TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Behind a pair of three-hit performances from Josh Delph and Danny De La Calle, fifth-ranked Florida State (28-8) defeated Jacksonville (12-24) 6-1 Tuesday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium to sweep the regular season series from the Dolphins.
The Seminoles scored all six runs after the fifth inning to secure their ninth straight victory over the Dolphins including their fifth in row over JU at home.
Delph registered three hits for the second straight game, while De La Calle recorded his first three-hit game as a Seminole. Jose Brizuela went 2-for-4 in the win as he drove in a game-high two runs.
“Danny De La Calle is very important to our ball club,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “We all know that Danny’s been struggling offensively. Meat has been spending a lot of extra time with him. He is starting to see the ball better. It was a big night for him and we are just hoping that he continues to work and get better offensively. Josh Delph is a guy that is a pretty darn good leadoff hitter. He is a tough out; three hits tonight, that is pretty impressive.”
Billy Strode gave Florida State 6.0 strong innings on Tuesday night to tie his longest outing since working six innings against Stetson on March 20, 2013. The junior southpaw allowed just one run on five hits as he walked one and struck out four.
“Billy is a guy that continues to work on his change-up and it really makes his fastball that much more effective,” said Martin. “The curveball was effective tonight; thought it was one of his best outings with his curveball.”
Peter Miller (2-2) faced the minimum in his two innings in relief to earn his second victory of the season. The senior right hander finished with three strikeouts. Jameis Winston worked a scoreless ninth as he struck out two to preserve the win.
“Billy Strode did a great job,” added Martin. “Peter Miller came in and gave us two good innings and then of course Jameis was very impressive in the ninth.”
Jacksonville got on the board first Tuesday night scoring its only run of the ball game in the top of the fifth. Seth Dewitt led off the inning with a single to right and got to third after back-to-back sacrifice bunts. With two outs, Angelo Amendolare laced a single up the middle off Strode to plate Dewitt and give the Dolphins a 1-0 lead.
The Dolphins used six pitchers on the night as their first three – Zach Gordon, Justin Lawrence and Will Flor – combined to throw 5.0 shutout innings. The trio of JU arms scattered five hits and a walk through the first five innings while striking out five.
“JU is a team that’s been hurt with injuries,” said Martin. “They have lost a few players. We definitely had an advantage but yet as the game went on they gained confidence in the way they were pitching. Our guys took full advantage of every opportunity and got some key hits and key at-bats.”
The Seminoles tied the game at one in the sixth on a sac-fly off the bat of John Sansone. John Nogowski was hit by a pitch from Nathan Disch to open the frame and scored three batters later on Sansone’s sac-fly to center.
“To get on the board (in the sixth) was big,” said Martin.
Florida State took the lead for good in the seventh on a two-run single through the right side by Brizuela off JU reliever Adam Maxon (0-3). The Seminoles loaded the bases with one out when Gonzalez reached on a hit by a pitch and DJ Stewart and Nogowski drew back-to-back walks. Brizuela followed with his single to score Gonzalez and Stewart to give the Seminoles a 3-1 advantage.
Stewart’s walk in the seventh extended his streak of reaching base to 57 straight games tying the school record set by Shane Robinson over two seasons (2004-05).
FSU added three more runs in the eighth for the final margin. De La Calle brought home Ben DeLuzio on an RBI single to left center and later scored on two-out double down the line in left by Nogowski. Delph also scored on the play courtesy of a fielding error by the Dolphin left fielder.
Florida State is back on the road this weekend traveling to face Wake Forest for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 18. Audio will be available for all three games on the Seminoles.com All-Access player. Locally fans can listen to the game on 1270 AM (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday & Sunday).
As always, fans can receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Baseball team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUBaseball and to follow the team on Instagram (NoleBaseball). Live stats will be available via gametracker.