After taking the midweek off for final exams No. 1 Florida State returned to action on Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium, hosting Rhode Island for the first time in school history.
The Seminoles defeated the Rams 17-6 in a sloppy affair that featured a combined five errors, seven wild pitches (six by URI), and three passed balls between the two teams.
Jayce Boyd and Devon Travis each homered early in the game as FSU jumped out to an 11-2 lead after three innings. Starter Brandon Leibrandt battled through five innings of work to improve to 5-1 on the year.
"I was very impressed with the talent on that club," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "For the majority of the game we played very well. They took advantage of every mistake that we made in that inning and basically just poured it on us. We kept our poise and I thought the poise of Leibrandt was excellent."
With a large lead Leibrandt made an effort to throw strikes and it resulted in him surrendering a career-high 10 hits resulting in six runs, four earned in his five innings of work. Leibrandt didn't walk anyone as he went over 100 pitches for the first time in his career and struck out a career-high eight batters.
In the top of the fourth inning the Rams scored four runs behind three Seminole errors, including two by substitute shortstop Giovanny Alfonzo, who was filling in for the injured Justin Gonzalez. Leibrandt settled things down with his third strikeout of the inning.
"He threw the ball really, really well," said Boyd. "He fought threw an inning where it looked like a circus our there for a little while. He fought threw that inning and kept his poise and did a very, very good job."
Boyd tied a career-high with five hits in the game as he was 5 of 6 with four RBI and just a triple short of the cycle. The five hits raised Boyd's ACC-leading average to .404 on the season
"Seeing the ball well and getting good pitches to swing at," said Boyd, who's home run was his first since March 7 against Central Florida. "And getting results out of the swings, can't ask for anything more."
Boyd's two-run homer in the second inning capped off a seven-run inning for FSU and followed an RBI triple by James Ramsey, who finished the game 2 for 3 with an RBI triple, a double, and four runs scored.
In the third FSU added three more runs on Travis' fourth home run of the season on fly ball that just seemed to keep carrying to left.
"I'd be lying if I said I thought it was gone," Said Travis who 2 for 6 with 4 RBI in the game. "I thought I got it pretty good, but I thought I just missed it. I looked up at the flags and they were definitely blowing a little bit out and they took care of me."
After URI scored four runs in the fourth behind a slew of FSU errors, the Seminoles settled down for five scoreless frames to end the game. Gage Smith gave up one hit in two innings of work. Brandon Johnson and Bryand Holtmann finished out the game with a scoreless inning by each.
"It's something that the coaches stress," Travis said of working through early sloppiness. "The good ball clubs have to get through the little nicks and I think we did a good job of that today."
FSU and URI will return to Dick Howser on Saturday night for game two at 6 p.m. Mike Compton (7-0, 2.96 ERA) will star on the mound for the Seminoles opposite of Nick Narodwy (1-5, 4.70 ERA).
Justin Gonzlaez (right hamstring) is still day to day, but Martin said it was very unlikely that the junior would play on Saturday.
Alfonzo made up for his two errors with a 2 for 4 night at the plate with two RBI and a run scored.
Friday's attendance was 4, 258.