Tallahassee - Behind a career-high four-hit performance from John Nogowski, fourth-ranked Florida State (35-11) hung on for the 3-2 victory over Minnesota (22-18) in game two of a doubleheader Saturday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The win gave the Seminoles the doubleheader sweep, their fifth in as many chances this year. Florida State went four straight weeks of playing doubleheaders during ACC play earlier in 2014 sweeping games against NC State, Clemson, Boston College and Notre Dame.
“Two very important games for us,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “I am very pleased that we won two ball games with what we are going through right now. Five doubleheaders we have played this year, I don’t want an opportunity for a sixth. This is the fifth time that those young men have gotten it done in both games. The chance of winning both games is very difficult.”
Mike Compton (5-1) worked into the eighth inning giving the Seminoles 7.2 strong innings as he allowed just two runs on seven hits as he walked one and struck out four. The redshirt sophomore right hander faced the minimum in an inning five times and was the beneficiary of throwing single-digit pitches in an inning four times including a three pitch fifth inning.
“Mike Compton deserved the win,” said Martin. “He pitched very well; glad to see him do what he did on the mound tonight.”
Florida State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game two scoring a run in the first and two more in the fourth off Minnesota starter Ben Meyer (4-3).
Josh Delph led off the first with a walk and after two quick outs by Meyer, moved to third on a single to center by Nogowski. Delph would score a batter later on an RBI double down the line in right off the bat of Jose Brizuela.
In the fourth, Nogowski and Brizuela opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After a deep fly to right advanced both runners 90 feet, a throwing error by Golden Gopher catcher Austin Athmann on an attempted pick-off play at third brought home Nogowski and moved Brizuela to third. Two batters later, Justin Gonzalez drove in Brizuela on a sac-fly to left to give the Seminoles a 3-0 advantage.
Minnesota slowly chipped away at the lead scoring single runs in the seventh and eighth innings. The Gophers got on the board in the seventh as Dan Olinger led off the inning with a single through the left side and scored on an RBI single through the right side off the bat of designated hitter Mark Tatera.
Olinger would bring Minnesota within one of the lead at 3-2 on an RBI double down the line in right in the eighth off Compton. Dylan Silva entered and kept the lead intact as he got pinch hitter Matt Fiedler to pop out to Gonzalez at short.
The Golden Gophers would not go quietly in the ninth as Bobby Juan led off the inning with a double to right on a ball that took a bad hop over the head of Nogowski at first. Silva came right back to get Tatera looking on strikes before Athmann put runners at the corners on a bloop single to short left center.
Martin then called on Peter Miller to get the final two outs and that is exactly what the senior right hander did. Miller struck out both batters that he faced to record his first career save.
“Dylan Silva pitched very well,” added Martin. “He did not get any breaks what so ever, had the bad hop double and a check-swing, almost single and yet he kept his poise. Peter came in, did a great job of getting it done for us.”
Nogowski and Brizuela combined for 12 of Florida State’s 19 hits during Saturday’s doubleheader. Nogowski went 7-for-9 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Brizuela finished the day 5-for-8 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored.
DJ Stewart finished game two 0-for-4 at the plate bringing to a close his streak of reaching base in consecutive games at 65, a school record. Stewart’s streak spanned over two seasons starting back on April 20, 2013 in game one of a doubleheader at Virginia.
“Sixty-five is phenomenal,” added Martin. “We alluded to it in the clubhouse after tonight’s game. That is an unbelievable accomplishment.”
Florida State and Minnesota will wrap up the three game series on Sunday, May 4 with first pitch at 1:00 p.m. The game will air live on 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.