TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Freshman backstop Cal Raleigh came through with a clutch sacrifice fly to right field with one out in the 14th inning to complete Florida State’s 11-10 come-from-behind victory against Villanova on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Seminoles set the table for Raleigh when Dylan Busby led off the final inning with a walk, before being called out at second on a fielder’s choice by Tyler Holton. Holton advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved 90-feet away on a single to the shortstop by Ben DeLuzio. It was there that Raleigh lifted the ball to right field, scoring Horton for the walk-off victory.
Senior John Sansone also played a key role in the rally as he kept the game alive for Florida State (6-2) one inning earlier with a two-out single through the left side of the Wildcat infield, scoring DeLuzio and Holton for the 10-all tie.
Sansone capped off his second multi-hit performance of the season by going 2-of-6 from the plate with three RBI. He was joined by the trio of DeLuzio (2-6, 2 RBI, run), Dylan Busby (2-4, RBI, 2 runs) and Quincy Nieporte (2-4, RBI).
Seven Seminole pitchers took the mound against Villanova (2-6), including Will Zirzow who posted his first victory of the season. Starter Cobi Johnson gave way to Alec Byrd in the fourth inning, after allowing five earned runs, four hits and three walks along with a pair of strikeouts. Byrd limited the Wildcat hitters to one hit and one earned run in two innings and was followed by Chase Haney.
The combination of Haney and Matthew Kinney were responsible for two earned runs, one hit and three walks as the Noles entered the seventh. It was there that Tyler Warmoth took over on the hill, striking out six Villanova batters in the next 3.1 innings, while allowing only one hit and one walk.
Ed Voyles relieved Warmoth in the 11th inning, also striking out six hitters. Zirzow came on in the top of the 14th inning and quickly struck out two Villanova batters to earn the victory. The 22 Florida State strikeouts are three shy of the program record 25, set in 1956 against Furman.
The Seminole bats were alive early with three runs in the first inning, highlighted by Sansone double down the left field line that scored Walls from second. Two innings later, with a two-run advantage, Bryan Bussey extended the Florida State lead to 6-2 with a single to left field that plated Darren Miller and Busby.
Villanova answered in the fourth, knotting the game at six-all, behind a pair of home runs from Max Beerman and David Gulati. The Wildcats eventually grabbed an 8-6 lead in the sixth on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop by Todd Czinege that brought home Emmanuel Morris.
Sal Fradella (0-1) took the loss for the Wildcats, who despite sending eight pitchers to the mound managed only four strikeouts and walked 14 Florida State hitters.
Florida State returns to action on Friday evening against St. John’s when it sends Mike Compton (1-1, 1.69 ERA) to the mound. He will be followed on the weekend by Drew Carlton (2-0, 1.64) and Cole Sands (2-0, 0.90).
The matchup with the Wildcats is being aired on NolesTV, available for $3.99 a month and features live video coverage of select baseball games and unlimited access to the largest FSU sports video library. Florida State fans can also listen to the games live on 106.1 FM and available free at Seminoles.com all season long.
Seminole fans can always stay up-to-date with the Florida State Baseball team by following the official twitter page of the Seminoles (@FSUBaseball).