TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 22 Florida State (20-11) defeated No. 20 FGCU (24-7) 3-2 in a rain-shortened affair on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium Wednesday afternoon. Dylan Busby hit the go-ahead single in the bottom of the fourth to give the Noles a 3-2 lead, and Grant Stewart (1-0) struck out the side in the fifth to make the game official and record his first career win.
“Glad to see Grant Stewart get a chance,” head coach Mike Martin said. “Thought he did a very good job. Zirzow gave us quality innings.
“We had some good at-bats. Their pitching is impressive. I see why they’ve beaten good teams and why their RPI is so high.”
FSU pitcher Will Zirzow made the first start of his career, going 3.0 innings and allowing four hits and two runs while striking out five. Stewart pitched a perfect fourth inning and struck out the side in the fifth as FGCU left the bases loaded before the delay.
Cal Raleigh hit his first triple of the season, and second of his career, in the fourth inning before scoring the winning run on Busby’s single.
FGCU took a 2-0 lead in the third on three singles, the second from Julio Gonzalez and the third off the bat of Nick Rivera that scored two. Including Tuesday’s 7-6 FSU win, Gonzalez and Rivera combined to go 8-for-12 with four extra base hits in Tallahassee.
The Seminoles answered with a run in the bottom of the third. Freshman Drew Mendoza singled and was followed by a J.C. Flowers hit by pitch. Matt Henderson was able to drop a two-strike bunt single down the third base line to advance the runners, and Mendoza scored when third baseman Richie Garcia sailed an errant throw to first base.
FGCU starter Peyton Gray (3-1) pitched the entire game, allowing six hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out a pair.
After Stewart left the bases loaded in the FGCU top of the fifth, Florida State officials were forced halt the game due to lightning and rain in the area. After a 34-minute rain delay, the game was called when the playing surface was deemed unplayable.
The Seminoles open a three-game set against ACC foe NC State in Raleigh this Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
– Will Zirzow made the first start of his career in his 39th appearance. He is the 10th current Seminole, and second this season, to start a game. Freshman Drew Parrish made his first start against Samford earlier this year.
– Cal Raleigh’s RBI triple in the fourth inning was his first of the season and second of his career. His first came last season at Pittsburgh.
– It is FSU’s first rain-shortened game since beating USF, 14-3, in eight innings in 2013.
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).