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April 26, 2013
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Up until Friday night's game, the best birthday gift that Marcus Davis received for his 21st birthday was a pair of new shoes from his mother.
That is until he treated himself with a 2 for 3 day at the plate with a double, a walk and three RBI.
Thanks to Davis' birthday performance and a terrific start on the mound by Luke Weaver, No. 9 Florida State defeated Wake Forest 7-3 in front of 4,435 fans at Dick Howser Stadium in the first of a three-game series.
"It was one of the better birthdays at the plate to be honest," Davis said. "I was just trying to put together a few good at-bats and me and (Mike Martin Jr.) have been working on some things, as far as approach and how I approach the baseball, and results are starting to come a little bit."
Weaver struck out five of the first seven batters he faced as he finished the night with nine strikeouts. The sophomore allowed three hits and three walks in seven scoreless innings as he improved to 5-1 on the year and FSU's overall record moved to 33-9 and 14-8 in the ACC.
He said he was anxious to get back on the mound after last weekend's start against Virginia. In his lone loss of the season, Weaver allowed seven earned runs on six hits in just 4 2/3 innings pitched.
"I was coming in with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I was really anxious to get back out here and shake the last strike off. Everything was really working early, just pounding the strike zone with the fastball. Commanding with the changeup, which I haven't really done as of late for a while. Slider was hitting with first-pitch strikes and when I needed to get it over."
The Demon Deacons (24-21, 7-15 ACC) only threatened Weaver in the top of the third inning. All three runs came off of reliever Brandon Johnson in the ninth inning.
Weaver issued a lead off walk in the third that was compounded by John Sansone error, as he dropped what would have been a double-play ball at second.
After inducing a ground out by Evan Stephens, who was ruled out on interference as he got in Casey Smit's way at first, Weaver got his second double-play off the night. This time Sansone made a good turn as shortstop Giovanny Aflonzo made a better play to get the ball in the hole.
"It was awesome," Weaver said of the double-play. "They hardly ever mess up on those double plays. They just got a little too antsy (earlier in the inning) and I just tried to buckle down and throw some good pitches and they came through. It wasn't an easy double-play, but I was pumped and I was ready to keep on pitching the next couple innings."
Wake Forest starter Matt Pirro took the loss as he allowed five runs, three earned, on two hits and four walks in six innings.
FSU finished the game with seven runs on just five hits and six walks. Davis was the lone Seminole to record multiple hits in the game. Jameis Winston went 1 for 4 with a triple and two runs scored, Jose Brizuela was 1 for 4 with an RBI and Sansone was 0 for 2 with a sacrifice-fly RBI.
"It was little bit curious, but we did some things very well," Martin said of scoring seven runs on just five hits. "Some times you can get away with that."
FSU and Wake Forest return to action on Saturday night at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN3. Brandon Leibrandt (5-4, 4.17 ERA) will start for the Seminoles, while Justin Van Grouw (4-5, 3.44 ERA) will get the call for the Demon Deacons.
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