TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 7 Florida State scored six runs in the first two innings en route to an 8-3 win over the Duke baseball team in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader at Dick Howser Stadium.
With the victory, Florida State completed the weekend sweep and improved to 30-6 (13-5 ACC) on the year, while Duke falls to 21-17 (8-10 ACC).
“First off, give credit to Florida State,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “They hit exceptionally well. I thought their offensive approach was outstanding. I give them credit because they laid off some pitches that other teams have not. We put some pitches in sports where other teams have chased and fouled them off and gotten into bad counts. Florida State didn’t expand their zone at all. Instead of being 0-1, we were 1-0 a lot. It makes an offense a lot better.”
Eight different Blue Devils had a hit in the ball game, led by junior Mark Lumpa’s 2-for-4 performance, which extended his hit streak to a career-best nine games.
Third baseman Joe Brizuela was 3-for-4 with three RBI and first baseman John Nogowski was 3-for-5 with an RBI to lead the Seminoles.
Left fielder Marcus Davis belted his second home run of the weekend, a solo shot to right, in the bottom of the first to give the Seminoles an early lead. After Stephen McGee walked and stole second, Brizuela drove in FSU’s second run of the series finale.
Florida State registered three-straight doubles in the second to extend its lead to four runs. Brizuela sent a two-run homer to right field to make it a 6-0 game.
Duke put a run on the board in the top of the third as catcher Reed Anthes lined a base hit to left and shortstop Kenny Koplove followed with a double. Second baseman Andy Perez picked up the RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The Blue Devils added a pair of runs the next inning to cut the Florida State advantage to 6-3. Third baseman Jordan Betts started things off with a one-out double and scored on a Chris Marconcini RBI single. A Lumpa base hit and David Perkins walk loaded the bases for Anthes, who drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center.
Duke had its chances to pull closer, leaving five runners on between the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but the Blue Devils were unable to capitalize. Florida State added a pair of runs in the sixth, increasing its lead to 8-3. McGee walked with two outs and Brizuela doubled to begin the rally. Both runs would come home on a Nogowski infield single.
Freshman Nick Hendrix pitched four scoreless innings in relief for the Blue Devils, striking out a career-high-tying five batters while allowing three hits. Sophomore Andrew Istler threw two scoreless frames with a pair of strikeouts to close out the game.
“First off, tremendous job by Nick Hendrix out of the bullpen,” Pollard said. “After they put up the four spot in the second and are up 6-0, to come in and put four zeroes on the board and hold the ball game in check, was a tremendous job. Offensively, we have to take advantage of that. We have to find a way to scratch a few more across. We cut it to 6-3 and looked like we were starting to get to [Scott] Sitz and never did deliver that big hit where we could climb all the way back in the game.”
Junior Robert Huber (5-3) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits in 1.2 innings of work. FSU right-hander Scott Sitz (7-0) picked up the win, working five innings while giving up three runs on six hits.
The Blue Devils step out of conference play Tuesday, welcoming North Carolina A&T to Jack Coombs Field for the second game of a home-and-home series. Duke resumes the conference slate this coming week, traveling to nearby Chapel Hill, N.C., for three games against North Carolina.