March 15, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Second-ranked Florida State (16-2, 4-1) clinched the weekend series against No. 7 NC State (14-4, 3-2) taking game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, 8-2, on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The win marked FSU’s nine consecutive series victory over NC State and 12th straight series win over the Wolfpack in Tallahassee. The Seminoles also secured their 12th consecutive series win at home against an ACC opponent.
John Nogowski led Florida State’s 10-hit attack in the first game tying a career-high with three hits in five plate appearances. The junior first baseman tallied a double, two singles and two RBI.
Ben DeLuzio went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI as he unloaded on his first home run as a Seminole in the bottom of the third. DJ Stewart registered two hits including a double in the first to extend his streak of reaching base to 45 straight games. The junior left fielder reached base on four of his five plate appearances recording a walk and a hit-by-pitch to go along with his two hits.
Brandon Leibrandt went 5.1 innings in his fifth start of the season to improve to 3-1 on the year. The junior southpaw allowed just one run on six hits as he walked three and tied a season-high with eight strikeouts.
Brett Austin and Jake Fincher combined for six of NC State’s nine hits on the afternoon recording three hits apiece in the loss.
NC State wasted very little time cracking the scoreboard in game one of the doubleheader on Saturday to grab an early 1-0 lead. Austin opened the game drawing a four pitch walk off Leibrandt, moved to second on a sac-bunt and scored on a double to the gap in right center by Trea Turner.
DeLuzio tied the game at one in the third on his first collegiate home run. The freshman centerfielder opened the inning taking a 0-1 pitch from Wolfpack starter Logan Jernigan out of the park to left. The ball skipped off the top of wall and then off the scoreboard for the first round tripper hit out to left by a Seminole batter this year.
Leibrandt got out of a jam in the fifth when Austin singled through the right side, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a bunt single by Fincher. With runners at the corners and Turner at the plate, the Wolfpack tried a safety squeeze, but Leibrandt fielded the groundball in front of the mound and threw on to Danny De La Calle at the plate for the out. The Seminole southpaw kept the game knotted at one as he retired the side getting Buddy Riley swinging on strikes.
The Seminoles hung a four spot on the Wolfpack in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. Justin Gonzalez and Stewart drew back-to-back one out walks to chase Jernigan from the game. D.J. Thomas entered and issued a walk to Jose Brizuela to load the bases. Pinch hitter Brett Knief stepped in and broke the tie with an infield single to short as Gonzalez scored from the third. Nogowski followed with a two-run single to left center with Knief also scoring on the play when the throw from left fielder Brian Taylor went into the Wolfpack dugout.
Jernigan, who came into Saturday’s game having given up just two runs in his first four starts, was charged with three runs on three hits in 4.1 innings of work. He finished with five strikeouts and five walks in suffering his first loss of the season.
Leibrandt’s afternoon would come to a close with out in the sixth after giving up a leadoff walk to Logan Ratledge and then a one out single to Andrew Knizner. Smith came on and recorded back-to-back strikeouts to keep FSU’s lead intact at 5-1.
Florida State added to its lead with three runs in the seventh. Nogowski led off the inning with his third hit of the afternoon doubling down the line in left. He scored two batters later on an RBI single to center by DeLuzio. After DeLuzio stole third, he scored on a pinch-hit sac-fly to center by Gage West. Gonzalez kept the inning alive with a single to left and Stewart followed with an RBI single up the middle to plate pinch runner Matt Mulroy from second as the Seminoles took an 8-1 lead after seven complete.
The Wolfpack added a run in the ninth off Silva as Fincher doubled down the line in right to plate pinch runner Andrew Woeck from first.
The two teams will conclude the weekend series with game two of the doubleheader on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium later Saturday afternoon.