TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Featuring a revamped lineup, No. 5 Florida State (11-0) held off UNC Asheville (2-8) for a 4-2 win Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Tallahassee native Austin Pollock improved to 2-0 on the year after striking out a career high nine hitters in six innings, while the offense used three sixth-inning runs to break a 1-1 tie.
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— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) March 4, 2018
“Obviously it was a good weekend,” head coach Mike Martin said. “I’m pleased we used two freshmen pitchers…it was a well-played game. We made one error in three games. Any time that is the case, you’re very satisfied.”
Pollock allowed just one unearned run in six innings and has 0.56 ERA in 16 innings this season. As a unit, Florida State’s starting pitchers have a 1.04 earned run average in 60.2 innings in 2018.
FSU scored in the first inning for the eighth time this year to take a 1-0 lead. Cooper Swanson doubled off the rightfield wall to open the game, moved to third on Mike Salvatore’s ground out and scored on Rhett Aplin’s sacrifice fly. Cal Raleigh and Drew Mendoza followed with singles but were stranded to end the inning.
Asheville starter Jordan Carr (1-1) pitched 5.2 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits.
The Bulldogs tied the score in the fifth inning with an unearned run. Andrew Friedholm hit a one-out double to left field and scored when Swanson dropped the third out of the inning on a pop up in left field. Primarily a middle infielder, it was Swanson’s first start in the field and second of his career (he started Saturday’s game as the DH).
Pollock forced a ground out to end the inning and keep the score tied at 1-1.
After Mendoza’s single in the first inning, FSU did not have another hit until the fifth, when Swanson singled. In the sixth, Aplin doubled to right field and scored on Mendoza’s second single of the game. For the weekend, Mendoza hit 9-for-13 with two doubles and six RBI.
FSU made the score 3-1 on Jonathan Foster’s second hit of the season. Foster started at catcher in place of Raleigh, who was the designated hitter today. Foster has two hits this season – a three-run home run in his first at-bat as a Seminole and today’s RBI single. Nick Derr hit a bases loaded sacrifice fly to give FSU a 4-1 lead.
CJ Van Eyk replaced Pollock and pitched a perfect seventh inning, recording two strikeouts. In the eighth, Joe Zayatz hit a pinch-hit home run off Van Eyk that cut FSU’s lead to 4-2. Van Eyk rebounded in the ninth inning, striking out the side to finish with seven strikeouts and his first career save.
“Very impressive,” Martin said of Van Eyk’s second appearance. “He is a guy that has been looking for an opportunity. It was a good outing for him.”
In the sixth inning, starting catcher Jonathan Foster singled to left field, scoring Drew Mendoza and extending FSU’s lead to 3-1. Foster is now hitting 2-for-6 in limited action this season.
FSU’s win was head coach Mike Martin’s 1,955th of his career. He needs just 21 more to become the winningest coach in college baseball history. He currently trails only Augie Garrido (1,975 wins). Martin is now 24-1 against UNC Asheville, tied with Pittsburgh for his second-best record against any school (min. 25 games; Charleston Southern, 25-0).
Florida State and Kansas will play for the first time. Due to expected inclement weather, the games will now take place Monday and Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. (originally scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday).
Both games can be heard on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee and nationwide on the FSU Gameday App. All three will also stream live on the ACC Network Extra with commentary from Ariya Massoudi and Chip Baker.
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).