TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A five-run third inning propelled No. 7 Florida State to an 8-5 victory over the Duke baseball team in game one of a Saturday doubleheader at Dick Howser Stadium.
Duke (21-16, 8-9 ACC) had its chances in the early innings, but the Blue Devils left four on base in the first three frames. Florida State (29-6, 12-5 ACC) in turn was able to manufacture a run in the second then plated five in the third to take a six-run lead.
FSU starter Brandon Leibrandt (5-3) tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts as the Seminole lefty scattered eight hits over seven innings. Leibrandt gave up one run and did not issue a walk on the afternoon.
Duke right-hander Drew Van Orden (2-4) took the loss, allowing seven runs over seven innings of work. The Blue Devil junior struck out eight batters and walked two.
Senior Jeff Kremer went 4-for-5 at the plate with a three-run double in the ninth while junior Mark Lumpa extended his hit streak to eight games with a pair of singles. Sophomore Grant McCabe was 2-for-3 with an RBI and junior David Perkins was 2-for-2 with an RBI as well.
Third baseman Jose Brizuela reached base in all four at bats to lead the Seminoles. Brizuela had three hits, including a double and a home run, while center fielder Seth Miller and left fielder DJ Stewart were both 3-for-5.
Brizuela doubled to lead off the bottom of the second and advanced to third on a Brett Knief sacrifice bunt. First baseman Casey Smit lifted a fly ball to left deep enough to score Brizuela for the first run of the game.
Second baseman John Sansone kicked off a five-run third for the Seminoles, lacing a single to left for the first of five FSU hits in the frame. Stewart and Marcus Davis drove in a run each before back-to-back home runs extended Florida State’s lead to 6-0. Catcher Stephen McGee drove an 0-2 pitch over the left field fence, his fifth home run of the season, and Brizuela followed suit with a solo shot to right.
Van Orden settled down after the third and did not permit another Florida State run until the bottom of the seventh. Knief reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to third on a Smit single and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 7-0 ball game.
A Stewart RBI single in the eighth plated the Seminoles final run of the game.
Duke made it interesting in the ninth as Perkins drove in Lumpa and Kremer roped a bases-loaded double down the right field line to cut the FSU lead to 8-5. The rally was too little too late for the Blue Devils as Seminole reliever Bryant Holtman induced a groundout to third to end the game.
Game two of today’s doubleheader to set to begin at approximately 7:35 p.m.