TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Opening its 70thseason in school history, the Florida State baseball team fell 3-0 to visiting VCU Friday evening at Dick Howser Stadium. Sophomore Jackson Lueck recorded the Seminoles lone hit in the first inning, and FSU starter Drew Carlton allowed just two runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings.
“It’s just one of those games that you tip your hat to the other club and be ready to go the next day,” head coach Mike Martin said.
The season opener for both teams remained scoreless through four innings before VCU scored a pair of runs in the fifth. Paul Witt’s RBI double scored Haiden Lamb, who reached on a one-out single to first base. Witt came around to score on Darian Carpenter’s sacrifice fly to right field.
“They’re a very good hitting team,” Carlton said of VCU. “They came out ready to swing the bats.”
Three times the Seminoles had a pair of runners on base, but came up empty each time. In the first, Lueck singled and Cal Raleigh walked, but both were stranded. In the fifth, now trailing by two, Matt Henderson opened the frame with a walk and Taylor Walls added a second walk with two outs, but Lueck’s strikeout ended the frame.
In the seventh, freshman Nick Derr, who replaced junior college transfer Rhett Aplin in right field earlier in the inning, reached second on a throwing error and Henderson was subsequently hit by a pitch. Freshman J.C. Flowers, the starting centerfielder, grounded into a double play and Hank Truluck, hitting for Tyler Daughtry, struck out.
VCU’s final run was scored on Carpenter’s single up the middle in the seventh.
VCU’s starting pitcher, Sean Thompson, allowed one hit in five innings of work, striking out six and walking three. Matt Jamer followed with three innings of no-hit ball, while preseason All-American Sam Donko, the nation’s leader in saves in 2016 with 20, picked up his first of 2017 with a perfect ninth inning.
Behind Carlton, the Seminole bullpen used four pitchers, including Chase Haney, Andrew Karp, and Alec Byrd combining to end the game with 2.2 innings of one-hit, no-run baseball.
Game two between Florida State and VCU is set for Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium. Fans can watch live on the ACC Network Extra (formerly ESPN3) or listen live on the FSU Gameday App. The Seminoles will send Cole Sands to the mound looking to avoid its first 0-2 start since 1981.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).