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First inning outburst leads Noles past Niagara

Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-16 17:36:36-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — Aided by seven runs in the first inning, No. 14 Florida State (2-1) beat Niagara (1-2) 11-1 Sunday afternoon at a wet and rainy Dick Howser Stadium. Conor Grady earned the win in his first start of 2020, throwing five innings of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts.

FSU sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring seven runs against Steven Hospital (0-1) in his first career start. Freshman Tyler Martin’s two-run double capped the scoring after RBI singles from Reese Albert, Robby Martin, Dylan Simmons and Nander De Sedas. Jackson Greene also drew a walk with the bases loaded.

Niagara had an opportunity to plate a run in the first inning, putting runners at first and third with one out after a double and an FSU throwing error. Grady induced a double play when Peter Battaglia lined out to Tyler Martin at third base and doubled up Michael Gabriele at first.

Grady struck out five straight batters in the second and third innings when he settled in. Starting with Battaglia’s double play ball, Grady retired 12 straight hitters before Mike Brisson’s single in the fifth.

FSU added a run in the second inning when reliever Kyle Smyth walked De Sedas with the bases loaded. Robby Martin hit his second double of the season in the third inning to give FSU a 10-0 lead.

FSU pitchers Chase Haney, Bryce Hubbart, Tyler Ahearn and Davis Hare each threw an inning in relief. The bullpen allowed two hits and struck out eight batters. The Purple Eagles run came on a Hare wild pitch in the ninth inning.

The rain bumped Sunday’s start time to 10:00 a.m. The teams played the majority of the game in the rain.


  • Florida State scored seven runs in the first inning, it’s most in an opening frame since also scoring seven against Youngstown State in 2019. FSU scored eight runs in the second inning Saturday against Niagara.
  • Freshman Dylan Simmons reached safely in his first two plate appearances Sunday, reaching on a single and a walk. Simmons reached base in all three of his plate appearances in his FSU debut Saturday (single, double, walk).
  • Simmons added his second double of the season in the eighth inning.
  • Redshirt senior Chase Haney made his second appearance of the season. His 97 career appearances are tied for the 10th most in FSU history and tied for the 8th most relief appearances in a career for a Nole.
  • Freshman catcher/pitcher Doug Kirkland singled in his first career at-bat Sunday. Kirkland made his first appearance on the mound in Saturday’s win.
  • After dropping Friday’s season opener, FSU outscored the Purple Eagles 35-5 in the final two games.
  • FSU was hit by 9 pitches on the weekend (5 Saturday, 4 Sunday).
  • FSU improved to 12-1 all-time against Niagara.
  • With Sunday’s win, Florida State has won every head-to-head season-opening series since 1981 (1-2 vs. Georgia Southern).


Florida State will host USF Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles will throw sophomore right-hander Jack Anderson.