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April 21, 2012

No. 2 FSU clinches series over No. 11 Miami 6-1

No. 2 Florida State took advantage of sloppy play from No. 11 Miami to clinch the three-game series with a 6-1 win on Saturday afternoon.

The Seminoles (32-7, 18-2 ACC) scored four runs in the bottom of the second behind three hits and two Hurricane errors and never looked back.

FSU added a pair of runs on a two-run John Nogowski single in the bottom of the eighth inning, when play resumed after a 1 hour, 37-minute rain delay.

"Taking advantage of errors is one of the best ways to put a team down," said FSU designated hitter John Holland, who finished the game 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. "And it just seems to snowball from there."

Miami (26-13, 12-8 ACC) committed four errors as starter Eric Whaley took the loss to fall to 3-3 on the season. Whaley gave up four runs, just one earned, on three hits and six walks in four innings of work. He had eclipsed 100 pitches before he could get out of the fourth inning.

All four runs scored off of Whaley came in the bottom of the second after Jose Brizuela hit into what should have been a double play, but an errant throw from Esteban Tresgallo pulled Stephen Perez off the bag as everyone was safe.

After a walk to Justin Gonzalez loaded the bases, FSU struck first on a two-run single by Holland up the middle. The Seminoles added another pair of runs on sacrifice flies from Seth Miller and Sherman Johnson for a 4-0 lead.

"I think that a couple of key hits were certainly crucial for us," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "The at bats that Seth Miller and Sherman Johnson had to score runs for us when it was second and third nobody out and both of them drove in runs with sac flies, those were big. It was a good piece of hitting on both of their parts."

Miami committed errors in the third and fourth innings as well but FSU was unable to take further advantage of their rival's miscues. FSU left 11 runners stranded on base but never trailed as Miami had just six hits and left five runners on base.

After failing to get out of the third inning in his previous two starts, FSU starter Mike Compton got back on track Saturday afternoon. The freshman allowed just one run on five hits and one walk, and stuck out three to improve to 7-0 on the season.

"It was just all about keeping the ball low, having that run on it, that sink to it," Compton said. "Just really finishing the pitches and I really wasn't doing that the past couple starts."

Compton left the game in the top of the sixth with no outs and the bases loaded. He was relived by fellow freshman Luke Weaver.

Weaver gave up just one run, charged to Compton, on a sacrifice fly by Chantz Mack. Weaver proceeded to strike out Rony Rodriguez and got Brad Fieger to pop out after falling behind in the count 3-0 to end the threat.

"I fell behind a little bit and I knew I needed to come back and attack," Weaver said. "I did that and it worked out in my favor. Got a couple strikeouts, some big pop ups and ground balls. I knew my defense was going to get the outs so it worked out good."

Weaver then pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth inning to finish with a final line of three innings pitched, no runs allowed, just one hit, and four strikeouts.

Robert Benincasa pitched a perfect ninth inning, recorded two strikeouts as FSU clinched it's third straight regular season series over Miami.

With Scott Sitz (2-2, 2.86 ERA) on the mound FSU will go for its first sweep of the Hurricanes since 2002, and first at Dick Howser since 2000, Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Miami will pitch Steven Ewing (4-0, 1.95 ERA), and the game will be televised by CSS.

"Miami will be back with a vengeance tomorrow," Martin said. "We can't sit and be happy with two wins. When you're in this position of course you want to go play well the next day and that's what we're striving to do."

Notables

  • Jayce Boyd left the game in the top of the fifth inning due to the flu. Boyd had his consecutive games streak snapped at 111 on Wednesday as the flu forced him to sit out. After leaving the game Martin sent Boyd back home and said his status for Sunday is uncertain.

  • Boyd's 0 for 3 performance in the first four innings snapped a 10 game hitting steak for the junior first baseman.

  • Before the weather delay there was an announced crowd of 6,010 fans on hand for Saturday's game.



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