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March 20, 2012

No. 4 Florida State blasts Stetson 17-8

After driving in the winning runs against Virginia on Monday, Florida State outfielder Seth Miller picked up right where he left off on Tuesday night against Stetson.

Miller was 4 for 6 with a career-high six RBI, a double, and a grand slam (2) as No. 4 FSU (18-2) defeated Stetson (15-5) 17-8 in the first of a two-game series at Dick Howser Stadium.

"I felt really comfortable tonight," Miller said. "Yesterday was big confidence boost for me. I was seeing the ball great from the start off that lefty, I hit a double down the line with two strikes. I was seeing it well, I was recognizing every pitch and just built off that all game long."

In addition to Miller, the top of the Seminoles' order also had a big night at the plate. Leadoff hitter Sherman Johnson was 2 for 3 with three walks and three runs scored, Devon Travis had a career-high four hits and a walk with three RBI and three runs scored, and three-hole hitter James Ramsey was 2 for 4 with three-run homer (6).

"The top of the order certainly had some great at-bats," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "That's what we've got to continue to preach throughout our lineup."

FSU looked to be in control leading 8-2 in the top of the sixth, but Stetson began to chip away at the lead as the Seminoles' bullpen was unable to find the strike zone.

Senior Hunter Scantling walked in a pair of runs, and fellow senior Brian Busch also walked in a run before getting out of the inning with a strikeout.

All three runs were charged to Brandon Johnson, who entered the game in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and no outs, but promptly got out of the jam with a strikeout followed by a tailor made 6-4-3 double play.

Brandon Johnson (1-0) was awarded his first collegiate win as he gave up three earned runs on two hits and one walk in 1.1 innings pitched.

Busch was relived in the seventh inning by Gage Smith, who finally settled things down for FSU. Smith picked up his second save of the year as he allowed one earned run on four hits and walk in 2.1 innings.

"The pitching of Gage Smith settled the game down when he came in," Martin said. "It's not easy to pitch in that situation because you're just trying to get outs. It just goes to show you that his ball runs pretty good because he got us some quick outs."

Stetson cut the FSU lead to 8-7 in the top half of the seventh, but the 'Noles quickly responded with eight runs in the bottom half of the inning to put the game away for good.

FSU will play its fifth game in five days on Wednesday as it takes on Stetson again at 4 p.m. ET. Luke Weaver (0-0, 17.05 ERA) will get the start for FSU opposite the Hatters' Josh Powers (1-0, 2.19 ERA).

"We were going to practice anyway," Martin said. "So if we're going to practice anyway let's go ahead and play nine."

Notable

  • All eight Stetson runs were scored with two outs.

  • The two teams used a total of 13 pitchers in the game, who gave up a combined 20 walks as it took 3:58 to complete all nine innings.

  • Outfielder Stephen Spradling recorded his first career hit with a single to right field in the eighth inning.



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