took it to them. They kept coming back at us; you have to give them credit.”
Making his first collegiate start, Mike Compton worked 5.0 solid innings to earn his first career win. The freshman right hander allowed two runs on four hits as he walked two and struck out three.
“I thought Michael threw the ball very well,” added Martin. “He could have possibly gone another inning, but we didn’t want to push him in his first start.”
“It’s a great feeling,” added Compton on getting his first career win. “I just have to build off it and continue to get better.”
After giving up a pair of runs with two outs in the top of the first, Compton faced the minimum over the next four innings. He allowed just two hits that never left the infield over those four innings while putting his infield to work inducing seven groundball outs including a fifth inning double play.
“Definitely, especially with the wind blowing out,” said Compton on his ability to keep the ball down. “I was mainly focused on hitting my spots and getting a lot of groundball outs.”
“Defensively, we turned four double plays today and that is certainly a big lift to get two outs on one pitch,” said Martin. “But Compton had a very impressive outing today.”
James Ramsey paced the Seminole offense on Sunday with three hits and three runs scored, while Devon Travis, John Nogowski, Jose Brizuela and Stephen McGee each registered two hits apiece. Jayce Boyd crushed an RBI double off the fence in right center in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to nine games dating back to last season.
For the second game in a row, Brizuela led the Garnet and Gold with three RBI. Nogowski drove in a pair of runs drawing a bases loaded walk in the first and then connecting on his first career home run blasting a solo shot over the fence in left in the sixth.
“I really liked the way Jose is playing the game,” added Martin. “He will beat you with his legs; he is a very good outfielder. John Nogowski is a very good first baseman, but he is behind Jayce. I am just glad that we are able to get him some at-bats.”
As was the case in the first two games of the series, Florida State had to come from behind as Hofstra struck first in the first inning after back-to-back two-out RBI doubles off the bat of Jared Hammer and Kenny Jackson.
This time the Seminoles answered in the bottom of the first with a five spot to take the lead they would never relinquish. The first five Seminole batters to the plate on Sunday reached as Hofstra starter John Schilt (0-1) gave up a walk to Sherman Johnson, a run scoring double down the line in left to Travis, an infield single to Ramsey and the back-to-back walks to Boyd and Nogowski. Brizuela brought home two on a single to center and after a walk to McGee, Seth Miller drove in Nogowski for the fifth run of the inning on a fielder’s choice groundout to first.
“I got a little jammed on that swing,” said Brizuela. “But I will take it. It was a slider and the pitcher made a good pitch, give credit to him. I feel really comfortable at the plate right now. When you’re feeling good (at the plate), nothing feels better.”
Florida State added to its lead in the fourth as McGee connected on a two-out double down the left field line scoring Brizuela, who reached after being hit by a pitch from reliever David Jesch.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 9-2 with three more runs in the sixth. Nogowski led off the inning with a solo shot to left. Gonzalez reached on a walk, went to second on a steal and scored on a single to center by Brizuela. Brizuela would come around to score three batters later on Johnson’s sac-fly to center.
“Boy, that wasn’t cheap, he got all of that one,” said Martin on Nogowski’s first career home run. “It was a big hit for him. I thought about it when he was trotting around the bases of what a thrill that has got to be for him having been a local boy and watching Florida State for many years.”
FSU upped its lead to 10-2 when Ramsey led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and scored all the way from first on Boyd’s double to right center.
Robert Benincasa came on in relief of Compton in the sixth and worked two scoreless innings. The Tampa, Fla., native allowed just one hit and struck out two in his first appearance of the season.
The Pride cut into Florida State’s lead with four runs in the eighth off freshman Bryant Holtmann. Holtmann worked 0.2 innings and faced seven batters as he allowed three hits and walked two. Brandon Johnson came on in relief and after giving up an RBI single to Jackson got T.J. Thomas to fly out to Ramsey in center to end the threat.
But as was the case in the first inning, the Seminoles once again answered the call scoring three more runs to take a 13-6 lead. Boyd recorded his second RBI of the game with a rare sac-fly to short scoring Josh Delph. Giovanny Alfonzo drove in his first career run drawing a bases loaded walk, while the third run of the inning scored when Sean O’Brien reached on a fielding error at shortstop.
Mack Waugh pitched the ninth and faced the minimum as he recorded a groundout back to the mound and a line out double play at first to end the game.
The Seminoles return to the diamond at home on Tuesday, February 21 against Jacksonville at 4:00 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 1270 AM and on the internet at Seminoles.com.
Freshman RHP Luke Weaver will take the mound against the Dolphins on Tuesday making his first career start.