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April 27, 2013

FSU holds off Wake Forest for 8-6 win



For the second straight night the ninth-ranked Florida State Seminoles held off a late rally from Wake Forest to earn the win.

Saturday night the Demon Deacons scored two runs in the ninth inning as they fell to the Seminoles 8-6.

FSU (34-9, 15-8 ACC)broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning. John Sansone plated three runs with a two-run bases loaded single to left as Giovanny Alfonzo came home to score on a throwing error on the play.

Brandon Leibrandt (6-4) earned the win as he allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks in five innings of work.

"You never think you've got Wake Forest closed out," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "They're a good baseball team. This just happened to be a night that some things went our way early. We built the lead, we didn't panic when things didn't go right and got it done."

FSU entered the ninth inning with an 8-4 lead, but still brought in closer Robby Coles to get some work. He issued a leadoff work followed by a double, an RBI groundout and RBI single.

After allowing another single, Coles induced a game-ending 4-6-3 double-play to close out the game. The junior allowed two runs, one earned on three hits and walk in the inning. It was the second straight night that the Demon Deacons (24-22, 7-16 ACC) put together a ninth-inning rally after score all three of its runs in a 7-3 loss on Friday night.

"Robby just happened to leave some pitches up in the zone," Martin said. "In fact one pitch was very well thrown down and the guy got a base hit. Sometimes things like that happen, but I was very pleased with the poise that we showed there in the ninth inning."

Wake scored both of its runs off of Leibrandt in the first inning on a walk and two doubles. The sophomore lefty wouldn't allow another run in his outing as he worked around three more hits and two walks to strand seven WF runners.

Leibrandt finished with a final line of two earned runs on five hits and three walks, striking out seven in five innings.

"I didn't have my best stuff but was able to battle through," Leibrandt said. "They were battling me all night long so I was just trying to make key pitches in key situations."

FSU answered back with two runs in the bottom of the first, including an RBI sacrifice fly by Stephen McGee, and then took the lead in the third on a Seth Miller RBI-single.

FSU added four more in the fifth on Sansone's two RBIs and an RBI-double by Casey Smit for an 8-6 lead.

Sansone finished the game 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Jameis Winston reached base three times on two walks and a single, and came around to score each time.

"The bottom of the lineup really gets us going," said Sansone who hits ninth. "When Gio (hits seventh) and Jameis (hits eighth) get on base I always try and turn it over to the leadoff guy and it's been getting us going."

Behind Leibrandt Gage Smith allowed two earned runs on two hits and no walks in two and 2/3 innings pitched. He recorded a career-high seven strikeouts. Billy Strode allowed two hits and recorded the final out of a two-run eighth inning.

"Gager game in and did extremely well," Martin said. "Ran into a little difficulty with a couple of runs but still ate up innings, did a very good job."

FSU goes for the sweep of Wake Forest on Sunday a 1 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com. Senior Scott Sitz (7-1, 1.60 ERA) will start for FSU, while Wake counters with lefty Austin Stadler (5-2, 2.73 ERA).



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