April 13, 2019

⚾: Flowers, Van Eyk Lead Noles Past No. 16 Tigers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State (21-13, 9-8 ACC) used its bats (four home runs, 14 hits) and its pitching (career-high 8.0 innings from CJ Van Eyk) to lock up a 16-2 win Saturday against No. 16 Clemson (25-10, 11-6) on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The 13-run victory was FSU’s largest against Clemson since a 20-5 win in Tallahassee in 1997.


Box Score

Van Eyk (4-3) had his best outing of his career, pitching eight innings, allowing a pair of solo home runs on four hits and striking out four. The sophomore allowed a leadoff home run and the Tigers did not score again until the seventh inning. Antonio Velez pitched a scoreless ninth inning in relief.

Offensively, Florida State notched 14 hits and 16 runs, including home runs from Cooper Swanson (6 on season), Mike Salvatore (5) and two from J.C. Flowers (8). Nine different players had at least one RBI.

In winning the first two games of the series, FSU has outscored the Tigers 22-4 and beaten pitchers that entered with earned run averages of 1.55 (Davis Sharpe) and 1.98 (Mat Clark).

Clemson leadoff hitter Sam Hall hit his fourth home run of the season to start the game, giving the Tigers an early 1-0 lead. Clemson’s No. 2 hitter, Logan Davidson, followed with a single to right field, but Alec Sanchez threw him out trying to stretch it into a double. Van Eyk retired the next nine batters into the fourth inning.

The Seminoles got its first hit in the third inning, a single from Salvatore off Clark (7-1).

In the fourth, Kyle Wilkie was hit by a pitch and Grayson Byrd reached on an error, putting runners on the corners with one out. Van Eyk recovered to strike out Bryar Hawkins and force a Bo Majkowski ground out to end the inning.

Swanson and Flowers hit back-to-back homers off Clark in the fourth inning. After a mound visit, Clark walked Nico Baldor and Nander De Sedas and Mat Nelson hit an RBI single to give FSU a 3-1 lead and end Clark’s day.

Holt Jones entered and allowed a sacrifice fly from Elijah Cabell and an RBI single to Salvatore, pushing the Noles lead to 5-1 through four innings.

Flowers’ second home run of the game came off Jones in the fifth inning, a three-run shot that scored Mendoza (walk) and Swanson (hit by pitch). It was Flowers’ first multi-home run game of his career and extended FSU’s lead to 8-1.

Salvatore hit his fifth home run of the year in the sixth inning to make it 9-1 FSU. After two hit batters by Jones, Travis Marr came on with two outs and allowed a Flowers RBI single, an RBI groundout from Baldor and an RBI single to De Sedas for a 12-1 FSU lead through six innings.

After Bryar Hawkins made it 12-2 with a solo home run in the seventh inning, FSU scored four runs combined in the seventh and eighth innings to provide the final margin.

The win gives FSU the series victory over No. 16 Clemson. It was the first back-to-back losses for Clemson in 2019. For the Seminoles, it was its largest margin of victory in an Atlantic Coast Conference game since 2013 against Duke and its most runs and largest margin of victory against Clemson since a 20-5 win in Tallahassee in 2015.

OF NOTE           

  • CJ Van Eyk set a career high with 8.0 innings pitched. He allowed just four hits and walked one batter while striking out four.
  • FSU’s starting pitchers have thrown at least 7.0 innings in three straight starts after not reaching that threshold in the first 31 games of the season.
  • FSU’s 16 runs are its most against Clemson since a 20-5 win in 1997.
  • Alec Sanchez notched his first career outfield assist, throwing out Logan Davidson trying to stretch a single to a double in the first inning.
  • Drew Mendoza walked twice Saturday and now has 39 on the season. Mendoza entered the weekend fifth nationally with 36 walks. Mendoza was also hit by a pitch for the first time this year and added an RBI single.
  • Cooper Swanson and J.C. Flowers’ home runs in the fourth inning were the third back-to-back jacks for FSU this season.
  • Flowers hit two home runs Saturday and has eight on the season. It was FSU’s second multi-HR game this season (Mendoza against Mercer) and the first of Flowers’ career. His five RBI were a career high.
  • Mike Salvatore added FSU’s fourth home run of the game in the sixth inning. The senior tied a career high with four hits and leads FSU with a .324 average this season.
  • Sam Hall’s leadoff home run in the first inning was the first leadoff home run against FSU since March 25, 2018 against North Carolina. FSU won both games.


The series will wrap Sunday at 1:00 p.m. LHP Shane Drohan (2-0, 2.67 ERA) will pitch for Florida State. The Tigers will counter with LHP Keyshawn Askew (2-1, 3.63 ERA).

The game will air on ESPN2.

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).

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