CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Sophomore Nick Derr and junior Jackson Lueck hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning, and freshman CJ Van Eyk pitched a career-high 4.1 innings without allowing a run in FSU’s 9-4 win Sunday afternoon at North Carolina. FSU (20-5, 5-4 ACC) won the final two games of the series.
#Noles clinch the series against the Tar Heels!
WP: Van Eyk (1-0)
LP: Hiatt (0-1)
FSU is back at it on Tuesday against UF in Jacksonville. pic.twitter.com/XT2c9SqMsS
— FSU Baseball (@FSUBaseball) March 25, 2018
Van Eyk (1-0) allowed just two hits and struck out five on 74 pitches. Starting pitcher Austin Pollock allowed four runs on four hits over the first 4.2 innings.
Josh Hiatt (0-1) allowed five runs in relief, including both of FSU’s eighth-inning home runs. Hiatt entered the weekend have not allowed a run in 25 of his previous 26 outings, but gave up one in FSU’s 6-3 win Friday and five Sunday.
FSU’s top four hitters in the lineup (Derr, Lueck, Rhett Aplin and Cal Raleigh) combined to hit 8-for-16 with eight RBI and four walks. Raleigh, a Cullowhee, N.C., native, reached base on all five plate appearances (3-for-3 with a HR and two walks).
Carolina took a 1-0 lead with a leadoff home run from Cody Roberts, his second of the season. Pollock responded by retiring the next six hitters.
UNC starting pitcher Taylor Sugg allowed a pair of baserunners in the first and second innings but did not allow a run. Sugg walked Lueck and Aplin to start the third inning and was relieved by Brett Daniels, who surrendered a three-run home run to Raleigh on his first pitch, giving FSU a 3-1 lead.
Like Pollock in the first, Daniels retired the next five batters after the home run.
Pollock ran into more trouble in the third inning, giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning, walking Roberts and hitting Michael Busch with the bases loaded to cut FSU’s lead in half. The RBI was Busch’s 37th of the season, most in the country.
With the bases loaded and still no outs, Kyle Datres reached on a fielder’s choice that tied the score at 3-3. After another walk, Pollock got Ben Casparius to strike out looking and Brandon Riley to ground out to end the inning.
Drew Mendoza gave FSU a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Aplin doubled and Raleigh singled to put runners at first and third for Mendoza. UNC pitcher Cooper Criswell got the next three batters out to limit the damage.
The Tar Heels again tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Pollock issued two walks and an RBI single to Riley that made the score 4-4. Van Eyk replaced Pollock, walking Ike Freeman to load the bases before striking out Dallas Tessar to end the frame.
Both teams remained scoreless until the eighth inning, when Derr hit FSU’s first grand slam of the season off Hiatt (0-1), followed by a Lueck solo shot. Both players lead FSU with five home runs on the season.
FSU’s eighth inning started with a one-out walk from Steven Wells and a single from J.C. Flowers. Mike Salvatore reached on a fielder’s choice to Zach Gagahan at second base. Gahagan attempted to get Flowers at second base, but shortstop Freeman’s knee collided with Flowers head and both players were down for an extended time.
Flowers exited the game, replaced by Skylar Frey, and Derr took the third pitch after the break over the left field wall to give FSU an 8-4 lead.
Van Eyk pitched a career-high 4.1 scoreless innings, including a perfect 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth.
Nick Derr’s first career grand slam broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the eighth inning. Derr has a team-high five home runs (with Jackson Lueck, who went back-to-back with Lueck to provide the final margin) and four home runs over the past seven games.
FSU’s win was head coach Mike Martin’s 1,964th of his career. He needs just 12 more to become the winningest coach in college baseball history. He currently only trails the late Augie Garrido (1,975 wins). Martin is 56-29 all-time against the Tar Heels.
Florida State heads to Jacksonville for a neutral-site game against Florida at the Jacksonville Baseball Grounds. The game will begin at 6:00 p.m. and air live nationally on the SEC Network with announcers Dave Neal and Kyle Peterson.
Eric Luallen will be on the radio in Tallahassee on 106.1 FM and nationwide on the FSU Gameday App.
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).