baseball Edit

FSU baseball advances to CWS Semifinals with win over North Carolina

Omaha, Neb. -- Coming out of the loser's bracket in the College World Series is a challenging task.

After Tuesday, Florida State is halfway there.

The Seminoles (49-16) won their second straight elimination game Tuesday afternoon at Charles Schwab Field, using a strong offensive start to defeat North Carolina (48-16) 9-5 and keep their season alive for the second time in three days.

With the win, FSU advances to the CWS Semifinals for the seventh time in program history and the first time since 2012.

FSU managed 14 hits off the Tar Heels' deep pitching staff and also worked nine walks to keep quite a bit of activity on the basepaths throughout the first matchup between the ACC foes since 2022.

FSU opened a 3-0 lead in the third inning after Drew Faurot hit a two-out RBI single in the second and then added two more runs in the third on a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly.

The Seminoles then broke the game wide open with a four-run fifth inning, stringing together hits against UNC ace reliever Dalton Pence. Pence entered Tuesday with a sub-2.00 ERA and had allowed no more than two hits in any of his appearances this season. FSU tagged him for four runs on eight hits over 2.1 innings.

The Tar Heels responded with a four-run spot of their own in the bottom of the fifth, boosted by a three-run homer from Vance Honeycutt. But they struggled to have much success against FSU starting pitcher Andrew Armstrong.

Armstrong, making his first appearance in over three weeks, matched his season high with 4.1 innings, holding UNC to three runs on five hits.

While Conner Whittaker struggled in relief of Armstrong, Connor Hults replaced him and was up to the task. He got out of a jam in the fifth with the go-ahead run at the plate and then buckled down, throwing the final 4.1 innings and allowing no runs on two hits.

Had FSU not stranded 14 runners on base, Tuesday's game may not have been nearly as close. Still, they got some big insurance in the ninth inning when Jaxson West and Max Williams led off the top of the inning with back-to-back homers.

FSU has now homered in 60 of its 65 games this season. West's home run was his second in as many weeks after he had one all regular season and his fourth hit of the day, marking a new career high.


Up next

While FSU is halfway to coming back out of the loser's bracket, the harder half is still left. The Seminoles now need to beat No. 1 overall seed Tennessee on back-to-back days to advance to the championship series.

The first of those games is set for 3 p.m. on Wednesday due to a modified schedule with Tuesday's night game between Florida and Kentucky postponed due to rain. The UF-Kentucky game is set for 11 a.m.

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