Atlanta, GA - Top-ranked Florida State (26-8, 13-4) suffered its third straight loss falling to Georgia Tech (23-13, 10-7) 12-4 Saturday afternoon inside Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets broke open a 1-0 lead scoring a combined 10 runs in the fourth and fifth innings plating four runs in the fourth and six more in the fifth to clinch their first regular season series over the Seminoles since taking 2-of-3 from FSU in Atlanta in 2009.
“That was just one of those games in which nothing seemed to go our way,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “We would get opportunities and weren’t able to capitalize on them. They got opportunities, they capitalized on them. You tip your hat to them; they did a great job.”
“That’s the thing about baseball, its humbling,” added DJ Stewart. “We have been on a tear lately, but that’s the game of baseball; you go on streaks like this, you have your ups and downs, but what we have to take from this is that we get to play tomorrow, turn the page, this game is over with.”
Saturday’s defeat marked Florida State’s first series loss in the ACC this year and just third in the last 16 league series dating back to the start of the 2013 season.
Five Yellow Jacket hitters finished with multiple hits including Daniel Spingola who registered a game-high three hits in game two finishing a home run shy of the cycle. Mitch Earnest drove in four runs to tie a career-high posting a three-run home run in the fifth and an RBI single in the sixth.
Georgia Tech starter Devin Stanton went 6.0 shutout innings to improve to 3-1 on the year. The redshirt junior scattered five hits as he tied a career-high in innings pitched on Saturday afternoon. Stanton walked just one while striking out five.
“The biggest thing is that they are throwing strikes,” said Stewart on Georgia Tech’s starting pitchers through the first two games. “They are hitting their spots; they are throwing strikes both in and out and they are throwing their off-speed for strikes. We have got to take better swings; we have to hit the pitches that we should hit and hopefully they will fall.”
Stewart paced the Seminole offense on Saturday as the sophomore left fielder reached base on three of his four plate appearances. Stewart finished 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Justin Gonzalez also picked up two hits and drove in two in the game two loss.
Just like Friday night, Georgia Tech jumped out to the early lead scoring a run in the bottom of the first off Florida State starter Mike Compton. The first two Yellow Jackets to the plate registered hits as Spingola led things off with a single up the middle on the very first pitch from Compton and Mott Hyde followed with a run scoring double that one-hopped the fence in left scoring Spingola from first to give Georgia Tech the early 1-0 advantage.
The Seminoles left four runners on through the first three innings including two in the top of the first when Josh Delph and Gonzalez led off the game with back-to-back singles. Brett Knief and John Sansone opened the second with a single and hit-by-pitch, respectively, but Stanton kept the Seminoles off the scoreboard recording a fielder’s choice groundout and an inning ending double play. Stewart laced a two-out double down the line in right in the third to extend his streak of reaching base in consecutive games to 55 straight but was left on the base paths as John Nogowski hit a hard line drive to first.
The Yellow Jackets extended their lead in the fourth scoring four more runs off Compton to make the score 5-0. Keenan Innis registered an RBI single to left, while Spingola provided the big blow with a two-run triple to the gap in right center ending the afternoon for Compton. Spingola scored a batter later on an errant throw at short on a groundball off the bat of Hyde.
Compton (3-1) worked just 3.2 innings on Saturday afternoon in suffering his first loss of the season. The sophomore right hander gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits as he finished with two walks and four strikeouts marking his shortest outing of the season.
Georgia Tech broke the game open in the fifth scoring six runs off three Seminole pitchers. The Yellow Jackets sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning recording five hits while taking advantage of a Florida State error. Brandon Gold opened the scoring with an RBI ground-rule double off the batter’s eye in straight away center. Earnest followed with his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to left. The scoring continued with an RBI single to left by Hyde and a two-out infield single by A.J. Murray that ricocheted off the body of pitcher Brandon Johnson.
Taylor Blatch was charged with two runs in 0.1 innings, while Kenny Burkhead gave up three runs on three hits in 0.1 innings of work.
The Yellow Jackets pushed their lead to 12-0 in the sixth as Earnest drove in his fourth run of the game on an RBI single to left.
The Seminoles broke through in the seventh scoring four runs all on two outs off Matthew Gorst. Gonzalez plated FSU’s first two runs of the game with a two-run triple to left. Stewart followed with a towering two-run shot to straight away center to cut the deficit to 12-4. The sophomore from Yulee, Fla., took the first pitch he saw from Gorst over the batter’s eye for his seventh home run of the season.
Johnson finished the afternoon giving up two runs, one earned, on six hits in 2.2 innings of work. Alec Byrd worked a scoreless eighth inning for the Seminoles as he faced four batters and walked one.
Florida State and Georgia Tech will wrap-up the three-game series on Sunday, April 13 at 1:00 p.m. The game will air live on CSS & ESPN3. Audio will be available on the Seminoles.com All-Access player. Locally fans can listen to the game on 100.7 FM.
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.