CLEMSON, S.C. – Led by the performances of Drew Carlton and Ben DeLuzio the sixth-ranked Florida State (29-12, 13-5 ACC) baseball team evened its series with Clemson (27-15, 10-13) by posting an 11-2 victory on Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Carlton (5-2) anchored the Seminole pitching staff by limiting Clemson to two earned runs on seven hits.
In the longest outing by any FSU starter this season, 7.1 innings, the sophomore hurler faced 31 batters and converted four strikeouts. Carlton was followed on the mound by Alec Byrd and Ed Voyles, who held the Tigers hitless over the final 1.2 innings.
“Staying down in the zone was important for my success today,” said Carlton. “They have a really good hitting lineup and by putting my pitches in the right spots it was important.”
DeLuzio led the way for FSU hitters with a 2-for-4 performance that resulted in three RBI. He was joined by Taylor Walls (3-5, 3 RBI), John Sansone (2-4, 2 RBI, HR) and Quincy Nieporte (2-4, RBI), who also recorded multiple hits.
“Drew Carlton really came through with a solid performance for us today,” said head coach Mike Martin. “He gave us a chance to save pitchers that would’ve normally come out of the bullpen by going into the seventh inning. I was also happy with a solid day at the plate for both Ben DeLuzio and Taylor Walls. This is a huge win for us heading into tomorrow night’s series finale.”
Clemson opened the home half of the first with a leadoff walk by Chase Pinder, who scored two batters later on an RBI single by Seth Beer. FSU retaliated in the in the top of the second when Nieporte led off the inning with a single to right field. Two outs later, with Nieporte at second, DeLuzio dropped a single into shallow right field to plate Nieporte for the 1-1 tie.
Hank Truluck gave the Noles their second leadoff hitter on base in as many innings after being hit by a pitch to open the third. Walls drove a single to right, moving Truluck to third, before Sansone gave FSU the 2-1 advantage on a sacrifice fly to left field. Raleigh extended the inning with a two-out double to right, his second hit of the game, just before a single through the right side to make for a 3-1 lead.
The Tigers got one run back in the bottom of the third frame, narrowing the margin to 3-2, before the second multi-run inning gave FSU the 5-2 advantage. With one out DeLuzio reached base on a fielding error by Eli White. Steven Wells Jr. followed with a single through the left side of the infield, putting DeLuzio in scoring position, before Walls connected on a two-RBI single to left centerfield for the three-run cushion.
FSU’s offense continued to fire on all cylinders in the fifth inning, sending nine batters to the plate en route to four runs. Raleigh opened the frame with a walk and advanced to second following a Dylan Busby’s single to third. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, DeLuzio singled over the head of second baseman Weston Wilson to plate Raleigh and Busby for the 7-2 lead.
Donovan Petrey added to the fifth inning run total, scoring the eighth run of the contest, as he and DeLuzio completed a double steal. Wells scored DeLuzio from third as FSU lead 9-2 on a fielder’s choice.
Sansone added to FSU’s lead with a solo home run to centerfield in the eighth inning as the Seminoles topped 10 runs in a game for the 15th time this season.
The final run of the game for FSU came in the ninth when Tyler Holton, pinch hitting for Wells Jr., reached base on a two-out walk. Clemson’s Paul Campbell followed with a walk of Truluck before a single into right field by Walls that scored Holton made for the 11-2 final.
The Seminoles’ Cole Sands (3-4, 4.81 ERA) closes out the series on Monday evening against the Tigers’ Alex Schnell (0-0, 3.00). The game will be featured on ESPNU with Steve Lenox and Jay Walker providing commentary.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).