TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Hard to win with only two hits. No. 11 Florida State (35-14) can not finish off the three game sweep against No. 23 Coastal Carolina (32-15) Sunday afternoon. The noles only mustered two hits against the Chanticleers in falling 4-2 on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.
Both hits came in the fourth inning off Coastal starter Shane Sawczak, but Chanticleer reliever Bobby Holmes (4-0) came in and shut the door on the Seminoles throwing 6.0 hitless innings of baseball to give Coastal Carolina its first-ever win over Florida State in 14 tries.
“I tip my hat to Holmes, guy did a great job,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “(He) Came in and threw 86 pitches in relief of a very good lefty. It was quite an outing. It was just one of those games that I was impressed with the way we continued to scrap all the way until the end. But sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other club; they made outstanding plays and did not make an error. That is a regional team and they played very much like a regional team today.”
Holmes struck out just two batters but continued to shutdown the Noles offense over six innings of work. He threw a season high 86 pitches and walked four.. FSU players say the Coastal Carolina pitching staff threw alot of cutters which was challenging for them to deal with at the plate.
“I was pleased with the effort of our guys coming off of final exams,” said Martin. “I saw an awful lot of getting after it for three ball games. Today is what you see every night in the Big Leagues, somebody has a great outing. Well this guy had a great outing. He no-hit us for six innings; he did a great job.”
Drew Carlton (3-4) suffered the loss as the Seminole starter gave up three runs on five hits as he walked one and struck out three in 3.1 innings on Sunday.
Dylan Silva was charged with a run on two hits in 1.2 innings, while Alec Byrd, Cobi Johnson and Billy Strode combined to throw 4.0 scoreless innings to keep the Seminoles within striking distance.
Byrd struck out three and faced the minimum in 2.0 innings, while Johnson and Strode both recorded a strikeout in a hitless inning in relief.
“I was very pleased with our bullpen today,” added Martin. “When Byrdie came in with bases loaded and nobody out and gets out of it with no runs scoring, that kept us in the game. Dylan did a nice job of getting us out of jam in the fourth. Cobi and Billy also pitched well today.”
Josh Delph and John Sansone were responsible for the only Florida State hits and runs on the afternoon as the Chanticleers out hit the Seminoles 7-2. DJ Stewart tied a career-high with his third three-walk game of the season, while Ben DeLuzio drew a pair of walks.
Coastal Carolina grabbed the early lead on Sunday plating three runs in the third off Carlton. After Tyler Chadwick opened the inning with a double down the line in left, the Chanticleers used a little small ball to generate the first two runs of the inning on a pair of sac-bunts sandwiched between a bunt single. G.K. Young put a stamp on the three-run inning with a two-out RBI single to center to give Coastal its first lead of the weekend.
Florida State cut the deficit to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the fourth. Delph and Sansone opened the inning with a single and double, respectively, off Sawczak and both would score with Stewart at the plate on a balk and a passed ball.
The Chanticleers pushed their lead to 4-2 with a run in the sixth as David Parrett drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring home Young. It could have been more for Coastal but Byrd came out of the bullpen and closed the door on any further damage recording a pair of strikeouts and a pop out on a bunt.
The Seminoles would not go quietly in the ninth as DeLuzio kept the inning alive drawing a two-out walk off Holmes. Pinch hitter Gage West then stepped in and came within inches of recording the first hit off Holmes but Billy Cooke made an outstanding running catch just in front of the wall in right center to rob West of a hit for the final out of the game.
Florida State will wrap-up the non-conference portion of its schedule on Tuesday, May 5 as the Seminoles head south to DeLand, Fla., to face the Stetson Hatters at 6:00 p.m.
***Courtesy FSU Athletics