Justin Gonzalez collects two hits, Gage West hits a three-run shot to pace the Garnet team.
Credit: Florida State Sports Information
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Garnet team defeated the Gold team 8-5 in the 30th annual Garnet & Gold game Friday night on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
Justin Gonzalez paced the Garnet squad with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while freshman catcher and local product Gage West connected on a three-run shot to highlight a four-run fourth inning. Despite recording just five hits in the eight-inning game, the Garnet team drew 11 walks with John Sansone, Casey Smit, Gonzalez, Matt Mulroy and Lee Howard all drawing two walks each.
Brett Knief led the Gold team with a 3-for-4 night at the plate recording three singles and an RBI. DJ Stewart drove in a pair on a sac-fly in the third and a single to center in the fifth. Josh Delph and freshman second baseman Hank Truluck had the only extra base hits for the Gold team as both players registered a double and scored twice.
“We were very impressed with our pitching but a little concerned with our offense,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “We keep looking for someone to step forward and certainly Gage West made a big stride tonight when he hit the ball out of the ballpark. We feel we are going to have the guys that have the experience to get on base but need to find the people to drive in runs for us.”
M.T. Minacci picked up the win for the Garnet squad as the Tallahassee, Fla., native worked 2.0 scoreless innings in relief allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out three. Ed Voyles pitched the top of the eighth and worked around a fielding error to open the inning recording three consecutive fly outs to earn the save.
Both Dylan Silva and Will Zirzow led the Gold team working 2.0 scoreless innings. Silva got the start for Gold and allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out five. Zirzow pitched the fifth and sixth innings and did not allow a hit. He finished with one walk and a strikeout.
“There were certainly some nerves involved tonight,” added Martin. “I thought M.T. Minacci threw the ball well for his first outing. He was a little wild early, but coach Bell has done a wonderful job with him. There were a number of encouraging signs from all our pitchers.”
The Gold squad ran out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a run scoring double by Delph and a sac-fly by Stewart.
Garnet grabbed its first lead of the night with a four-run fourth highlighted by an RBI single by Gonzalez and a three-run home run off the bat of West that caromed off the light pole in right center.
“It’s great to have Justin back,” said Martin. “He is a very important part of our ball club; he’s our captain. To see him out there enjoying himself and having fun again was very rewarding.”
Gold would retake the lead at 5-4 in the fifth on back-to-back RBI singles by Stewart and Knief and then taking advantage of a throwing error as the Gold team attempted an inning ending double play.
Garnet seized the lead for good with a four-run seventh for the winning margin at 8-5. Lee Howard capped the big inning with an RBI single to center that scored Mulroy.
On Thursday afternoon, the two teams met with the veteran pitchers taking the mound in a six-inning game. The veterans did not disappoint as the two teams mustered just three hits apiece.
Sansone provided all the offensive fireworks in the game blasting a leadoff home run off Luke Weaver on a 3-2 pitch in the top of the first to give the Garnet team a 1-0 victory. The New Castle, Pa., native finished the afternoon 2-for-3 at the plate.
Peter Miller got the start for the Garnet team and work 2.0 hitless innings as he walked one and struck out three. Brandon Johnson allowed two hits over 2.0 innings, while Bryant Holtmann worked an inning. Mike Compton was impressive in his return from Tommy John surgery back in February as the redshirt sophomore right hander retired all six batters that he faced to earn the save.
On the Gold team, Weaver, Billy Strode and Gage Smith all worked 2.0 innings. Strode did not allow a hit while striking out two. Smith gave up two hits but finished with two strikeouts.
“I have seen some guys grow-up this fall,” added Martin. “But we still have a long way to go to be the club that we want to be. But I am encouraged by the improvement of some of the younger guys.”
The 2013 fall baseball season will officially come to a close on Monday, October 21 when the Seminoles host the Ontario Blue Jays on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Admission to the game is free.