TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 6 Florida State (9-0) got 6.0 shutout innings from Scott Sitz en route to a 7-0 victory over Villanova (1-5) on a cool, crisp Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 4,790 on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
Sitz (2-0), along with Bryant Holtmann and Gage Smith, combined for the four-hit shutout, FSU’s second of the season, as the Seminoles remained undefeated on the year. The trio combined to strikeout 14 Wildcat hitters while walking two.
“First off, I was just very pleased with Scotty,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I thought he had another exceptional outing. Villanova was obviously a totally different looking club today. They made a couple of mistakes which cost them a couple of early runs which gave us a little momentum. Scotty took control of the game and kept everything right there.”
Making his third start of the season, Sitz was once again dominant on the hill as the senior right hander scattered just three hits and a walk over 6.0 innings. Of the four base runners he allowed, just two reached second base. Sitz finished with nine strikeouts to tie a career-high as he posted two strikeouts in each of the first four innings on Saturday.
“The biggest thing for me today was the command of my fastball,” said Sitz. “Working both sides of the plate; my change-up and slider were ok today, but the big thing was the command of my fastball, that’s what got me out of jams when I needed to.”
Dating back to last year’s game against UCLA in the College World Series, the Jacksonville Beach, Fla., native has put together a consecutive shutout streak spanning 19.2 innings. In his last five starts, Sitz has allowed just two runs in 29.0 innings.
“Yeah, it was in the World Series,” added Sitz on if he remembers the last run he gave up. “I am hoping to keep that streak going for as long as I possibly can; I am happy with it.”
“As much as anything, it’s Mike Bell doing a great job of getting him in the position to be successful,” added Martin on the recent success of Sitz. “I think that Scotty’s change-up has helped him drastically. He is going to the breaking ball more than he has in the past. I am just very pleased that he is showing us that he can pitch to both sides of the plate and throw the change-up and curveball for strikes.”
Holtmann was just as impressive working 2.0 scoreless innings as he allowed one hit and struck out two. Smith put the finishing touches on the shutout in the ninth striking out three of the four batters that he faced.
Offensively, Marcus Davis and John Nogowski registered five of FSU’s nine hits on the afternoon. For the second straight game, Davis posted multiple hits, runs and RBI. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native finished the game 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a single, two RBI and three runs scored. Nogowski went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.
“It was a good win for us,” added Martin. “I was very pleased that a guy like Marcus Davis came out and played a big part in this win for us. John had another exceptional day. He has been playing well for us. He needs to continue to battle and help us in that five spot.”
Josh Delph, Jose Brizuela, Casey Smit and John Sansone all picked up a hit in the win.
Florida State broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third when Davis blasted an RBI double off the screen in right. Delph, who reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a groundout, scored on the two-out double by Davis. The Seminole left fielder would score a batter later on a fielding error at third by Villanova to give FSU a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Davis once again came through with another clutch two-out hit ripping an RBI double to the gap in right center. Sansone, who walked to lead off the inning, scored all the way from first on the play. After a hit-by-pitch and walk to Stephen McGee and Nogowski, respectively, the Wildcats went to bullpen and called on Matt Longfield to replace starter Stephen Ostapeck. Seth Miller would draw a bases loaded walk to plate Davis and increase FSU’s lead to 4-0.
Villanova’s Ostapeck (0-1) allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits in 4.2 innings as he walked three and struck out one in his first start of the season.
The Seminoles would add to their lead in the seventh scoring three times to make the score 7-0. Davis led off the inning with an infield single and scored on Nogowski RBI double to right center. McGee drew a walk and scored on a pinch hit by Smit. Giovanny Alfonzo brought home Nogowski for the third run of the inning on a fielder’s choice groundball back to the pitcher’s mound.
In all four of FSU’s seven runs on Saturday came on two outs.
The Seminoles and Wildcats are back in action for the third and final game of the series on Sunday, March 3 at 1:00 p.m. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles.com All-Access, while fans can also listen to the game live on the All-Access player. Locally, fans can listen to the game on 100.7 FM. 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 all three games will be available via gametracker.