TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Behind three home runs from its offense, Florida State (25-14) beat Stetson (18-21) 9-8 Tuesday evening on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The Noles used six pitchers against the Hatters, with Jonah Scolaro (2-0) earning the win in three innings of relief.
Mat Nelson, Reese Albert and Nico Baldor each hit a home run against Bret Neilan (1-4), who allowed all nine of FSU’s runs over 6.1 innings pitched. J.C. Flowers had an RBI single at the plate and notched the final four outs without allowing a run for his ACC-leading 10th save of the year.
Against starting pitcher Conor Grady, the first four Stetson batters reached on a single, a walk, an RBI double and an RBI single for an early 2-0 lead. Grady recovered to strike out a pair to limit any further damage. The right-hander started on a pitch count and left after the first inning at 35 pitches.
The Seminoles took the lead in the second inning. Neilan hit Flowers with a pitch and Elijah Cabell laced a single up the middle to cut the lead in half. Nelson followed with his second home run of the season, a two-run shot off the left field scoreboard for a 3-2 FSU lead.
FSU scored three more in the third off Neilan, including a two-out RBI single from Flowers to score Mike Salvatore and a two-run home run from first baseman Baldor, the first of his career.
Kyle Ball got all three runs back in the fourth inning for Stetson, hitting his first home run of the season to score three runs. Clayton Kwiatkowski pitched three innings Tuesday, striking out a season-high-tying five batters.
Stetson tied it with two unearned runs against Scolaro in the seventh inning. The Noles had four errors in the game.
Centerfielder Andrew MacNeil lost a ball in the lights off Nelson’s bat to start the inning, and Salvatore doubled off the third baseman’s glove for an 8-7 lead against Neilan. Reliever Danny Garcia entered with one out in the seventh inning and allowed a single up the middle from Robby Martin to make it 9-7 FSU but no other runners reached base in 1.2 innings.
The Seminoles threw three pitchers in the eighth inning as Stetson cut the lead to 9-8. Antonio Velez struck out two batters before leaving after allowing a double; Chase Haney issued a walk and an RBI single; and Flowers came on from center field to force a line out to end the inning.
In the ninth, Flowers hit the leadoff batter Baylen Sparks and Mark Townsend singled, but Flowers got the final two batters out to preserve the FSU lead and get FSU’s 13th straight win over Stetson in Dick Howser Stadium.
Salvatore led FSU with three hits; Koos and Arenas each had three hits for the Hatters.
The Seminoles and Hatters will play Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Neither team has named a starting pitcher yet.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).