TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Redshirt freshman David Trexler earned his first career victory as No. 7 Florida State rolled past Valdosta State, 10-2 at Dick Howser Stadium.
In a pre-arranged controlled start, Trexler (1-0) tossed three innings of shutout baseball, surrendering only a pair of infield singles. The lanky right-hander established a new career high with four strikeouts in his second start and fifth appearance. He did not issue a walk.
Neither did his fellow FSU pitchers. In all, eight Seminoles combined for 10 strikeouts without issuing a walk.
More notably, there were no slow walks to the mound Wednesday night by
FSU coach Mike Martin, who missed the game while recovering at home from surgery to repair his left shoulder on Tuesday.
“We always miss coach Martin,” said associate head coach Jamey Shouppe. “But he’s coached us a long time; not only the players but the coaches as well. The only difference was we didn’t have that insurance of having coach beside us.”
Martin’s absence tested the Seminoles’ veteran leadership; something that showed up during Tuesday’s practice and carried right through to the game.
With Trexler dealing from the hill early and FSU batters patiently working counts – the ‘Noles drew 13 walks from seven VSU pitchers – it was a familiar scene without a familiar face on the top step of the dugout.
The Seminoles (22-7, 8-4 ACC) seized control from the start with three runs in the first and four in the second. FSU loaded the bases in the first on a hit batter and a pair of walks before Jayce Boyd lifted a run-scoring sacrifice fly to center. Rafael Lopez followed with a two-out, two-run single through the middle for a 3-0 lead.
Mike McGee contributed an RBI single in the second before James Ramsey unloaded his fifth homer of the season – a three-run shot that cleared Chieftan Way beyond the right field screen.
Ramsey’s blast came on the 11th pitch of his at-bat against VSU’s Kyle Teague.
“We grinded out some great at-bats tonight,” Shouppe said. “That [Ramsey’s home run] was the big hit that got things a little more comfortable for us.”
The 7-0 lead was more than enough against the Blazers (14-18), who were facing the Seminoles for the first time since 1988. Trexler made sure of it, facing one batter over the minimum in his three innings, largely on the strength of his biting curveball.
“My curveball in the pen was probably my most consistent pitch,” Trexler said. “When I stepped foot on the game mound, I found my change-up. So my off-speed was really working for me tonight. I had little control issues with my fastball, but any time you can set up a fastball with an off-speed pitch, you’re doing all right.”
Shouppe was more than pleased with the extended work Trexler turned in. Of his 39 pitches, 26 were strikes, including 15 of 17 curves.
“It was, without a doubt, his best outing as a Seminole,” Shoppe’s said. “I think everybody saw why we get so excited talking about him. …
“He’s got a chance to be very, very good. It’s going to be a long process, a building process for him. We just want to get him confident. The sky’s the limit once he gets a little confidence.”
FSU tacked on single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth to round on the scoring as doubles by Justin Gonzalez, Ramsey and Devon Travis figured in each of those scoring frames.
Valdosta State spoiled FSU’s bid for a fifth shutout this season when Josh Vining doubled off Adam Simmons and scored on Cameron Graves’ RBI single in the seventh. The Blazers added an unearned run in the ninth.
With the mid-week, non-conference win the books, Florida State turns its attention to a three-game weekend home series against No. 10 North Carolina (27-4, 10-2).
Left-hander Sean Gilmartin will go for his seventh victory on the mound Friday night against the Tar Heels. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and tickets are available at Seminoles.com.
In addition to the intra-divisional ACC match-up of top 10 teams, FSU will celebrate Alumni Weekend, which will include recognizing former players on the field during Saturday night’s contest.
For further information, visit: www.seminoles.com