“That first game was a tough loss,” head coach Mike Martin said. “I was impressed with how we got after it game two, and let’s face it, the guy on the mound set the tone for everything.”
Game 2 – Florida State 4, Wake Forest 0
Florida State (33-19, 12-13 ACC) forced a split on the day against Wake Forest (34-16, 16-10 ACC) behind four first-inning runs and Holton’s masterpiece on the mound. After a 1-2-3 first inning for the Demon Deacons, the Seminoles led 3-0 before recording an out after Taylor Walls and Dylan Busby walked, followed by doubles from Jackson Lueck and Quincy Nieporte. Drew Mendoza’s RBI single later in the frame proved to be the final run of the game.
Holton allowed just four hits in the game – all singles – and no Wake Forest batters touched second base. The sophomore from Tallahassee threw 124 pitches on the night, 86 for strikes, and struck out nine batters, including Gavin Sheets, the nation’s leader in RBI’s, to end the game.
“When you’re playing a team as good as Wake Forest, four [runs] is not enough,” Martin said. “We just happened to have a big inning and ironically, that was all we needed.”
Holton had five perfect innings on the night, including striking out the side in the eighth inning. Wake Forest entered the weekend series ranked in the top 10 nationally in home runs, hits, runs and slugging percentage, but Holton held Wake to .129 hitting on Saturday (4-for-31), and 0-for-6 with runners on base.
The Florida State defense was flawless behind Holton, running its errorless streak to 40 innings. Holton, a three-time ACC Pitcher of the Week, recorded the first shutout and complete game of his career. His previous high was eight innings pitched against No. 4 Clemson on April 16 of this year.
“Tyler Holton can mess with your timing as a hitter,” Martin said. “He’s a guy that enjoys matching wits with hitters, being a hitter himself…he’s a baseball player, and thank God he’s on my team.”
For the Demon Deacons, Donnie Sellers (3-5) picked up the loss but allowed just two hits after the four-run first. Morgan McSweeney allowed a hit over the final two innings, and Jake Mueller had two of Wake Forest’s four hits.