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March 31, 2012
It's safe to say there is a little friendly competition going on between fourth-ranked Florida State's freshman starting pitchers.
One night after Brandon Leibrandt threw a career-high seven scoreless innings, Mike Compton responded with a career-high 7.2 innings in a 2-1 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday.
"He's a great pitcher and I just try to do what he does," Compton said of his fellow freshman starter. "He has great location skills with his pitches and I try to kind of imitate him so it worked tonight."
The win improved Compton to 6-0 on the year, making him the first pitcher in the ACC to reach the six-win plateau. Compton allowed just one run on six hits and no walks as he struck out a career-high eight batters.
"It was a fastball-slider combination," Compton said. "Got ahead of hitters a lot. I don't think I walked anyone and just let the defense play as usual."
The sinker-baller induced eight ground ball outs in the game including a crucial double play in the top of third after allowing the first batters to reach base in the inning.
The Hokies (18-11, 2-9 ACC) lone run in the game came on solo home run from Tyler Horan in the top of the fifth inning. Compton settled back in after the long ball allowing just two more base runners for the rest of the night.
"My mindset after that home run was 'Hey they're not going to score another run off me,'" Compton said. "It's kind of like that each batter you face, you just have to have the mental approach of 'Hey this guy's not going to beat me.' Just try to bear down from there when you get in a jam."
The Seminoles (23-4, 10-1 ACC) scored all the runs they would need in the bottom of the fourth. Devon Travis got things started wit ha lead off double, followed by a James Ramsey single to advance Travis to third.
Ramsey advanced to second on the play after Brendon Hayden was unable to corral the throw from the outfield.
Jayce Boyd then drove in his 31st run on the year on a ground out to first base to advance Ramsey, who would come around to score on a sacrifice fly from Stephen McGee
"That just kind of epitomizes the way that we play the game," Ramsey said of advancing on the Hokies' mishap. "We're going to play hard, we're going to put pressure on the defense, we're going to stay out of double plays, defensively we're going to keep the double play in order. Just the little things are going to get us to Omaha when we're not swinging it as well like we didn't do tonight. It's just a want to, that's all I was trying to do."
Compton was lifted in the top of the eight with two outs for fellow freshman Bryan Holtmann who threw just two pitches in the inning as McGee threw out Mark Zagunis trying to steal second.
Robert Benincasa eared his ninth save of the year after he worked a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one.
Hokies' starter Marc Secchino (2-4) took the loss despite giving up just two runs on three hits and three walks in seven innings pitched.
FSU head coach Mike Martin was thrilled with Compton's performance but may have been more pleased with the fact that his club committed zero errors after committing four in the series opener on Friday.
"We played solid defense," Martin said. "Jayce made a couple of nice plays on some tough throws. We turned a double play in a crucial situation. It was just a well-played college baseball game."
FSU will go for the sweep of the Hokies on Sunday as Peter Miller (3-1, 3.32 ERA) takes on Andrew Aizenstadt (2-1, 3.46 ERA) at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
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