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April 13, 2013

FSU uses the long ball to complete the sweep of Duke



No. 7 Florida State used the long ball to sweep Saturday's doubleheader and the series against Duke.

Jose Brizuela homered in both games, while Stephen McGee homered in game one, an 8-5 win for FSU. In the nightcap Brizuela and Marcus Davis each homered as the Seminoles won 8-3.

In the two games combined on Saturday, Brizuela was 6 of 7 with two doubles, two homeruns, two walks and four RBI. His batting average was .818 for the three-game series.

"I just feel real well at the plate right now," the sophomore third baseman said. "I'm seeing the ball really good so I just hope it keeps coming."

In three games against the Blue Devils (21-17, 8-10 ACC) the Seminoles (30-6, 13-5 ACC) tallied 42 hits and 32 runs. In Saturday's first game Brizuela, Seth Miller and DJ Stewart all recorded three hits.

"I must admit that was surprising that we were able to do that," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "It's a credit to (Mike Martin Jr.) and the approach that we have to hitting. I just hope that we can continue to get better."

McGee and Brizuela's back-to-back homeruns in the third inning put FSU ahead 6-0. McGee's was a two-run homer, his fifth of the year.

Duke scored four runs in the ninth as it tried to make a comeback, but Bryant Holtmann was able to get our the jam and preserve the win for Brandon Leibrandt.

Leibrandt (5-3) got back on track with seven solid innings. The lefty allowed just one run on eight hits and now walks as he struck out 10 batters. The 10 strikeout tied a career-high. It was just the third time this season that the sophomore lasted six inning or more in a game.

"My fastball command was probably the best I've had it," Leibrandt said. "I was able to throw my off-speed stuff in counts 2-1, 1-0 and get back in the count. Overall it was just a good day for me."

In the second game FSU got off to a fast start with two runs in the first, one run courtesy of Davis' solo shot. It was the junior outfielder's seventh homerun of the season and second of the weekend.

In the second inning FSU put up four runs as Davis and Stewart each drove in a run and Brizulea launched a two-run homer for a 6-0 lead. John Nogowski drove in a run, and another reached on an error in the sixth inning. The sophomore first baseman was 3 for 5 with an RBI in the game.

After an impressive showing in the spring football game earlier in the day, Jameis Winston started at designated hitter in the nightcap Saturday. He reached base three times with a hit, a walk and a hit by pitch.

The Blue Devils touched up Scott Sitz with three runs on six hits and one walk in five innings. The senior still earned the win to improve to 7-0 on the year.

Billy Strode worked three scoreless innings behind Sitz, allowing three hits and striking out four. Robby Coles worked a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout as FSU completed its second ACC series sweep of the season.

"It was a very good accomplishment," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "It's something that you know is going to be difficult, but you've got to really credit our starting pitching. You've got to credit our defense, my understanding is we did not make an error for three games and that last column means an awful lot to me."



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