TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sporting special green-and-white caps for St. Patrick’s Day, No. 7 Florida State beat Notre Dame 6-4 Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Starting pitcher Drew Parrish (2-0) pitched 7.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits, and Nick Derr’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth proved to be the game winner.
#NOLES WIN! Double play ends the game.
WP: Parrish (2-0)
LP: Holubecki (0-1)
SV: Kwiatkowski (1)
— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) March 17, 2018
“When you look at the ball game, you understand what a good game that was,” head coach Mike Martin said. “Only a couple of errors. Not a lot of walks. We had some good at-bats. Certainly a good win when you can survive the way we did in the ninth inning. The game is never over and not many end the way that one did.”
The Seminoles (15-4, 2-3 ACC) never trailed Saturday behind two third-inning runs off the bat of Cal Raleigh and Derr’s team-high third home run of the season. Matt Vierling hit his second home run of the season to open the ninth inning and cut the lead to 6-4 and Notre Dame threatened more, but a double play started and ended by first baseman Rhett Aplin closed the game and got Clayton Kwiatkowski his first career save.
Parrish allowed four hits and three runs over 110 pitches in 7.1 innings. In three career starts against the Irish, Parrish has allowed just four earned runs in 22.1 innings pitched.
Irish starter Tommy Sheehan allowed just one earned run and two hits in his 4.1 innings. Anthony Holubecki (0-1) allowed four earned runs on five hits over 3.1 innings in the loss.
Both teams were hitless through two innings before FSU struck for two runs in the bottom of the third. Mike Salvatore singled and Aplin walked to put two runners on base with two outs. Both runners advanced a base on a failed pickoff attempt from Irish catcher David LaManna and Raleigh gave FSU a 2-0 lead on a single to right field.
Notre Dame got one back in the top of the fourth on Cole Daily’s inside-the-park home run. Leftfielder Skylar Frey, starting in place of Jackson Lueck (sick), dove for the ball but it skirted past him and got to the wall. The throw to the plate was high and Raleigh could not apply the tag in time.
Prior to Daily’s home run, Parrish had retired the first 10 batters of the game.
Notre Dame tied the game in the top of the fifth as FSU made two plays at the plate to limit the damage. Alex Kerschner singled and Eric Feliz doubled to open the inning. LaManna grounded to Drew Mendoza at third base to get the lead runner at the plate. Jared Miller reached on an error by Mendoza that tied the score at 2-2, but LaManna was retired at home on Frey’s outfield assist. Spencer Myers struck out to end the inning.
Mendoza doubled in the bottom of the sixth on a pop-up that dropped in shallow centerfield. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Holubecki’s ball-four wild pitch to J.C. Flowers. Over his current 11-game hitting streak, Mendoza is hitting .512 (21-for-41) with seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI and just three strikeouts.
Pinch hitter Reese Albert hit his first career home run to lead off the seventh inning and give FSU a 4-2 lead.
LaManna opened the eighth with a single and Eric Gilgenbach, hitting for LaManna, drew a walk on eight pitches to chase Parrish. Jonah Scolaro made his team-high 10th appearance in relief, walking Jake Johnson to load the bases. Daily reached on an RBI fielder’s choice that scored LaManna.
Conor Grady relieved Scolaro after just two batters and forced an inning-ending fielder’s choice to preserve the FSU lead at 4-3.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Flowers singled and Derr hit a home run in back-to-back games to extend FSU’s lead to 6-3.
Vierling homered in the top of the ninth off Grady and the three of the next four hitters reached base against Grady to load the bases. With one out, Kwiatkowski entered and forced the ground ball to Aplin at first base, who threw to Salvatore at second base before running and covering first to end the game.
Sophomore second baseman Nick Derr’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning scored J.C. Flowers and gave FSU a 6-3 lead. It was Derr’s second home run of the weekend and third on the season. His three home runs are the most on the team.
FSU’s win was head coach Mike Martin’s 1,959th of his career. He needs just 17 more to become the winningest coach in college baseball history. He currently only trails the late Augie Garrido (1,975 wins). He is now 13-8 all-time against Notre Dame.
Florida State and Notre Dame wrap the weekend series at 11:30 a.m. at Dick Howser Stadium. Shawn Davison (PxP) and Chip Baker (commentary) will have the call for ACC Network Extra and Eric Luallen will call the game on the radio.
LHP Austin Pollock (2-1) takes the mound for FSU and Notre Dame will counter with RHP Cameron Junker (0-1).
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).