With the top-seed in the ACC tournament already wrapped up, thanks to a 3-2 victory on Friday, No. 1 Florida State theoretically didn't have anything to play for on Saturday afternoon in the series finale against No. 13 North Carolina State at Dick Howser Stadium.
Luckily for head coach Mike Martin, no one told his team that as FSU came away with a 6-2 win to clinch an impressive series victory on Senior Day in front of 4, 891 fans.
"Those guys in that clubhouse don't play a meaningless game," Martin said. "They play baseball. They play it right. I'm proud to be a part of it. Went out there today, and let's face it, what were we playing for? But, they went out there and competed and got it done against a very good North Carolina State team. It makes me proud to be a Florida State Seminole. We know that was nothing more than playing the game professionally. But at the same time, it gives me an indication more so that we have a baseball team that is my kind of team and is gonna compete 27 outs every day, day in and day out."
The Seminoles' patient approach at the plate paid off as the lineup drew 11 walks in the game, including three each from James Ramsey and Jayce Boyd.
Stephen McGee earned an RBI in the bottom of the fist with a bases-loaded walk. It was the fourth straight free pass that Wolpack starter Anthony Tzamtizis issued after getting Sherman Johnson to pop out to start the inning. FSU was only able to add one more run in the inning on a sacrifice-fly from Josh Delph for a 2-0 lead.
In the second inning Tzamtzis was chased from the game as he allowed a two-out walk to Johnson, followed by a deep RBI double to center by Travis for a 3-0 lead. Tzamtiz (5-4) took the loss as he allowed three earned runs on one hit and five walks in his 1.2 innings pitched.
Delph broke the game open for FSU in the fourth inning with a two-run single down the third base line with the bases loaded. FSU added another run in the inning on an RBI-groundout by John Nogowski
Delph finished the game 2 for 4 with three RBI. He said the at-bat in the fourth was the product of his growth as a hitter during his freshman season.
"The first pitch was curveball out of the zone and I laid off that, which is good because when I first came in here I would have swung at that and then been down 0-1 and then the next pitch won't be a fastball," Delph said. "But the next pitch was a high fastball, might have been out of the zone but I feel like I'm swinging good enough right now that I still hit it pretty good and just hit a solid ground ball down the line. The infield was in so it got by the third baseman."
With a six-run lead starter Mike Compton cruised on the mound. He made one mistake, which resulted in a two-run homer to right-center by Ryan Mathews in the sixth, but for the most part kept the Wolfpack bats at bay.
The freshman improved to 10-1 on the year as he allowed just two earned runs on six hits and one walk, and struck out seven.
"It was fastball, slider, a little bit of the changeup," Compton said of what was working for him on the mound. "It was mostly about the fastball and throwing the slider hard and keeping it low."
Fellow freshman Luke Weaver took over on the mound in the seventh inning and allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out five in the final three innings to earn his first career save.
FSU finishes the regular season with a record of 43-12 overall and 24-6 in the ACC. The 24 wins ties the 2008 FSU squad and Clemson's 2006 team for the most in conference history.
N.C. State wrapped up the year with a record of 38-15, and 19-11 ACC. Travis said taking two of three from the Wolfpack was no easy accomplishment.
"We were talking and they're probably the second-best team we've played all year to Florida and that's saying a ton," Travis said of N.C. State. "They can really swing it, they've got good arms out of the pen, (Chris) Overman their closer is really good. That team is going to go a long way. That team is really good. Don't be surprised if you see that team in Omaha."
With a 2-1 win over Miami, Georgia Tech clinched the eighth-seed in the ACC tournament. Meaning the Yellow Jackets will be the Seminoles first opponent in Greensboro on Wednesday. Game time will be determined on Sunday.
The other two teams in FSU's half of the bracket will be 4th-seed Virginia and 5th-seed Clemson.
Martin said the rotation for the ACC tournament will be Scott Sitz (3-2, 3.81 ERA), Brandon Leibrandt (6-2, 2.93 ERA), and Mike Compton (10-1). Martin also said shortstop Justin Gonzalez, who sat out the last two games with a sore wrist, will be ready to go on Wednesday.