DURHAM, N.C. - Junior right-hander Marcus Stroman held No. 12 Florida State hitless for five and a third innings but the Seminoles got a two-run triple from center fielder James Ramsey in a three-run eighth inning to defeat Duke 5-3 on Friday evening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Stroman (1-2) struck out nine batters in 7.1 innings and held Florida State (12-1, 1-0 ACC) to just five hits. Stroman limited the Seminoles to two runs through seven innings and carried a 3-2 lead into the eighth.
Trailing 3-2 in the top of the eighth, Florida State right fielder Seth Miller and third baseman Sherman Johnson led off the inning with back-to-back singles to center field. After a fielder's choice gave the Seminoles runners at the corners with one out, Ramsey sent a two-run triple into the gap in right center to give Florida State a one-run lead. Ramsey would then score on a groundout by first baseman Jayce Boyd to account for the final margin.
Duke (7-9, 0-1 ACC) had taken a 3-2 lead in the seventh. With the score tied at 2-2, right fielder Grant McCabe singled to left center to begin the frame. With two outs on the board, McCabe would steal second to get into scoring position. Shortstop Angelo LaBruna then gave the Blue Devils runners at the corners when he reached on an infield single. Catcher Mike Rosenfeld then drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI-single through the left side, giving Duke its first lead of the game.
Florida State took advantage of a Duke error in the first and later scored the game's first run on a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead in the opening frame.
Ramsey picked up Florida State's first hit of the game on a triple to right center with one out in the sixth inning. Boyd drove Ramsey in on the very next pitch on an RBI-groundout, giving the Seminoles a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Devils answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2. LaBruna doubled high off the wall in left field to start the inning. Two batters later, designated hitter Jeff Kremer singled to right to give Duke runners at first and third. Second baseman Matt Berezo would then beat out a double play ball, allowing LaBruna to score from third. Center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms then drove the first pitch he saw into the gap in right center for an RBI-triple, tying the game at 2-2.
Florida State starter Brandon Leibrandt held Duke hitless for the first four innings, retiring 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. Leibrandt eventually limited the Blue Devils to two runs on three hits in 5.2 innings of work. He added six strikeouts on the night.
Hunter Scantling (2-0) was the beneficiary of the three-run eighth inning, picking up the win despite giving up the Florida State lead in the seventh. Gage Smith worked a scoreless eighth for the Seminoles before Robert Benincasa closed out the ninth. Benincasa struck out three of the four batters he faced in the final inning to earn his fifth save of the season.
Stroman struck out the side in the seventh inning and had a stretch where he retired 10 straight batters. Stroman had 1-2-3 innings in the fourth, fifth and seventh.
Senior reliever David Putman came on in the eighth and held Florida State hitless in 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.
McCabe and LaBruna both had two hits and a run scored to lead the Blue Devils at the plate. Piwnica-Worms added his RBI-triple, while Rosenfeld finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. Kremer and first baseman Andy Perez both had a hit and Berezo drove in a run for Duke.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. Sunday's series finale will be at 1 p.m. GoDuke.com will have exclusive live video coverage of the remainder of the series.