TALLAHASSEE, Fl. — Florida State dropped its baseball season opener Friday, falling 3-1 to visiting Niagara at Dick Howser Stadium. The teams combined for just seven hits and struck out 29 times, but the Purple Eagles scored three runs in the ninth inning on a pair of hits and four walks against four Seminole relievers.
Alex MacKinnon (1-0) faced the minimum over the final two innings, striking out five. Bryce Hubbart (0-1) allowed a walk and a hit in his first action as a Seminole.
Florida State starter CJ Van Eyk was impressive through five innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven batters. He also picked off a pair of runners, the second and third batters he has picked off in his career.
Niagara starter Tommy Bednarski countered with four shutout innings, allowing just a bunt single. He allowed four walks and struck out four batters.
The Seminoles struck first with a run in the fifth inning off Jacob Bruning. Tyler Martin reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a failed pick off by Bruning. Martin scored the Noles’ lone run on a bunt single from catcher Mat Nelson.
Senior relievers Antonio Velez and Chase Haney threw just 29 pitches and struck out six of nine batters faced between the sixth and eighth innings.
In the ninth, the Purple Eagles scored two runs on bases loaded walks and the final run on an RBI single from Spencer Marcus. MacKinnon retired FSU’s 7-8-9 hitters in order to end the game.