Kingston, RI - Top-ranked Florida State (22-5, 10-2) led from the start and never looked back on Saturday afternoon to complete the sweep of Boston College (7-18, 1-11) with a 10-1 victory in the series finale on Bill Beck Field on the campus of the University of Rhode Island.
“It is just a tremendous accomplishment for our young men,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “We got excellent pitching. I was just very pleased with the approach everyone took. It is not the easiest area of the country to play in this time of year and our guys just got out there and got after it and played like professional people.”
Bryant Holtmann (4-0) worked a career-high 6.0 innings in making his second start of the season and first on the weekend. Holtmann was given the starting nod after scheduled weekend starter Brandon Leibrandt could not go this weekend as the junior southpaw was suffering from flu like symptoms.
“It is always good for the starting pitcher to have some runs as he goes out there for the first time,” added Martin. “Bryant pitched very well. In fact, it is one of the most impressive outings I’ve seen him have since he’s been at Florida State. He had three pitches working for him. It was a big lift for us to get this one.”
“Coach Bell told me yesterday in the hotel lobby there was a chance I would start with Leibrandt not feeling well,” added Holtmann. “I kind of knew I had the chance to go today so the mindset really started last night.”
Holtmann allowed one run on three hits as he walked one and struck out four. All three singles Holtmann gave up did not leave the infield as two of those hits came to the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first. After issuing a walk to Logan Hoggarth to start the bottom of the second, Holtmann retired eight straight batters and 13 of the final 14 BC hitters he would face before leaving the game.
“The first two innings weren’t nearly as efficient as I wanted it to be,” said Holtmann. “After that I really settled in and just pitched from there. I had three pitches working. It was huge for me to get an early lead.”
Brandon Johnson worked the final three innings to earn his first career save. The senior southpaw faced the minimum retiring all nine batters that he faced striking out a career-high four batters.
Casey Smit led FSU’s 10-hit effort on Saturday as the senior from Tampa, Fla., went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Jose Brizuela and John Sansone each drove in a game-high three RBI. Josh Delph, Justin Gonzalez, John Nogowski and Brizuela all scored two runs apiece.
BC starter Jeff Burke (0-3) suffered the loss as the sophomore right hander went 6.0 innings allowing five runs, two earned, on four hits as he walked three and struck out four.
A Boston College throwing error in the top of the first led to three runs for the Seminoles as Florida State jumped out to the early 3-0 lead off Burke. Brett Knief drove in Delph for the first run of the inning on a groundout to short. After back-to-back two out walks to Brizuela and Smit, Sansone delivered a two-run single to center.
BC responded with a run in the bottom of the first to cut the Seminole lead to 3-1. The Eagles opened the inning with back-to-back singles by Gabriel Hernandez and Blake Butera. After a sac-bunt moved both runners 90 feet, Chris Shaw plated the Eagles’ first and only run of the game on a sac-fly to center.
Florida State pushed its lead to 5-1 with two runs in the third. Knief and Nogowski opened the inning with consecutive singles. After a fly out to right moved Knief to third, the Seminole centerfielder would score on an RBI single through the right side by Smit. Sansone drove in his third run of the game on a sac-fly to center to bring home Nogowski.
The Seminoles pushed across four runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 9-1. Florida State loaded the bases off reliever Eric Stevens on a pair of walks and an infield single by Gonzalez. After a BC pitching change, Brizuela greeted Steve Green with a bases clearing triple down the line in right. He would score a batter later on a single to center by Smit.
Nick Graganella gave the Seminoles a 10-1 advantage in the eighth with a two-out RBI single to center plating Delph, who reached on a single to left center.
Florida State returns home for the first time in two weeks as they host Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday, April 1 with first pitch set for 6:00 p.m. on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The game will be streamed live over the internet. Fans can listen to the game on the Seminoles.com All-Access player and locally on 1270 AM. Live stats will be available via gametracker.