Andrew Miller, Correspondent
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State rallied back against the Oakland in a high scoring game on Friday night, shaking off early struggles to take the first game of a three-game series, 18-10.
The Noles (7-2) did not play well at the start, allowing seven runs in the first three innings. Starting pitcher Cole Sands struggled placing the ball, forcing coach Mike Martin to go to the bullpen early. Sands had three wild pitches with runners in scoring position, which put the Noles into a 7-0 hole.
“Sands had trouble locating tonight, something that he has not had a problem with,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “But he had trouble and they took advantage of it.”
Florida State’s fortune changed when they brought in reliever Will Zirzow in the bottom of the fourth. Zirzow provided more confident pitching, ultimately setting the tone for the other side of the ball.
A wild pitch of Oakland’s own drove in Tyler Daughtry for Florida State’s first run, bringing the score to 7-1. Martin humorously applied a parable to the run after the game, comparing it to a jar of olives.
“It’s like that old saying: you get the first olive out of the jar, and the rest of them are easier to get,” Martin said.
This proved true. The Noles gained even more momentum when Nick Derr drove in two runs in the bottom of the fifth, bringing the score to 7-3. A few batters later, Dylan Busby brought in two more runs with a single down the middle.
In the bottom of the sixth, Cal Raleigh doubled to right field, driving in Jackson Lueck. Raleigh subsequently scored on a balk, tying the score at 7-7.
A wild pitch allowed Dylan Busby to score, giving the Noles their first lead at 8-7. Lueck also singled to the right side of the field, bringing in Rhett Aplin and JC Flowers for two more runs (10-7).
With everything seemingly going the Noles’ way, Quincy Nieporte shattered a ball to left field, bringing in Raleigh, Lueck, and Talor Walls. It is the second grand slam of Nieporte’s career.
As the game came to an end, the Golden Grizzlies (1-8) were not able to manufacture enough offense. Sterry doubled down the right field line, bringing in Zilinsky. Then, Hart doubled down the left field line to bring in Sterry at a score of 15-10.
The Noles were able to respond with a few late runs of their own, sealing the game.
“We battled back, got a couple of breaks, and got it done. But it goes to show just how unpredictable our game is,” Martin said.
The Noles will take the field against the Golden Grizzlies on Saturday at 1PM, where they will look to take the second game of a three-game home stand.