TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Redshirt junior Will Zirzow went the distance, allowing just two hits and facing just two batters over the minimum, and Florida State (43-21) reached its third-consecutive Super Regional with a 6-0 win over Auburn (37-26) on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium Monday evening. Zirzow, making his first appearance in 26 days, also struck out 11 Tigers and did not walk any, while the FSU offense produced 10 hits on the evening.
Zirzow (3-1) last pitched for the Seminoles on May 9 when he started against Jacksonville. The Fleming Island, Fla., native made his fourth career start Monday night and set career-highs for innings pitched (previous was five) and strikeouts (previous was seven) while allowing a hit to just one Auburn player (Blake Logan was 2-for-3).
Florida State jumped on Auburn starter Gabe Klobosits (0-1) early, and the Tiger senior was pulled after just 15 pitches. Taylor Walls drew his 57th walk of the season to start the game and Dylan Busby, Sunday night’s hero, hit his team-high 19th double of the season to give FSU a 1-0 lead. Jackson Lueck drew a walk before Klobosits was pulled for Calvin Coker.
Quincy Nieporte bunted the runners up a base, and Cal Raleigh’s groundout single made the score 2-0 FSU.
Busby added his 20th double in the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, Zirzow did not allow an Auburn baserunner until hitting Dylan Ingram with a pitch to start the fifth inning. Josh Anthony reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on Jay Estes’ sacrifice bunt, the only time Auburn had a runner in scoring position. Zirzow answered by striking out Sam Gillikin for the first of two times on the night.
Logan’s first hit of the night came in the sixth inning, but he was erased on a double play off the bat of Will Holland. After a perfect seventh and eighth inning, Logan again singled in the ninth before Zirzow retired the next three to end the game.
After two runs in the first, Florida State was stalled offensively by Calvin Coker, who went five innings and allowed just three hits. The Seminoles did score in each of the final three innings on a throwing error from pitcher Ryan Watson; two in the eighth on RBI doubles from Nieporte and Drew Mendoza; and one in the ninth on Steven Wells’ first home run of the season and third of his career.
Zirzow’s complete game is FSU’s second this postseason (Tyler Holton vs. UCF), while his 11 strikeouts are the third-most in FSU’s five games in the regional (Holton 13, Drew Parrish 12 vs. Tennessee Tech).
Florida State advanced to its third-consecutive Super Regional, ninth in 10 years and 16th in 19 seasons since the Super Regional format was instituted. FSU’s 16 appearances are the most in the country in that span. The Seminoles will play Sam Houston State, winners of the Lubbock Regional after knocking off Texas Tech in the Regional Final on Monday afternoon.
The Seminoles also became just the 21st team in 288 chances to win a regional after losing the opening game. Florida State also accomplished the feat in 2008.
Super Regional sites, dates and times will be announced by the NCAA Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m.
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).