TALLAHASSEE – No. 10 Florida State (6-3) claimed a walk-off win against California (5-4) on Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium with a single by freshman James Tibbs. Alex Toral hit a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that set up Tibbs’ heroics in the ninth.
Tibbs’ walk-off single came after Aaron Roberts (0-1) and Henrik Reinertsen combined to walk the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Tibbs’ single was his second hit of the game, the only Seminole with two hits on the night.
Jonah Scolaro (1-1) earned the win after allowing a hit and striking out two batters in the top of the ninth. Parker Messick allowed three runs in a season-high 7.1 innings, with nine strikeouts. Messick struck out the final five batters he faced before Andrew Armstrong retired the final two batters of the eighth inning.
It was the second longest outing of Messick’s career and the second straight with at least seven innings pitched. In the seventh inning this season, Messick has faced six batters and struck out all six.
Cal took a 1-0 lead on Hance Smith’s solo home run and appeared to take a 2-0 lead on Keshawn Ogans home run later that inning. On appeal, and confirmed on review, Ogans was called out for not touching home plate, which pushed the Bears’ lead back to just one run.
After Cal took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, Logan Lacey hit an RBI single that scored Treyton Rank against Cal starter Josh White. White struck out 11 hitters and allowed just the one run in 5.0 innings. The Bears pushed their lead to 3-1 after a Cole Elvis ground ball scored Dylan Beavers in the sixth.
Tibbs singled in the eighth inning before Toral’s 430-foot home run tied the score and sent Howser into a frenzy. It was Toral’s second home run of the season.
In the ninth, Isaiah Perry, Jordan Carrion and pinch-hitter Tyler Martin all walked before Tibbs’ two-out, walk-off single gave FSU the win. For Martin, it was his first appearance of the season and first at-bat against live pitching in nearly nine months while overcoming an injury. The redshirt sophomore saw just four pitches to draw the walk.
T2 | FSU 0, Cal 1 Smith homered to left field
T3 | FSU 0, Cal 2 Beavers doubled, scoring Tishenkel
B5 | FSU 1, Cal 2 Lacey singled to left center, scoring Rank
T6 | FSU 1, Cal 3 Elvis reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Beavers
B8 | FSU 3, Cal 3 Toral homered to right field, scoring Tibbs
B9 | FSU 4, Cal 3 Tibbs singled through the right side, scoring Carrion
Florida State and California will play the second game of this weekend’s series on Saturday at 4 p.m. The reigning NCBWA National Pitcher of the Month, LHP Bryce Hubbart, will start on the mound in his third consecutive weekend.
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