Seven-run seventh powers Noles past Maine, 9-1, for series sweep

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
February 17, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida State Seminoles scored seven runs in the seventh inning and pitching combined for 14 strikeouts as FSU swept the season-opening series against the Maine Black Bears in a 9-1 Sunday afternoon victory.

Leading 2-1 at the seventh inning stretch, the FSU offense exploded for seven runs in the inning against Maine reliever Sam McCarthy.

After recording the first out of the inning on the frame's first pitch, McCarthy allowed four straight batters to reach base on walks to Nico Balder and Carter Smith before Nander De Sedas was hit with a pitch to load the bases for Matheu Nelson, who drew a bases-loaded walk to score pinch-runner McGuire Weaver and give FSU a 3-1 lead.

With two outs in the seventh, JC Flowers extended the FSU lead to 5-1 one a two-run single, and later came in to score himself on an RBI single off the bat of Drew Mendoza to give the Seminoles a 6-1 advantage.

The final blow of the inning came off the bat of Robby Martin, who hit a ball off the fencing in right field to clear the bases and add three more runs to the scoreboard, giving the Noles a 9-1 lead.

In total, 11 men came to the plate for FSU in the frame.

Florida State struck first in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run double from Elijah Cabell, scoring Mike Salvatore and Drew Mendoza, who both reached via walks earlier in the inning.

From there, the Noles' offense went cold, as Maine reliever Nicholas Sinacola (who entered the game after just one inning of work from Black Bears' starter Nick SIlva) retired 14 of the 16 batters he faced, issuing just two walks.

From the second through sixth innings, Sinacola retired 12 FSU batters in a row.

Maine scored their only run of the game in the top of the sixth inning against FSU reliever Antonio Velez.

Joe Bramanti stroked a one-out double into right field and scored on a two-out RBI single from Cody Pasic. The play at the plate was initially called out, but instant replay overturned the call, as Bramanti touched home plate before Nelson could tag him with the throw from right field.

FSU starter Shane Drohan was effective albeit inconsistent in his three innings of work. He struck out seven batters and walked four, but tossed three innings of hitless, shutout baseball.

Velez was good in relief as well, allowing just three hits in four innings, the lone run and struck out three.

Jack Anderson and JC Flowers combined to throw the final two innings for the Noles. Flowers ran into a bit of a jam in the ninth, putting the first two runners he faced on, but struck out two straight batters and induced a groundout to end the game.

Maine, in total, left nine runners on the base paths.

FSU returns to the diamond on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. contest against the Jacksonville Dolphins at John Sessions Stadium. Tuesday's game can be seen on ESPN3.

The Seminoles return to Tallahassee this weekend for a three-game series against Youngstown State. First pitch for Friday's game is slated for 4 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday boast 1 p.m. first pitches.

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