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March 22, 2013

No. 5 FSU splits doubleheader with No. 11 Georgia Tech



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After its bats were silenced in the first game of Friday's doubleheader against Georgia Tech, Florida State broke out in a big way in the nightcap to even the series.

The No. 11 Yellow Jackets (18-4, 6-2 ACC) took game one 10-0, holding FSU to just three hits in the game. But the fifth-ranked Seminoles (21-2, 6-2 ACC) bounced back in game two for an 11-3 victory.

It took just seven batters in the second game for FSU to reach its hit total from the series opener as it posted two runs in the first inning. DJ Stewart finished the game 2 for 4 with a career-high six RBI thanks to a fifth-inning grand slam. Stephen McGee was also 2 for 4 with three RBI.

"Very impressed with the way we bounced back," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "I think it says a lot about our club. We know that there is an awful lot of good clubs in this country and Georgia Tech is certainly one of them, and it was great to see us bounce back like we did."

After the Yellow Jackets' offense racked up 10 runs on 13 hits in the first game, senior Scott Sitz kept them off-balance early in game two. Sitz (5-0) allowed just two unearned runs on eight hits and four walks, as he struck out five in 5.1 innings pitched.

The senior lowered his season earned run average to a measly 0.51, and he did it against he nation's top offense no less.

"It was just a good mixture of pitches I think," Sitz said of his outing. "My changeup I feel was better than it's been, my slider was OK and my fastball location wasn't as good as I usually like it to be. But I just kept them off-balance with a mixture of the off-speed and the fastball, I felt that really helped."

Sitz also got some help from a pair of terrific throws to the plate by fellow senior Seth Miller. The centerfielder nailed a pair of runners at the plate in the game. The first put-out came in fourth inning on a single up the middle, and then again in the fifth on a line-drive double-play.

Miller also recorded his seventh double of the year.

"The two plays that he made tonight were as good, in one game, as I've ever seen an outfielder make for us," Martin said.

After putting runs on the board early FSU took full control in the bottom of the fifth inning. After loading the bases, Stewart smashed a 2-0 changeup over the wall in right center for his second homer of the season.

"It felt great," Stewart said. "I've been playing a little bad lately and I was just happy I could hit."

FSU added four more runs in the sixth behind a pair of RBI singles from Stewart and McGee. John Nogowski also picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice.

Marcus Davis got things going for FSU much of the night as he was 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles and scored four runs.

"Marcus played great," Stewart said. "He's the one who started us off. Seth had a heck of game… We just swung the bats, got runs and that was great job."

Georgia Tech rolled in the first game of Friday's doubleheader blasting FSU 10-0. The Yellow Jackets pounded the 'Noles for 13 hits, including a three-run homer by catcher Zane Evans (10).

Seminoles' starter Brandon Leibrandt (4-1) lasted just an inning and a third as he gave up four earned runs on six hits, throwing just 37 pitches as he took the loss.

Tech Ace Buck Farmer controlled the game as he allowed just two hits and two walks, striking out six in his seven innings of work. He improved to 5-0 on the year and lowered his ERA to 1.15.

With sever weather expected in Tallahassee for much of Saturday, the series finale will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN3.com. The Seminoles will throw junior Peter Miller (3-0, 1.88 ERA), while the Yellow Jackets will counter with Cole Pitts (4-1, 2.1 ERA).

"Georgia Tech is a beautiful baseball team," Martin said. "I did not see a weakness in their club. I was very impressed with them."

Notable

  • FSU outfielder Stephen Spradling, who is not on this year's roster after suffering horrific injuries in a December sky-diving accident, returned to Dick Howser for the first time.

    Spradling broke his pelvis, a bone in his lower back and his ribs in the fall. He had been in an wheelchair since the accident, but was able to take his first steps last Thursday. On Friday he was on crutches and led the crowd of 5,154 in a N-O-L-E-S cheer.

  • Friday was the fist time FSU had been shutout since April 26 in an ACC Tournament loss to Virginia.



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