Feb. 21, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida State (5-0) remained undefeated on the year following an 8-3 victory over Georgia (1-4) on Friday afternoon in front of 5,024 on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Seminoles used a six-run fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie en route to claiming their eighth victory in the last nine games over the Bulldogs and sixth straight at home.
Eight different Seminoles registered a hit on Friday, while Danny De La Calle drove in a team-high two runs with both coming in the pivotal fourth inning.
Luke Weaver pitched into the sixth inning to move to 2-0 on the young season. The junior right hander allowed three runs on eight hits in 5.0 plus innings as he walked two and struck out a pair.
“I felt good,” said Weaver. “I felt like the fastball I was pounding it. The change-up was really good, better than it’s been in a while. I threw some good sliders for first pitch (strikes) and got a strikeout with it. This team, my hats off to them, it was just one of those days where you feel good. I thought I was throwing the ball well, but they were just getting hits.”
Billy Strode and Gage Smith pitched the final four innings to secure the win. Strode gave up just one hit and a walk in 1.2 innings as he finished with three strikeouts. Smith worked the final 2.1 innings allowing a hit while striking out two.
“Luke gave us a great outing,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “I was very pleased with Billy Strode and of course Gage did a tremendous job. And it’s all about the guy on the bump and we had three guys that really were impressive tonight.”
Georgia’s Ryan Lawlor (1-1) suffered the loss as the sophomore left hander was charged with five runs on two hits and five walks in 3.0 plus innings of work.
The Seminoles wasted little time cracking the scoreboard in game one plating a run in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Josh Delph led off the inning with a double down the line in right and scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice groundout off the bat of DJ Stewart.
Georgia tied the game in the fourth on three consecutive two-out singles off Weaver. Jess Posey, younger brother of Buster and Jack Posey, began the rally with a single through the right side and scored two batters later on a single to left off the bat of Daniel Nichols. The Dawgs would load the bases off Weaver with two outs in the inning but the DeLand, Fla., product kept the game tied at one as he got DJ Smith looking at a called third strike to retire the side.
“It’s a credit to Georgia the way they got that inning and extended it,” added Martin. “Nobody on and a 0-2 count and he (Luke) turned and had to throw another 25 pitches to get out of that inning. He (Luke) made some key pitches to get that last out which was big. We really showed what we were all about in the quality at-bats we had (in the bottom of that inning).”
Florida State responded right back with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead for good. The Seminoles recorded just one hit in the inning taking advantage of five walks and a hit-by-pitch. John Sansone and Ben DeLuzio both drew back-to-back walks with the bases loaded to drive in a run.
“I thought we had an overall good approach at the plate tonight,” said DeLuzio. “We weren’t really swinging at anything out of the zone.”
De La Calle provided the big blow with a two-run bloop single to right center. Delph followed with a sac-fly to center and Brett Knief drove in the sixth run of the inning with a two-out single up the middle.
“I wasn’t trying to do too much,” said De La Calle. “I told myself to look for a pitch that I could drive.”
The hit by Knief extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games.
Posey would bring the Dawgs within four of the lead at 7-3 in the sixth as he connected on a two-run shot to right for his first home run of the season. The sophomore third baseman took a 3-2 pitch from Weaver over the fence in right for his third career home run. It was also his third hit of the game to tie a career-high. The home run was the first allowed by a Seminole pitcher this year.
The Garnet and Gold pushed their lead back to five in the eighth on a two-out RBI double by Gonzalez. DeLuzio drew a walk to open the inning and then moved into scoring position after stealing second. He would later score on the two-out double by Gonzalez.
Stewart drew a walk in the fourth to push his streak of reaching base to 32 straight games.
Florida State and Georgia are back at it for game two of the series on Saturday, February 22 with first pitch at 2:00 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3, while fans can listen to the game on Seminoles.com All-Access and locally on 100.7 FM. Live stats will be available via gametracker.