By: Chris Nee | Noles247
May 31, 2019
ATHENS, Ga. (Noles247) -- No. 3 regional seed Florida State defeated No. 2 regional seed Florida Atlantic, 13-7, in the opening game of the Athens Regional on Friday afternoon from Foley Field.
The Seminoles (37-21) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a trio of home runs off of Owls' (40-20) starter Blake Sanderson.
The Seminoles would ultimately hit six home runs on the day. It marked the second time this season that FSU has hit six or more home runs in a game, as they also achieved the feat against Youngstown State back in late February.
In total, 16 of 20 runs scored on the day came via the long ball with the two teams combining for nine home runs.
FSU improves to 9-1 all-time against FAU. It was the first meeting between the two teams since the 1998 season.
- The first run for the Seminoles was put on the board when center fielder J.C. Flowers hit a solo shot to left center to lead off the top of the second inning. Flowers now has 13 home runs during his breakout season and a team-leading 53 RBI.
- The score was pushed to 3-0 in the top of the second inning when left fielder Tim Becker hit a two-run shot off the scoreboard in right field. It was his first home run of the season and just his fifth and sixth RBI of the 2019 campaign.
- Third baseman Drew Mendoza gave the Seminoles a 5-0 lead with a two-run shot to right center, which was a no-doubter. It was Mendoza's team-leading 15th home run of the season and pushed his RBI total to 52 on the season.
- FAU got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-run home run to left center by right fielder Bobby Morgensen. It was his eighth home run of the season.
- The Seminoles answered back in the next half inning when first baseman Carter Smith hit a bloop single to shallow center to score catcher Matheu Nelson from second base, making it 6-0 for the Seminoles in the top of the fifth inning.
- The Owls led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run by third baseman Joe Montes to center field. It was his ninth of the season and closed the gap to 6-3.
- FSU again answered the Owls, this time in the top of the sixth inning. With shortstop Mike Salvatore on the base paths, Mendoza ripped a moon shot down the right field line to make it 8-3 in favor of the Seminoles. It was his team-leading 16th home run of the season and he surged ahead for the team lead in RBI with 54 on the season.
- FSU starter Drew Parrish made it to the sixth inning, but got chased with the bases loaded and no outs. He was replaced by Chase Haney who allowed a pair of runs on ground outs, including one that deflected off of him. Antonio Velez replaced Haney after he was hit by the come-backer. Velez struck out the lone Owl he faced in the bottom of the sixth inning. FSU did surrender two runs, but in general managed the inning well after loading them up with no outs. FSU leads 8-5 heading to the seventh inning.
- As was a trend throughout the day, FSU answered when the Owls lit up the scoreboard. In the top of the seventh inning, Becker hit his second home run of the game, and the season, to the flag pole in center field. He drove in his fourth run of the day, pushing his season total to eight RBI.
- The ping-pong match on the scoreboard continued in the bottom half of the seventh inning as Morgensen hit a two-run home run to left-center. It was his second home run of the day and ninth of the season. It closed the gap to 10-7 and marked the seventh consecutive half-inning where at least one run was scored.
- After taking an inning off with no scoring, the Seminoles again put two more on the scoreboard in the ninth inning when right fielder Reese Albert hit a two-run home run towards the flag pole in center field. It was his sixth home run of the season for Albert and sixth on the day for the Seminoles. It pushed his RBI total to 28 on the season.
- The final run for the Seminoles came on a grounder by Flowers where an error by the shortstop allowed Mendoza to score from third. The Seminoles led 13-7 with the Owls down to their final three outs.
- Parrish's final line was 5.0 innings pitched, eight hits, five runs (all earned), while walking two and striking out seven. He earned the victory improving to 8-5.
- Haney went 0.2 innings facing just two batters.
- Velez went the final 3.1 innings, allowing a hit, two runs (both earned), while walking one and striking out three. He earned a save, his first of the season.
- FSU's staff combined to walk three and strike out 10.
- FAU starter Blake Sanderson, who entered the game with an 8-2 record and a 3.93 ERA, went five innings allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits, two walks and three strikeouts. The Owls ended up using five total arms on the day. He was stuck with the loss, falling to 8-3 on the season.
- FSU had 20 hits as a team, their most since an early May game against Pitt. Every Seminole starter registered at least one hit. Seven of nine starters registered two or more hits on the day. Shortstop Mike Salvatore led the way with a four-hit day. Every Seminole who stepped up to the plate reached base, as Nico Baldor replaced first baseman Carter Smith in the eighth inning and was hit-by-pitch in his lone plate appearance.
- The Seminoles had eight strikeouts and three walks on the day.
- FSU will face the winner of Friday's other game, which begins at 7 p.m., between No. 1 regional seed Georgia and No. 4 regional seed Mercer. The game between the Bulldogs and the Bears will be shown on SEC Network.
- FSU's second game of the Athens Regional will begin on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Television to be announced after the conclusion of Friday's action.
- The Seminoles are expected to throw right-hander CJ Van Eyk on Saturday. He is 9-3 on the season with a 3.74 ERA.