TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State led 8-1 after two innings, but Dylan Busby’s eighth-inning home run proved to be the game-winner as the Seminoles (28-18) held off Pacific (15-27) 9-8 Friday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Busby’s home run was his 11th of the season and seventh in his past 11 games. Busby’s home run came with two outs in the eighth inning against Tigers reliever Vince Arobio (3-4). It was the only hit Arobio allowed in two relief innings.
The Seminoles scored six runs in the first inning, including a three-run home run off the bat of Tyler Holton. FSU’s Saturday starting pitcher, Holton made his first start in the field this year and first career start in center field. His home run gave FSU a 6-0 lead after Quincy Nieporte had a two-RBI single and Cal Raleigh hit a sacrifice fly earlier in the frame.
On an unseasonably cool day, with game-time temperatures in the upper-60s, starting pitcher Cole Sands tied his career-high with 6.0 innings and seven strikeouts. He allowed a run in the second inning and two in the fourth before being pulled in the seventh inning.
Florida State scored two more in the bottom of the second, building an 8-1 lead against Pacific starter Justin Giovannoni.
Trailing 8-3 entering the seventh inning, Pacific scored five runs on four hits and left the bases loaded to tie the game. Sands allowed the first two runners to reach base before being pulled for Chase Haney. Haney allowed three hits, including a three-run double to James Free, and gave way to Clayton Kwiatkowski.
Kwiatkowski allowed a walk and an RBI single to Danny Mayer, which tied the game at 8-8. Jim Voyles came in and walked Lucas Halstead to load the bases before striking out Blake Barry to end the inning.
Drew Carlton (3-3) pitched the eighth and ninth innings, earning the win after Busby’s solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Carlton allowed a pair of singles in the eighth, including a fluke single to Matt Tarantino that second baseman Matt Henderson lost in the lights before recovering to force Free to pop out to Busby in foul territory to end the inning.
In the ninth, Carlton pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning, including getting Halstead looking to end the game, FSU’s tenth strikeout of the night.
Busby, Holton and Rhett Aplin were the only Seminoles with multiple hits, and all seven Seminoles that recorded a hit did so in the first two innings. Busby and Drew Mendoza each had two of FSU’s seven walks, and the Seminoles struck out just four times.
– Tyler Holton’s three-run home run in the first inning was his first of the season in just his third at-bat of the year. Holton, Florida State’s game two starting pitcher for most of the season, started in centerfield for the first time in his career.
– Holton’s three RBI set a career high. He had two RBI twice as a freshman last season. Friday was also the first multi-hit game of Holton’s career.
– J.C. Flowers had started in CF each of the first 45 games this season. Catcher Cal Raleigh is the only Seminole to play in each game this year.
– Florida State’s six first-inning runs are the most in the opening frame for the Noles this season, and the most since scoring seven against Alabama State in the 2016 Tallahassee Regional.
– Cole Sands tied a career high with 6.0 innings pitched and seven strikeouts. He has thrown six innings seven times in his career, and Friday was the fourth game he has recorded seven strikeouts.
– Dylan Busby’s eighth-inning home run broke an 8-8 tie and proved to be the game-winner. Busby has 34 career home runs, the most among active players in the ACC, and has hit 11 this season. Since missing the Florida game on April 11 (11 games), Busby has hit seven home runs.
– Matt Henderson walked in the first inning, reaching base for a team-high 13th-straight game.
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