Tallahassee, FL - No. 7 Florida State (30-6, 13-5 ACC) completed the series sweep of Duke (21-17, 8-10 ACC) with an 8-3 victory in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The win was FSU’s 10th straight over Duke, while it marked the eighth consecutive series sweep at home for the Seminoles over the Blue Devils. Six of the eight runs scored by Florida State in the series finale came on two outs.
“It was a very good accomplishment,” said head coach Mike Martin on completing the sweep. “It was something that you know was going to be difficult but you really have to credit our starting pitching. You have to credit the defense. My understanding is that we did not make an error for three games and that last column means a lot to me. When you see that zero, you got to really feel excited.”
For the third time in as many games, Jose Brizuela collected three hits as he finished the series hitting .818 with nine hits in 11 at-bats. At one point during the three-game stretch, Brizuela reached base in 11 straight at-bats – a span which included five singles, two doubles, two home runs and two walks.
“I am very pleased for him,” said Martin on Brizuela’s performance in the series. “It was a really good two-day span and I was happy to see him do what he did this weekend.”
“It was a good streak to have and I’m glad it happened,” said Brizuela. “I feel really good at the plate right now and I’m seeing the ball really well. I just hope it keeps coming.”
John Nogowski tied a career-high with three hits, while Seth Miller and Marcus Davis each registered two hits in the win. Stewart extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games with a run scoring double in the second.
Scott Sitz moved to 7-0 on the year after working 5.0 innings against Duke on Saturday night. The senior right hander allowed three runs on six hits as he walked one and struck out two. It marked the first time in nine starts this year that Sitz has allowed more than one earned run.
Billy Strode worked 3.0 scoreless innings to tie a season-high in relief. The sophomore southpaw allowed just three hits, all singles, while striking out four.
Robby Coles closed out the victory working a perfect ninth inning. The junior right hander recorded a strikeout, fly out and groundout to shut the door on the Blue Devils.
“It was great to come out here and have such great hitting against a good squad,” said Brizuela. “I am just happy that we got these two wins today.”
Jameis Winston pulled the rare double duty on Saturday. The freshman designated hitter went 1-for-2 as he reached base on three of his four plate appearances in game two after missing game one as he played inside Doak Campbell Stadium in the spring Garnet & Gold game. On the diamond, the Hueytown, Ala., native registered a single, a walk and was hit by a pitch. On the gridiron, Winston went 12-for-15 for 205 yards and two touchdowns. His first pass attempt in the spring exhibition went for a 58-yard touchdown to David Tyrrell.
Florida State ran out to an early lead in game two of the doubleheader scoring six runs in the first two innings to chase Duke starter Robert Huber (5-3) after just an inning and two-thirds, his shortest outing in eight starts this year.
Four of those runs came on two outs including two runs in the first inning. Davis opened the scoring in the first with a solo shot to right on a 3-2 pitch from Huber for his team-leading seventh home run of the season. Stephen McGee followed with a walk, stole second and scored on Brizuela’s single through the right side of the infield to give FSU a 2-0 advantage.
The Seminoles added to their lead in the second with four extra base hits including three consecutive doubles by Miller, Stewart and Davis and a two-run home run by Brizuela. The Seminole third baseman drilled the first pitch from Huber over the fence in right for his third home run of the season and second of the series. The home run ended the evening for Huber, who was charged with six runs on seven hits as he walked two and struck out one.
Duke chipped away at the Seminole lead with a run in the third and two more in the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-3. The Blue Devils put together back-to-back hits in the third on a single to left by Reed Anthes and a double by Kenny Koplove. Andy Perez brought home Anthes for the first Duke run of the game on a sac-fly to right.
In the fourth, Duke strung together three consecutive hits off Sitz as Jordan Betts doubled to left and scored a batter later on an RBI single to right by Chris Marconcini. After a single by Mark Lumpa and a walk to David Perkins loaded the bases for the Blue Devils, Anthes drove in the second run of the inning on a sac-fly to center.
Matt Hendrix gave the Blue Devils 4.0 shutout innings in relief of Huber holding the Seminoles to just three hits as he hit a batter, walked two and struck out five.
After Duke’s Matt Matuella replaced Hendrix with two outs in the sixth, the Seminoles scored two more runs to extend their lead to 8-3. McGee drew a two-out walk and Brizuela followed with a double to left. Nogowski brought home both runners on an infield single to third but was credited with just one RBI as Brizuela scored on a fielding error by the Blue Devil third baseman.
Florida State concludes its five-game homestand against South Alabama on Tuesday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3. Fans can also listen to the game on the All-Access player and locally on 1270 AM. 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 for the game will be available via gametracker.