March 21, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Fourth-ranked Florida State (19-2) wrapped up its fifth game in five days with a 9-1 victory over No. 15 Stetson (15-6) Tuesday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Seminoles went a perfect 5-0 during its stretch of five consecutive home games outscoring the opposition 49-20 with sweeps over Virginia and Stetson. FSU posted a .331 batting average, while the pitching staff was equally impressive posting a 2.80 ERA in 45.0 innings of work.
“You play five games in a row and your wonder,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was so encouraging for me as a coach to see Luke Weaver go out there and do what he is capable of doing when members of our bullpen were unavailable. I am just very, very proud of what Luke was able to accomplish.
“The way we played (during this five-game stretch) is what excites me so much. The winning and the losing, there are so many things that can happen when you are playing that caliber of competition. But we kept our poise and we got the key hits when we fell behind, so I am very pleased with how we played over this stretch.”
On Wednesday, the Seminole rode the arm of freshman right hander Luke Weaver, who had his best start of his young career. The DeLand, Fla., native went a career-high 7.0 innings allowing just one run, unearned, on four hits. He walked only one batter and struck out a career-high four Stetson hitters. Two of the four hits allowed by Weaver on Wednesday were infield hits, while he faced the minimum in an inning four times.
“Mike Bell deserves the credit,” added Martin on the outing by Weaver on Wednesday night. “He took him down there and went over some things. Luke really got it done today.”
Heading into Wednesday’s start against Stetson, Weaver had made three starts and had worked a combined 6.1 innings against Jacksonville, UCF and Florida.
“Everything was on key today,” said Weaver. “I just felt really good. When I was in the bullpen warming up all the pitches were hitting really good on the inside-outside corners. I had a lot of confidence; I was just really pumped and had some extra motivation playing Stetson because it was my hometown team.”
Offensively, Florida State was led by Jose Brizuela, who registered a career-high three hits. The freshman left fielder recorded singles in each of his first three at-bats, as he scored once and drove in a pair of runs.
“I felt pretty good, but my main goal is to just get on base and to have good at-bats,” said Brizuela.
Jayce Boyd and James Ramsey each had two hits, scored a run and collected one RBI. Seth Miller continued to swing a hot bat as he went 1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. Devon Travis left the yard in the fifth for his first home run of the season. Sherman Johnson added to his league leading walk total drawing two more on Wednesday and now has 26 on the year. The senior from Tampa, Fla., has now reached base in all 21 games this year.
FSU opened the scoring in the third plating three against Stetson starter Josh Powers (1-1) to take a 3-0 lead. Miller opened the inning with a triple to right center and scored a batter later on a single to center by Brizuela. After a fielding error in right on a fly ball off the bat of Sherman Johnson put runners on at second and third, Travis and Ramsey put together back-to-back sac-flies to give the Seminoles a three-run advantage.
The Seminoles upped their lead to 4-0 in the fourth as Justin Gonzalez started the inning with a double, moved to third on a sac-bunt by Josh Delph and scored on a sac-fly to center off the bat of Miller.
Florida State blew the game open with five runs in the fifth to take a commanding 9-0 lead. Travis started things off with a home run to left for his first round tripper of the season. The next three batters reached on a double by Ramsey and back-to-back singles from Boyd and Stephen McGee. Delph doubled in a run and Brizuela picked up his third hit of the afternoon with an RBI single to right.
The Hatters took advantage of three Seminole errors in the eighth to plate their only run of the game. Trey Blackman reached on a fielding error and moved into scoring position on a two-base throwing error. He later scored on a sac-fly off the bat of Spence Theisen.
Florida State returns to league play this weekend as the Seminoles travel back to the state of North Carolina to face Wake Forest in a three-game set beginning Friday, March 23. Game times for the weekend are set for 6:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. All three games will air live over the internet on WakeForestSports.com, while fans can listen to the games locally on 1270 AM (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and over the internet at Seminoles.com. Live stats will be available via gametracker, while fans can receive updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball.