TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida State beat Troy 9-4 on a wet and rainy Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium to improve to 7-0 on the season. FSU scored five runs on five hits in the second inning before a 78-minute rain delay. Freshman pitcher Austin Pollock (1-0) threw six innings, allowing one earned run on five hits for his first career win.
#Noles sweep the Trojans!
WP: Pollock (1-0)
LP: Hixon (1-1) pic.twitter.com/e578eTnVF0
— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) February 25, 2018
“It was a real nice day for us,” head coach Mike Martin said. “We did a lot of things right.”
Pollock started Sunday’s game after the season-ending injury last week to Opening Day starter Tyler Holton. The Tallahassee native from Lincoln High School overcame the lengthy weather delay and a defense that committed three errors for his first career win in his second appearance.
“I have to be honest, he’s a lot different than I thought he would be,” Martin said of Pollock. “I thought he would come over in the fall, be intimidated. Have not seen any of that. I knew he was good when I overheard some players talking, ‘I can’t see the ball off that guy.’”
Troy threatened runs early in the game against Pollock when Matt Sanders doubled on the game’s first pitch and Brandon Lockridge reached on a Drew Mendoza error at third base. After Sanders was picked off at second for the first out, Joey Denison reached on a Rafael Bournigal error before Pollock forced Brody Binder into a double play to get out of trouble.
Troy did strike in the second on a home run from first baseman Cole Prestegard for a 1-0 lead, the Trojans first of the weekend.
The Seminoles quickly responded in the bottom of the frame, taking a lead it would not relinquish with five runs against Troy starter Rush Hixon (1-1). Cal Raleigh singled and Mendoza walked before five straight FSU hitters notched a run batted in. J.C. Flowers and Jared Herron had RBI singles; Steven Wells had an RBI double to right field; Mike Salvatore hit a sacrifice fly and Jackson Lueck singled to score Wells and give FSU a 5-1 lead.
As FSU’s defense prepared to start the third inning, the umpires cleared the field for rain that eventually lasted 78 minutes. After the delay, Pollock returned to the mound for four more innings, allowing only an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth when Flowers misplayed a ball in center field that allowed Sanders to score from first and trim FSU’s lead to 5-2.
As they did in the second inning, FSU answered Troy’s run. Mendoza hit a one-out triple into the right field corner and scored on Bournigal’s grounder to first base. The Noles threatened more but left the bases loaded.
Conor Grady, the winner in FSU’s Tuesday game against USF, replaced Pollock in the seventh and Troy scored one run on Sanders’ RBI double. For the weekend, Sanders hit 6-for-12 with three doubles and one home run after reaching base five times Sunday (three hits, two walks).
Again, FSU answered Troy’s run. Flowers hit his second double of the series, and fourth of the season, with the bases loaded against reliever Ryan Fultz, scoring Raleigh and Lueck. Through seven games, Flowers leads FSU with a .429 average, nine hits, four doubles and six RBI.
“J.C., having played in a good summer program, he saw other young men that play at Division I schools. It did him a lot of good,” Martin said. “Very impressive. Glad to see him play with poise and proud of the progress he’s making.”
Cobi Johnson pitched the eighth inning, recording three more strikeouts. The junior missed all of 2017 due to injury, but has 10 strikeouts in four innings pitched this season without allowing a run.
Tyler Ahearn made his first appearance as a Seminole in the ninth inning, recording a pair of strikeouts as Troy scored a run on Joey Denison’s RBI single.
After Troy took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, Florida State scored five runs in the bottom of the inning, the last of which was an RBI single off the bat of Jackson Lueck that score Steven Wells.
FSU’s win was head coach Mike Martin’s 1,951st of his career. He needs just 25 more to become the winningest coach in college baseball history. He currently trails only Augie Garrido (1,975 wins). Martin is 12-1 in his career against the Trojans.
Florida State hits the road for the first time in 2018 for a Tuesday game at Jacksonville. That game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. start time at John Sessions Stadium. The Noles were 3-0 against the Dolphins in 2017, winning the lone game at JU 6-5.
FSU will throw Andrew Karp (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
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).