Raleigh, NC - No. 7 Florida State (40-10, 16-9 ACC) saw its nine-game win streak go by the wayside Saturday afternoon falling to No. 9 NC State (39-11, 16-8 ACC) 3-1 on Doak Field inside Dail Park. With the loss, the Seminoles dropped a half game behind the Wolfpack for the top spot in the ACC Atlantic Division.
Despite collecting nine hits and drawing for walks against NC State starter Carlos Rodon, the Seminoles could not find the clutch base hits with runners in scoring position to string together any momentum against the sophomore southpaw. Rodon finished with eight strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work while throwing 133 pitches as he improved to 7-2 on the year.
“It was just one of those games that you have to credit Carlos Rodon,” said head coach Mike Martin. “But we have to roll on and look forward to Sunday.”
Luke Weaver (5-2) suffered the heartbreaking loss after delivering another impressive performance as he went 7.0 innings and recorded nine strikeouts for the third straight start. The nine strikeouts tied a career-high, his fifth of the season, as he allowed three runs on eight hits and walked just one.
“We got a great performance from Luke Weaver,” added Martin. “It was just disappointing that we made some mistakes, but we have to get over it and be ready to go for tomorrow.”
John Nogowski provided the only run production for Florida State on Saturday connecting on a two-out RBI double to deep right center in the top of the eighth. Nogowski and Jameis Winston recorded five of FSU’s nine hits, while Marcus Davis finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Winston tied a career-high with three hits as it marked the second time in three games the freshman right fielder reached the three-hit plateau.
The Noles looked to get on the board first in the top of the third but DJ Stewart was thrown out at the plate on a great throw by Bryan Adametz from left field. Stewart drew a one-out walk from Rodon, stole second and then tried to score from second on a base hit through the left side by Davis but Adametz made a nice one hop throw to the plate to retire the side and keep the game scoreless.
NC State broke through with the game’s first run in the bottom of the inning as Logan Ratledge scored on a wild pitch from Weaver. The Wolfpack second baseman led off the inning dropping a single to right, moved to second on a stolen base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With Jake Fincher at the plate, Weaver got the NC State right fielder to swing and miss but Fincher reached first and Ratledge scored on Weaver’s second wild pitch of the inning to give the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead.
FSU continued to have its chances off Rodon but left the bases loaded in the fourth. Nogowski and Jose Brizuela registered singles in the fourth while Giovanny Alfonzo drew a walk to load the bases. Rodon escaped the jam getting Seth Miller to groundout to first. The Seminoles left seven runners on base through the first four innings in game one.
“We certainly had a couple of opportunities to bust it open,” said Martin. “But you got to credit Rodon, he came in and made some good pitches. We had some good at-bats against him; we had him on the ropes a couple of times but he seemed to always get out of it.”
The Wolfpack extended their lead to 3-0 with two runs in the fourth. Adametz delivered the big hit lacing a base hit back up the middle to score a pair. Tarran Senay opened the inning with an infield single and moved to third when Jake Armstrong kept the inning alive with a double that bounced over the head of Brizuela at third. Adametz followed with a two-run single to give NC State a three-run lead.
Rodon didn’t allow a runner past second until the eighth when Nogowski doubled to the gap in right center to score pinch runner JJ Gould from first. Winston followed with a single to right to put runners at the corners but Rodon kept NC State’s two-run lead in tact as he got Brizuela looking at a called third strike to end the threat.
Chris Overman worked the ninth and faced the minimum to pick up his sixth save of the season.
Florida State and NC State will continue the series on Sunday, May 12 at 3:00 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3. Fans can listen to the game on the Seminoles.com All-Access player and locally on 100.7 FM. As always, Seminole fans can follow the Noles on twitter @FSU_Baseball and remember to like the Seminoles on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FSUBaseball). Live stats will be available via gametracker.