TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – John Sansone was one of three Florida State hitters with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4, but it was the combination of St. John’s pitchers Ryan McAuliffe and Thomas Hackimer that proved to be the difference in the Red Storm’s 5-1 victory on Sunday at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.
Sansone, whose afternoon included his fourth double on the season, reached base for the 24th straight contest. He was joined at the plate by Dylan Busby (2-4, run, double) and Quincy Nieporte (2-4, run, double). That combination, along with Cal Raleigh (1-5) and Gage West (1-5) made up the eight Florida State hits.
The Seminoles (8-3) sent six pitchers to the mound, including starter Cole Sands, who allowed four hits, three runs and one walk in his third career start. Alec Byrd followed out of the bullpen and went struck out three batters while walking two in 3.2 innings.
The collection of Chase Haney, Matthew Kinney, Jim Voyles and Cobi Johnson combined for six strikeouts in the final 3.2 innings, yielding only two hits, two runs and two walks.
Meanwhile, their counterparts on the St. John’s (3-6) staff limited the Florida State offense to one earned run on eight hits. After going five innings, striking out two and allowing two walks, McAuliffe earned his first victory of the season. Hackimer completed the victory with a save as he converted seven strikeouts over 3.2 innings along with walking two Seminoles.
“It was a good weekend, just not a great weekend,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other club and this team took advantage of every mistake we made as good ball clubs will do.”
The Red Storm took a 2-0 lead in the first inning following back-to-back singles up the middle by Alex Caruso and Josh Shaw. Caruso scored the first run following a fielder’s choice by Gui Gingras and Shaw shortly followed when John Valente reached on a fielding error.
St. John’s added its third run in the second inning after Jamie Galazin tripled off the right field wall, scoring via a sacrifice bunt by Caruso.
The Seminoles missed out on a key scoring opportunity in the third inning when a bases loaded hit by Taylor Walls hit just foul, leaving three runners on base. However, Nieporte helped generate the first Florida State run in the fifth inning with a double to right center, scoring from third two plays later on a balk.
St. John’s added the first of two insurance runs in the eighth with a Shaw single up the middle scored Donadio for the 4-1 lead. The next batter, Robbie Knightes, also single up the middle to plate Caruso for the final margin.
The Seminole midweek probables include Tyler Holton (0-1, 3.60 ERA) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at South Florida. The following evening, against Toledo, Florida State will send Cobi Johnson (0-0, 7.11 ERA) to the mound to face the Rockets for the first time in program history.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).