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May 6, 2012

Gonzalez grand slam lifts FSU past Maryland 9-2

On Saturday the top of the Florida State order provided the pop in win over Maryland.

Sunday it was the bottom of the top-ranked Seminoles' order that provided the run support in a 9-2 win over the Terrapins at Dick Howser Stadium.

FSU's 7-9 hitters (Justin Gonzalez, Stephen Spradling, and Josh Delph) drove in eight of the nine runs, including a third-inning grand slam by Gonzalez.

"That's what we're striving for," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "Is to get everybody involved. That undoubtedly was huge."

In the second inning FSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a pair of two-run hits by Spradling and Delph. Spradling poked a single to right with the bases loaded, and Delph followed with a double to left field.

One inning later Gonzalez further broke things open as FSU loaded the bases again. The junior shortstop took a 1-0 pitch and hammered it over the wall in left-center to one of the deeper parts of the park for his second grand slam of the year and seventh home run.

"I put my head down and started taking off," said Gonzalez, who finished the game 2 for 2 with four RBI, two runs scored, and two walks. "Once I heard the crowd cheer and stuff like that I knew it had gone out. It felt good. I knew I had put a good swing on it and it was one those where you feel like you've hit nothing but air."

With an eight-run lead, starter Mike Compton (9-0) cruised to his ninth victory of the season. The freshman allowed just two runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks in five innings.

He struck out six batters, including two to close out the fifth inning. The strikeouts got Compton out of one out, runners on second and third jam.

"I was a little shaky at times but I was able to make key pitches when I had to," Compton said. "The control was maybe a little off, but I felt like I just made key pitches when I had to and relied on fastball, slider, and mixed away. Had a couple good changeups in there and it worked out."

FSU added another run in the bottom of the eighth on Jayce Boyd's fourth hit of the day. The junior first baseman was 4 for 5 with four singles and RBI in the game to raise his ACC-leading batting average to .405 on the year.

"I'm seeing (the ball) pretty good," Boyd said. "I got a little anxious (Saturday), just trying to do a little too much. I just went back to my same approach, just take what the pitcher gives you and do your job."

Compton was replaced by Gage Smith in the sixth. Smith gave up just one hit and one walk in his two innings of work. The redshirt sophomore hasn't allowed a run in his last 12.1 innings pitched.

Bryant Holtmann finished the game with his own pair of scoreless innings, striking out two, allowing just one walk, and no hits.

The win improved FSU to 39-7 overall, 21-2 in the ACC, and clinched the 12th weekend series of the season (that's all of them). Maryland fell to 29-22 on the year and 8-18 in conference play.

"It's just such a huge honor to do that," said Boyd of winning every weekend series thus far. "It's just a pride thing. You can always get out here against guys and just kind of take the game for granted and lose one game or something like that, but it just doesn't happen with this club. We have a lot of maturity and good leaders on this team and we just keep our composure and play the game."

FSU will go for the sweep on Monday night as freshman Luke Weaver (0-1, 5.47 ERA) will make the first conference start of his career. Maryland will counter with David Carroll (3-3, 3.79 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.

Notable

  • Junior second baseman Devon Travis was removed from the game in the fourth inning due to pain in his foot stemming from an ingrown toenail. Martin said the nail would be removed either Sunday night or early on Monday and that it is unlikely Travis will play in the series finale on Monday night.

  • The Terrapins were forced to start Michael Boyden on Sunday afternoon, as scheduled starter Brett Harman (6-3, 2.79 ERA) was sidelined with food poisoning. Boyden (2-3) allowed eight earned runs on five hits and three walks in 2.1 innings.

  • The series victory for FSU over Maryland was the 21st in row for the Seminoles. FSU has won each series since joining the ACC in 1992. The 'Noles also now have won 22 consecutive games over Maryland at Dick Howser.



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