DeLAND, Fla. – No. 7 Florida State (40-9) scored eight runs in the top of the first and never looked back Wednesday afternoon in cruising to a 14-2 victory over Stetson (23-26) on Melching Field inside Conrad Park. The win completed a four-game sweep of the Hatters as FSU outscored Stetson 46-11 in the series.
“We are elated,” said head coach Mike Martin on completing the sweep of Stetson following Wednesday’s victory. “We played very good baseball. Overall, we had two very good games.”
With the victory, Florida State reached the 40-win plateau for the 36th year in a row. The Seminoles also closed out the regular season with a record of 17-2 against in-state schools winning all seven series they played which included five sweeps (Jacksonville, USF, Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast and UCF).
Florida State finished the game with 13 hits, while 13 others hitters reached via a walk or hit-by-pitch. The Seminoles drew 10 walks on Wednesday for their seventh double-digit walk game of the season.
Seth Miller paced the Seminole offense with three hits in five plate appearances. The senior outfielder collected a double, two singles, scored three times and recorded an RBI. Miller reached base in four of his five plate appearances.
“We came out and just tried to get a ‘W’ in our last mid-week game of the season,” said Miller. “I was just trying to do as much as I could as a lead-off hitter. My job is to get on base for these guys like DJ and Marcus and Steve behind me to drive me in. That was my goal and it worked out today.”
Four other Seminoles registered multiple hits in the win including DJ Stewart, Marcus Davis, Casey Smit and Giovanny Alfonzo. Stewart drove in a game-high four runs, while Davis and John Sansone registered two RBI apiece. Alfonzo reached base on all four of his plate appearances on Wednesday recording a pair of singles and two walks. He also scored three times.
Bryant Holtmann (3-0) picked up the win for the Seminoles as the sophomore southpaw made his first career start on Wednesday. Holtmann worked 2.0 innings allowing a run on five hits as he struck out one and did not walk a batter.
Jameis Winston followed with three perfect innings in relief. The freshman right hander retired all nine batters that he faced to tie career-highs in innings pitched and strikeouts (4).
Brandon Johnson, Kyle Bird, Gage Smith and Robby Coles all threw an inning in relief in the win.
Florida State sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the first scoring eight runs, five on two outs, off Stetson starter Josh Thorne (3-1). The Seminoles recorded six hits and three walks as it marked their second most productive run-scoring inning this year. Sansone and Stewart each had two-run doubles in the top of the first, while Stephen McGee and Alfonzo picked up RBI singles to left. Winston brought home a run as he drew a bases loaded walk and Smit was credited with an RBI on a groundout to first.
“A lot of things went right for us in that first inning,” added Martin. “We got some key hits. It’s always good to get off to a good start on get away day. It was just a good job of approaching the game the right way. I am just very proud of our team.”
Stetson brought home a run in the bottom of the second off Holtmann to cut the Florida State lead to 8-1. K’shawn Smith drove in Tyler Bocock on an infield single to third. The Hatters tried to add one more run on a fly ball to center off the bat of Kevin Fagan but Seth Miller delivered a nice one-hop throw to the plate and McGee made an outstanding lunging tag to get Darby McCormick for the final out of the inning. The outfield assist for Miller was his team leading ninth of the season.
The Seminoles responded in the top of the third with three more runs to increase their lead to 11-1. Stewart added to his RBI total on the afternoon with a two-run single to left, while Jose Brizuela brought home Miller on a sac-fly to right.
FSU extended its lead to 14-1 with three more runs in the fourth. Smit led off the inning with a single to right, moved to second on a walk to Alfonzo and scored on an RBI double to right by Miller. Both Alfonzo and Miller would score two batters later as Davis dropped a bloop single down the line in left.
Stetson took advantage of a Seminole error to push across a run in the eighth off Bird. With the bases loaded, pinch hitter Kyle Zech laced an RBI single to right scoring Smith who reached after getting hit by a pitch.
Florida State will continue its current road swing and will head to NC State for a pivotal ACC Atlantic division showdown this weekend. The three-game series will begin Saturday, May 11 at 12 noon. Games two and three of the series are set for 3 pm and 7 pm, respectively. Fans can listen to all three games on the Seminoles.com All-Access player and locally on 100.7 FM (Saturday & Sunday) and 1270 AM (Monday). 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.