ATHENS, Ga. – In an ACC-SEC showdown at Foley Field, Florida State (38-21) scored early and often against No. 4 national seed Georgia (45-16), winning 12-3 in front of 3,046 fans. The win moves the Seminoles to the regional finals against either Georgia or Florida Atlantic.
CJ Van Eyk (10-3) rallied from a leadoff home run from Tucker Maxwell and threw eight innings and struck out nine Bulldogs. He did not allow a walk and gave up just two more runs against a potent Georgia offense.
Van Eyk was helped by a Seminole team that pounded out 15 hits and 12 runs against a Bulldog staff that entered with a team earned run average of 3.09. In the regional, FSU has 25 runs on 35 hits against the Owls and Bulldogs.
Nander De Sedas, Carter Smith and Tim Becker, FSU’s 7-8-9 hitters, combined to go 7-for-11 with six runs scored and nine RBI. Emerson Hancock (8-3), Georgia’s ace, allowed a season high five runs and nine hits in just 4.0 innings.
After Georgia took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, the Noles responded in the bottom of 3rd inning as the legend of Tim Becker continued.
The former FSU Club Baseball player hit his third home run of the regional (and career), a solo shot to right-center field, to get FSU on the board.
Mike Salvatore and Reese Albert each singled to continue the inning. With one out, Robby Martin hit a long fly ball to the wall in right-center field to bring home Salvatore from third and tie the game at 2-2.
The Seminoles took control of the game in the 4th inning as J.C. Flowers doubled to right-center field and moved to third on a wild pitch. He then scored on a bloop single from De Sedas to give the Noles a 3-2 advantage. After a Smith double put runners on 2nd and 3rd, Becker delivered again.
The senior hammered a Hancock fastball up the middle for a two-run single, extending the lead to 5-2 for FSU.
The very next inning in the 5th, the Noles loaded the bases with back-to-back singles from Mendoza and Martin, followed by a walk to Flowers.
That’s when O’Canada worked its magic and the Noles poured it on.
De Sedas singled through the left side, scoring two runs. Then, Smith unloaded on a 3-1 offering, hitting it high off the scoreboard in right field, to extend the lead to 10-2. For Smith it was his second career homer as a Seminole.
FSU continued its onslaught in the 7th inning as Becker walked and Salvatore drove his seventh home run of the season, clearing the pine trees in left field, giving the visitors a 12-2 lead.
The Bulldogs added a late run in the eighth inning off Van Eyk before Clayton Kwiatkowski struck out two batters in a perfect ninth inning.
Florida State moves to 38-21 in 2019 and more importantly advances to the winner’s bracket, now fully in control of their destiny. The Noles will await the winner of UGA and FAU, who would then need to beat FSU twice to advance.
First pitch Sunday will be at 6 PM.
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).