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April 28, 2013

FSU completes the sweep of Wake Forest 11-2

No. 9 Florida State completed the three-game sweep of Wake Forest on Sunday with an 11-2 victory.

Scott Sitz improved to 8-1 on the year with seven scoreless innings and eight strikeouts. Marcus Davis was 3 for 4 with a double and four RBI and Jose Brizuela was 2 for 4 with three RBI.

The sweep moved FSU to 35-9 overall and 16-8 in the ACC heading into finals week with just three weekend series remaining on the year.

"It's a good win for our ball club," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "One that we needed. A lot of baseball left, UCF is playing great and of course in the conference playing N.C. State and Clemson is going to be quite a challenge."

Wake Forest (24-23, 7-17 ACC) starter Austin Stadler kept the FSU bats at bay early on Sunday with three scoreless innings to start the game. In the first three innings Stadler (5-3) allowed just one hit and one walk, but picked off each base runner at first.

FSU broke things open with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth as it finally adjusted to the Demon Deacons lefty starter. Stadler took the loss as he allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts.

Brett Knief led off the fourth inning with a double to right center. After a sacrifice bunt by DJ Stewart and an intentional walk of Stephen McGee, he came home to score on an RBI-single by Davis.

FSU plated two more on a two-run single up the middle by Jose Brizuela for a 3-0 lead.

"Their lefty had us going," Martin said. "Had us chasing some pitches early. We kept our poise, got the big base hit from Brizuela to make it a three-run ballgame. Then of course things just seemed go our way. After that we got some good hitting and then all of the sudden it's basically over."

The Seminoles added two more in the fifth inning as McGee drove in a run with his first career triple off the wall in right center. He came home to score on an RBI-double by Davis.

It was the first career triple for McGee, who finsiehd the game 1 for 3 with a walk, a triple, a hit by pitch and three runs scored.

"I'm thinking two definitely," McGee said of the triple "Once I saw it kick out and go past the centerfielder I tried to turn it on and get to third."

FSU took away any doubt with five-run seventh inning. Stewart, Nogowski, Davis and Brizulea each drove in a run in the seventh to push the lead to 10-0 as another run came home on a passed ball.

The Seminoles finished the game with 11 runs on 13 hits and three walks. FSU recorded four doubles and three triples in the game. Davis said it was big performance because he knows that teams have seen how FSU has struggled against lefty starters this season.

"It means a lot," he said. "I think once it gets down to the postseason I think there's going to be a lot of teams that are like 'Hey we're going to throw this lefty at them to see if they can handle it.' I think our guys are ready to accept the challenge. Some of the lefties we've faced have been very good. It's not just an average lefty, we've faced some pretty good ones and I think the more and more we see them the more confident we'll get."

As FSU solved the Demon Deacons' lefty starter, Sitz turned in one his better starts of 2013.

The senior allowed just four hits and one walk in seven innings pitched. He retired 14 straight batters before allowing a singe in the seventh inning.

"I would say yeah it's one of the better times that I've felt when I was on the mound," said Sitz. "I was just actually talking about that. About how I felt I had mostly all my pitches working today. My changeup was kind of on and off throughout the game, but my slider and my fastball I felt like I had great command over all day and I just felt good."

Sitz lowered his season ERA to 1.42 after Sunday's start. Bryant Holtmann allowed one earned run, struck out one and walk four batters in 2/3 of an inning.

Jameis Winston finished the game out as he allowed one hit, one walk and an unearned run in the final inning and a third.

FSU doesn't return to action until Friday May 3 at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN3 against Central Florida.

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