Van Eyk fans nine in eight innings; Seminoles power past Bulldogs, 12-3

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
June 1, 2019

ATHENS, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Florida State Seminoles exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and scored 12 runs on the Georgia Bulldogs in what was expected to be a pitchers' duel in the winner's bracket game in Athens.

FSU defeated the Dawgs, 12-3.

Already leading 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Seminoles successfully chased Bulldogs starter Emerson Hancock after just four innings and found even more success against Ryan Webb.

Webb issued a pair of leadoff singles to Drew Mendoza and Robby Martin before walking JC Flowers with one out to load the bases for Nander De Sedas, who slapped a single into left field to score Mendoza and Martin and give the Noles a 7-2 game.

Carter Smith, the next batter, then slapped a three-run home run to complete the Noles' five-run frame and make it a 10-2 lead.

FSU added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out, two-run home run for Mike Salvatore, making for a 12-3 game.

The Dawgs got a run back in the top of the eighth on a fielder's choice groundout hit into by Aaron Schunk, making it 12-3, but the Dawgs went quietly in the ninth, getting just one base runner on an FSU fielding error.

It was Georgia who started the game hot, with a leadoff home run from Tucker Maxwell on the second pitch of the game from CJ Van Eyk and a Schunk RBI fielder's choice allowed for Maxwell to score after a leadoff double, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead after three innings.

Van Eyk was shakey after giving up the leadoff blast, facing six batters in the first inning, but settled down to retire the side in order in the second. After the third, Van Eyk faced more than the minimum just twice in five more innings.

FSU worked a run out of Hancock in the third inning on a leadoff solo home run from Tim Becker to get on the board and make it 2-1 and tied the game on a sacrifice fly from Robby Martin, scoring Salvatore, to make it 2-2 after three.

The Seminoles took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, on RBI hits from De Sedas and Becker, making it a 5-2 game.

For a full, detailed rundown on each run scored tonight, click here


Van Eyk stole the show when it was all said and done, tossing 8 innings and scattered nine hits while allowing just three runs and striking out nine.

Clayton Kwiatkowski tossed the ninth for the Noles, striking out a pair.

Hancock, a Cairo, Georgia native, spun the worst start of his 2019 season, allowing a season-worst nine hits and allowing a season-high five runs. His three strikeouts tied for his second-lowest punchout total of the season.

FSU now heads directly to Sunday night's game, at 6 p.m. from Foley Field. The Noles will face the winner of Sunday's afternoon game between the Dawgs and FAU. The loser sees their season come to an end.

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