Category Archives: FSU Baseball

FSU Baseball Regionals Preview

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the 41st consecutive year, the Florida State Seminoles find themselves in the NCAA  Baseball Tournament. And once again, the road for five of the 64 teams in the field will run through Tallahassee.

The Seminoles (43-17, 20-13) are getting hot at the right time. They are fresh off of another ACC Tournament title–their second in three years.  Their finish to the season earned them a No. 7 national seed.

Starting on the mound Friday night will be Cole Sands (7-3, 4.46 ERA). The junior from Tallahassee took on the role of ace after Tyler Holton suffered a season ending arm injury on opening day. Sands exited a game against Duke back in early April with shoulder tightness, and was relegated to a Sunday starting role when he returned on May 7. However, coach Mike Martin is handing him the reigns to start yet another postseason run for the Seminoles.

Drew Mendoza is the hottest FSU hitter coming into the tournament. In the ACC tournament, he went 5-for-12 with 5 RBI and 4 runs.  As a whole, FSU’s offense has been a huge strength. They are No. 18 in the nation in runs scored (406) and No. 1 in walks (381).

Here is how the rest of the competition looks as a whole for this regional:

Florida State (43-17, 20-13)

RPI: 6

Team Batting Avg.: .268

Team ERA: 3.94

Record vs. Top-25 (According to USA Today): 10-9

Big Wins: @ No. 8 UNC (2 out-of 3),  @ No. 11 Clemson (ACC Semi),  vs. No. 19 NC State (2 out-of 3)

Mississippi State (31-26, 15-15)

RPI: 28

Team Batting Avg.: .278

Team ERA: 4.25

Record vs Top-25 (According to USA Today): 11-5

Big Wins: Vs. No. 5 Ole Miss (2 out-of 3), vs. No. 1 Florida (sweep), vs. No. 3 Arkansas (sweep)

Oklahoma (36-23, 14-10)

RPI: 42

Team Batting Avg.: .273

Team ERA: 3.84

Record vs Top-25 (According to USA Today): 3-5

Big Wins: Vs. No. 32 Baylor (sweep), @ No. 44 UCF (2 out-of 3)

Samford (36-24, 16-8)

RPI: 95

Team Batting Avg.: .269

Team ERA: 3.48

Record vs Top-25 (According to USA Today): 1-1

Big Wins: @No. 44 UCF, vs. No. 14 Auburn

The Seminoles kick off their postseason against Samford at 7 p.m. The winner of this regional will face the winner of the Clemson regional, which could potentially be Clemson, St. John’s,  Vanderbilt, and Morehead State.

Florida State Baseball Opens Tournament Run With Win

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State started their defense of the ACC championship on the right foot, defeating the Virginia Cavaliers 3-2 in 11 innings.

FSU (40-17, 16-13), scored first on a  Cal Raleigh double in the first inning,  followed by another double in the third inning. The Cavaliers (28-25, 12-18), with a run already scored in the top half of the third, tied the game in the fourth inning off a Justin Novak single to score Cayman Richardson .

It remained tied at 2 runs, but Virginia came close to breaking the game open in the eighth inning. With one out, the Cavaliers loaded the bases, with their clean-up hitter coming to the plate. FSU manager Mike Martin called on relief pitcher Clayton Kwiatkowski to get them out of the jam. The sophomore proceeded to strike out the next two batters to escape the inning.

Kwiatkowski pitched the final 3.2 innings of the game without giving up a hit.

The big break for the Seminoles came in the 11th inning. With Drew Mendoza on first base, Reese Albert hit a double to score Mendoza to defeat Virginia 3-2. This is the second walk-off hit for the freshman this week. On May 18, he also hit the game-winning home run in the 10th inning against North Carolina State.

With the win, FSU has now won 40 or more games in 41 consecutive seasons. That’s the longest such streak in the nation, with Louisville at No. 2 with 7 consecutive seasons.

FSU’s next game will be Friday at 7:30 p.m. against NC State. The winner of that game will advance to the ACC semifinals.

Florida State Defeats Miami in Pitcher’s Duel

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – A game between rivals Miami and Florida State wouldn’t be complete without a nail-biting finish. And that’s exactly what the 4,432 people at Dick Howser Stadium were treated to on Friday night.

The No. 14 Florida State Seminoles (30-13, 12-9) defeated the Miami Hurricanes (17-24, 10-12) in a 2-0 shutout.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it was Florida State and Miami. Did you expect anything less?” said FSU manager Mike Martin.

FSU catcher Cal Raleigh was the first and only source of offense when he hit a two-run home run to center field in the 1st inning. Neither team would score again the rest of the night.

“I was just looking for a fastball to hit, and obviously I put a good swing on it,” said Raleigh, who went 2-for-3. “Obviously things didn’t go the way we wanted to for the rest of the offense, but that’s just baseball. Some days you score two, some days you score twenty.”

Miami starting pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt retired the next 15 FSU batters that he faced after the Raleigh home run.

FSU starting pitcher Drew Parrish was effective from the beginning. He struck out nine of the first fourteen batters he faced, and ended with thirteen strikeouts– a career-high for him.

Parrish made it through the 7th inning allowing only two men to reach scoring position, and allowed nobody to reach third. However, he found himself in a jam in the 8th after walking Miami first baseman Raymond Gil and allowing a single to shortstop Freddy Zamora. With only one out, coach Martin went out to the mound to talk to Parrish.

“Coach came out and asked me how I was feeling and I told him I had this all the way and I wanted it more than anything,” said Parrish.

The next batter laid down a difficult sacrifice bunt in front of the mound to advance the runners, and Parrish made the play to get the runner at first.

“Had he not been on the mound, I can’t say every single pitcher on our staff makes that play,” said Martin. “Drew Parrish makes that play.”

Parrish final line: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 13 K

The Seminoles’ biggest threat to their lead came in the 9th. Conor Grady came in relief of Parrish and allowed a single to Danny Reyes to start the inning. With Reyes on first, Cal Raleigh attempted to pick him off, but the throw sailed over first baseman Rhett Aplin’s head and into the outfield, allowing Reyes to reach third base. Grady got the next batter to fly out, but then allowed a walk, and hit a batter to load the bases.

That’s when Mike Martin brought in Jonah Scolaro. With the bases loaded and only one out, Scolaro struck out the last two batters to secure the win.

“With his demeanor, you feel good about him coming in the ball game. He doesn’t have any different looks on his face when he comes in,” said Martin. “He just came in against the University of Miami with the bases loaded, one out, and very good hitters, and struck both of them out. It was quite a credit to him.”

The two teams play again tomorrow at 6 p.m. With the victory, Mike Martin is two wins away from becoming the winningest coach in NCAA baseball history.

Andrew Karp Named Weekend Starter

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State starting pitcher Andrew Karp has been moved into the weekend rotation, starting Sunday Apr. 22 at Boston College. He was originally scheduled for Sunday, Apr. 15 against Duke, but rain forced the teams to cancel the game. It will be the junior’s first weekend start since last year, where he made two such appearances, combining for a 6.43 ERA in 7 innings against the University of Virginia and University of the Pacific.

The decision comes in the midst of freshman Austin Pollock’s recent struggles. Pollock was originally put into the Sunday spot in the rotation when FSU’s ace, Tyler Holton, suffered a season-ending injury on opening day.  Pollock is posting an 8.87 ERA in five conference starts.

Karp has been the main starting pitcher for weekday games, including pitching in each of the last six games against the Florida Gators over the last 2 seasons. With his six starts against UF, FSU coach, Mike Martin said that he thinks the experience could help him adapt to the brunt of ACC play.

“Any time you’re given the ball three straight times against a team that’s as talented as Florida, and you pitch as well as he did, you’ve got to feel ‘I don’t know what [The ACC teams] have, but I know what Florida had, and I know what I can do,” Martin said.

Karp, who has a 2.88 ERA and a team-leading 65 strikeouts, credits his progress to staying in Tallahassee after the College World Series last year.

“I stayed here right after Omaha. I stayed here and I lifted everyday with coach Seth [Diters], and definitely got my body in position where I’m able to go out there every week and compete,” Karp said. “I wanna throw as many innings as possible. I wanna go deep into games, save our bullpen, and give our team a chance to win.

Coach Martin said that he first noticed Karp was a weekend-caliber starter last year, in one of his starts against UF.

“Lost on a check swing. Pitched very well against them all three outings this year. Lost a one-run ballgame in Jacksonville. So I would say going back to that game is when I said, ‘This guy’s got a good chance to pitch in our rotation,'” Martin said. “He’s earned it, I’m anxious to see how he does with it.”

Karp was needed this past Tuesday against Stetson University. He pitched a one-hit shutout in five innings, collecting  nine strikeouts on 71 pitches. He’s expected to throw around that same amount on Sunday.

His first weekend outing of the year is expected to come Sunday, Apr. 22 at Boston College. It will be his first ever appearance against the Eagles.

Florida State Falls to Florida

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the eighth time in a row, and the 13th in the last 14 games, the Florida State Seminoles fell to the Florida Gators.

The No. 1 Gators (29-6) defeated the No. 10 Seminoles (24-10) 6-3 in Tallahassee on Tuesday.

“We made a couple of mistakes, and they were taken advantage of,” coach Mike Martin said.

Alex Krutchik | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

After jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the 3rd off a Cooper Swanson home run, the Seminoles committed 2 errors in the 4th inning to help UF get ahead.  Florida third baseman Jonathan India stole second, and advanced to third when FSU catcher Cal Raleigh threw the ball wide of shortstop Mike Salvatore. From there, India scored on a double from Wil Dalton. Two batters later, Austin Langworthy singled to left to score Dalton, and advanced to second when Raleigh couldn’t field the throw coming in from the outfield. Langworthy would then score on a Blake Reese single.

The Seminoles offense battled, but every run they scored was quickly answered in the very next inning by Florida. In the 5th inning, FSU second baseman Nick Derr scored on  a Mike Salvatore sacrifice groundout to pull the Seminoles within a run. The Gators answered with 2 more runs in the next inning to push the score to 5-2.

Seminole left fielder Jackson Lueck hit a solo home run to right-center field in the 7th. The very next inning Gator catcher JJ Schwarz answered with a home run of his own. Schwarz has gone 22-for-65 (.369) for 8 home runs and 25 RBI in his career vs FSU.

The Seminoles had a lot of chances to capitalize on offense. They loaded the bases in the 6th inning, but Swanson grounded out in front of the catcher before anything could get started.

This marks the eighth time in a row that FSU has fallen to UF. The last time FSU beat UF was in the 2016 super regionals in Gainesville. This is the second year in a row that the Gators have swept the three-game “Sunshine Showdown” series.

“I wish I could explain a little bit of my frustration,” coach Martin said. “But we still have 22 games left in the regular season. And he hope we can continue to get better every day.”

The Seminoles return to the field for a 3-game weekend series vs. Duke, starting Friday at 6 p.m.

Florida State Loses To No. 18 Louisville

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The No. 5 Florida State Seminoles baseball team (22-7, 7-5 ACC) fell short by a score of 6-1 against the No. 18 Louisville Cardinals (19-8, 5-7 ACC) Saturday afternoon at the Dick Howser stadium.

The Seminoles struggled on the offensive side, ending the game with one run and four hits. Head coach Mike Martin talked about the team’s performance today and for the series.

“I want our guys to know that they battle. They kept battling and I’m very proud of how we played this entire weekend,” Martin said. “When we have an opportunity to win the third game and secure a sweep and we don’t we are disappointed”.

As far as relief pitching, the Seminoles’ C.J Van Eyke ended the game allowing only two hits, one run, three walks and one error. Martin talked about Van Eyke’s performance and his chances of hopefully being a starter.

“C.J Van Eyke pitched very well for six innings. Two hits, one run and four strikeouts…that is pretty impressive. I am very very proud of C.J and how he took charge of the ball game,” Martin said. “Yes, he is in the conversation. He enjoys competition, he controls his emotion, he doesn’t put undue pressure on himself, he is a battler and he is a winner.”

 

The Seminoles will go up against the Jacksonville Dolphins April 4 at the Dick Howser Stadium at 6.00 p.m.

FSU Bats get going to overcome an early 5-run deficit

Alec Chessari, Correspondent (@AlecChessariFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)

Alex Krutchik | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FSU got an early season victory behind dominant pitching

Through the first 11 games this season it has been mostly the pitching staff for the Seminoles but tonight the bats came through.

“You know when you play 12 games you think you have a good feeling about your ball club, but when you fall 5-runs down after four innings you kind of just look around and wonder is this bunch going to be satisfied with what they accomplished in three weeks or are they going to fight?” FSU Coach Mike Martin said.  “Well they answered that tonight and as one of the coaches of the team I am proud to be a part of it because that’s what life’s about and this ball club really showed me something tonight.”

The No.4 Florida State University Baseball (12-0) defeat the Kansas Jayhawks (8-3) 10-5 in game one of a two game series at Dick Howser Stadium.  The series was supposed to be played Tuesday and Wednesday but due to unexpected weather first pitch was tonight at 6 P.M. and game to will be played Tuesday at 6 P.M. as well.

“I thought Jonah came in and pitched extremely well. Karp struggled a little but he was right over there on the side line when he came out yelling for his ball club” Coach Martin said.

The Seminoles couldn’t get anything going through the first three innings.  Andrew Karp threw out the first pitch for the Seminoles and gave up a home run to the Jayhawks second batter James Consentino.  Karp finished his night with five innings pitched, 101 total pitches, 69 strikes, eight hits, five runs, seven strikes and a 1.56 ERA.  Jonah Scolaro came in and pitched the last four innings for the Seminoles only giving up two hits striking out six batters and got the save.

The Seminoles brought the heat in the bottom of the fifth inning batting in five runs to take their first lead. Rafael Bournigal got them going with a two run home run destroyed down the right side.  Cal Raleigh then sends one right down the center field and hits the top of the fence for the two RBI double that would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Another big inning in the seventh earned the Seminoles three more runs batted in.  Steven Wells RBI single loaded the bases with no outs.  J.C. Flowers and Bournigal each Sac fly to bring in a runner home to advance the lead 9-5.  Mendoza’s late RBI single would then send Rhett Aplin home to give the Seminoles the 10-5 lead.

FSU Player Stats

Pitchers

Andrew Karp (3-0) completed 5 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 7 strikeouts and 2.42 ERA.

Jonah Scolaro: 2 saves, completed 4 innings, 2 hits, 6 strikeouts, 52 total pitches and 35 strikes.

Box Score

Rhett Aplin: 3 at bats, 2 hits, 2 runs, a double and .293 AVG

Cal Raleigh: 4 at bats, 2 runs, 3 hits, 2-RBI, one double and .326 AVG

Drew Mendoza: 3 at bats, one run, 2 hits, 3-RBI and .458 AVG

Rafael Bournigal: 1 at bat, 1 homerun, 3-RBI and .206 AVG

 

The Seminoles Defeates Troy 9-4

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The No. 5 Florida State Seminoles baseball team beat Troy 9-4 Saturday afternoon at the Dick Howser Stadium to improve to 7-0.

In the second inning, the Seminoles recorded five runs on five hits and zero errors. Austin Pollock got his first career start and threw six innings and only allowed one earned run. He ended the game with five hits allowed and six innings pitched.

Pollock talked about his experience and performance on his first career start.

“It’s a dream come true growing up coming to all of the games. It’s definitely a blessing.  I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life,” Pollack said. ”I think I threw alright today other than that homerun and other few hits but I just need to keep throwing strikes and keep the ball down.”

At the top of the second inning, Troy scored the game first points with a home run by Cole Prestegard to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead. The Seminoles answered quickly with five consecutive runs, that gave Florida State a 5-1 lead.

Florida State head coach Mike Martin talked about a key play that set up the five consecutive runs. He also talked about J.C Flowers and his performance.

“The big hit of the game was J.C Flowers,  he hit a ground ball on purpose to score a run for us. That’s a total display of a teammate and I’m very proud of how he approached that at-bat,” Martin said. ” Even though there was a mistake today,  he plays with poise and I’m proud of the progress he made.”

Flowers was the offensive leader, ending the game with two hits in three at-bats, three RBI and two doubles. With the two doubles, Flowers put the Seminoles on top 8-3. Flowers also has four doubles this season after having four all of last season as a freshman.

Flowers talked about both he and Pollack’s performance in the game.

“The main key was relaxing,  just being myself and not putting pressure on myself,” Flowers said. “He kept his composure and was in his zone.”

The Seminoles will go up against the Jacksonville Dolphins Tuesday at 5 p.m.

 

 

FSU rides big night from Cal Raleigh to 9-2 Win

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The No. 5 Florida State Seminoles started their weekend with a 9-2 rout of the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs.

Florida State starting pitcher Cole Sands struggled early.  After allowing a leadoff walk, centerfielder Chris Troost doubled to bring home the first run of the game.

However, FSU (9-0) would get those runs right back. With 2 out and a runner on first, Cal Raleigh (3-for-4) hit a triple off the top of the right field wall to drive home Rhett Aplin. On the next at-bat, Drew Mendoza would drive home Raleigh to give the Seminoles the lead.

The ‘Noles would put up 3 more runs in the 4th. Cooper Swanson drew a walk with the bases loaded. Jackson Lueck hit a 2 RBI single to put the ‘Noles up, 5-1.

The Bulldogs’ (2-6) biggest chance to catch up to FSU came in the 5th. With a run already in, and runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 out, Cole Sands threw a wild pitch to allow Carmine Pagano to reach 3rd. Luckily, Sands (5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) struck out Brandon Lankford to get out of trouble.

Although he pitched a quality start, Sands feels he didn’t have his best stuff.

“Not a lot was working for me”, said the Tallahassee native. “It’s refreshing to just look up and even on my worst night, it’s not a huge number up there.”

The big inning for the Seminoles came in the 6th. After walking the bases loaded with 2-out, Cal Raleigh drove a ball to right center for a 3-run double. Raleigh ended the night with 4 RBI, tying a career-high.

Raleigh, who came into tonight hitting only .192, said he got some work in with his coaches this week.

“We’ve just been working on some stuff,” Raleigh said. “Some little mechanical things, they just started clicking. So hopefully it keeps working.”

Junior pitcher Cobi Johnson came in relief of Sands. Johnson recorded 6 strikeouts in 2 innings. He now has 16 strikeouts in 6 innings this year.

Freshman Tyler Ahearn pitched the last 2 innings for FSU. He gave up no runs on 1 hit in 2 innings.

The Seminoles continue their series tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Drew Parrish (1-0, 1.59 ERA) is expected to start for the ‘Noles.

Austin Pollock Gets the Job Done in First Collegiate Start

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – It wasn’t the glamorous first-start that all freshmen dream of, but lefty Austin Pollock got the job done Sunday afternoon. The Tallahassee native got through a rocky first two innings and a 1:18 rain delay to pick up his first collegiate win in a 9-4 victory against Troy University.

The trouble came quick for Pollock. On the very first pitch of the afternoon, Matt Sanders hit a ball into right field for a double. After the next batter reached on an error, Pollock turned around to pick off Sanders at second base for the first out. One more batter reached on another error before Brody Binder grounded into a double play.

The second inning is where all of Troy’s damage against Pollock was done. After getting two straight strikeouts, he allowed a solo home run to Cole Prestergard to give Troy a 1-0 lead.

Alex Krutchik | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

The Seminoles’ offense helped Pollock out, putting up five runs in the bottom on the 2nd.

After the 2nd inning, the steady rain turned into a downpour, and sent the game into a rain delay that lasted an hour and 18 minutes. During that period, coach Mike Martin said that Pollock kept loose and threw two or three different times during the delay.

Pollock was hot coming out of the delay. He retired 8 of 9 batters he faced from the 3rd through the 5th inning. In the 6th, he allowed a walk and a single, but got out of the inning unscathed.

Coach Martin was impressed with Pollock’s resiliency after his early struggles.

“He had a couple of opportunities to feel sorry for himself and fold the tent. He kept battling,” Martin said.

Pollock, who entered the pitching rotation after junior ace Tyler Holton went down with a season-ending injury, pitched in relief last weekend, where he allowed no runs on 3 hits in 4 innings in his first ever appearance for the Seminoles.

The Lincoln High School graduate said he was confident coming into today’s outing.

“I feel like I got all of my nerves out last game,” Pollock said. “Just because the stage is a little bigger, you’re still playing  baseball.”

Pollock said he’s been coming to watch FSU games since he was a kid, and was excited for the opportunity to pitch in front of his hometown crowd.

“It was definitely a dream come true,” Pollock said. “It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

As of right now, he is slated to start next Sunday against UNC-Asheville.

Pollock’s final line was 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB.

Starting Pitcher Tyler Holton Out For Season

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State starting pitcher Tyler Holton will miss the remainder of the season with a torn UCL. Holton will undergo Tommy John surgery this Thursday. The junior ace left the Seminoles’ opening game last Friday  in the 5th inning after manager Mike Martin had a trainer go check on him. After the game, Martin said that Holton felt the same type of pain back in high school, but nothing ever came of it.  Holton, who came into this season leading all returning pitchers in the nation with 144 strikeouts last year, was pitching a one-hit shutout when he was pulled.

“Tyler is a fine young man and we’re all disappointed at this setback in his career,” Martin said. “He’s doing the best thing right now. We’ll be there for him and help guide him through the rehab process, but as a team, we have to keep moving forward on our goals for this season.”

In an update after last Saturday’s game, before the diagnosis was made, Martin said he would consider having a look at freshman Austin Pollock to become the No. 4 starter if Holton had to miss extended time. Pollock allowed no runs in 4 innings last Saturday.

Seminoles Overcome Tough Start to Defeat Xavier

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – 

Florida State recovered from a slow start to notch a victory over Xavier Saturday afternoon, 7-2.

Cole Sands took the mound for the Seminoles (2-0) for his first start of the season. In 2017, he went 6-4 while throwing a 5.40 ERA in 83.1 innings. Today, he found himself in trouble from the very first batter when Xavier shortstop Ryan Attenberger doubled to right field. After Sands allowed a single on the next at-bat, right fielder Joe Gellenbeck hit a single to right field to give the Musketeers (0-2) their first runs of the game. Three batters in, manager Mike Martin and pitching coach Mike Bell went out to the mound for a quick meeting with Sands. The following at-bat, Sands allowed a sacrifice fly out to center field, bringing home Conor Grammes. Still with one out, two runs allowed already, and a runner still on base, Sands retired the next two batters on strikeouts.

“It was just kind of nerves,” said Sands. “I was a little on top of the zone. I had to get the ball back down, and get the ball back to the corner of the plate.”

Sands (5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB) would go on to retire 15 of the next 16 batters that he faced, picking up a career-high 9 strikeouts.

“What I wanted him to know was he was literally in a position to get out of the innings if he could get a popup or a strikeout,” Martin said of Sands’ first inning. “I think that is when Cole really showed his true colors. He bared down, and got us in the dugout.”

After being in a two-run hole early, the Seminoles answered quickly when freshman shortstop Mike Salvatore reached on a walk to lead off the inning, and scored on a Rhett Aplin double.

Two innings later, Salvatore scored again, this time off a Cal Raleigh sac fly. Salvatore would score three runs despite only having two official plate appearances.

The score sat at 2-2 going into the bottom of the 4th. Salvatore drove home J.C. Flowers (2-for-3, 2 R) on a sac fly to left field to break the tie. The Seminoles would keep this lead for the remainder of the game.

The Seminoles got some insurance in the 5th inning. With 2 outs already in the inning, Cal Raleigh laid down a bunt that hugged the third base line to beat the extreme defensive shit Xavier set against him. Following a Nick Derr walk, Flowers smacked a ball up the middle that careened off of pitcher Matt Kent’s leg. Shortstop Ryan Attenberger was able to field it, but not in time to catch Flowers at first. With the bases loaded, senior Rafael Bournigal doubled to right center field to clear the bases, giving FSU a 6-3 lead.

In the top of the 6th, Tallahassee native Austin Pollock came in relief of Sands to make his college debut. Pollock (4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) cruised through his first two innings, but came close to surrenduring his first run of the game in the 8th inning when Conor Grammes hit a double to center field. With Ryan Attenberger racing home, J.C. Flowers relayed the ball to Salvatore, who was able to throw out Attenberger at the plate.

The Seminoles shut out the Musketeers in the last 8 innings.

With starting pitcher Tyler Holton out, Martin said he and his staff would consider giving Pollock a look at being in the top four of the pitching rotation.

The Seminoles close out their opening series on Sunday against Xavier at 1:00 p.m.