The Seminoles picked up right where they left off Tuesday, winning 9-1 over a strong Stetson club and sweeping the two-game set.
Freshman starter Luke Weaver pitched a gem. He lasted seven innings, threw merely 86 pitches and surrendered only one unearned run on four hits. The outing surpassed his season total for innings pitched, which stood at 6 1/3 prior to Wednesday.
"Everything was on key today," Weaver said. "I just felt really good. When I was in the bullpen warming up, all the pitches were hitting really good on the inside and outside corner. I had a lot of confidence. I was pretty pumped. I had extra motivation playing Stetson cause that's my hometown team and everything. I've kinda been previous starts nibbling and trying to be perfect. Today, I just really pounded it and let them try to make contact. This is definitely going to propel me for the rest of the season."
FSU coach Mike Martin quickly gave a tip of his cap to pitching coach Mike Bell for Weaver's performance.
"Mike Bell deserves the credit," Martin said. "I think Mike told him that he was pitching too fine, to go out there and get into a rhythm and pitch and not be concerned if a guy gets on base. We don't like to play slow. We like to get the ball and let's play. He did that today. Like Coach Bell says, ‘You're either going to pitch it inside or outside.' Now how much thinking is there? It was just so encouraging for me as a coach to watch Luke Weaver go out there and do what he's capable of doing."
Helping Weaver's cause, the defense played exceptionally well, as evidenced by the opening play of the game.
Stetson center fielder Spencer Theisen led off the first with a grounder deep in the second-base hole. Devon Travis controlled the backhand and fired to Jayce Boyd, who scooped the tough pick to record the first out.
"We came out here very first play of the game, ball goes up the middle, Devon goes over, makes a strong throw to first, ball's in the dirt and Jayce comes up with it," said Martin. "One out, and the other club has been sent a message that we are going to play the game."
After Travis' play, Sherman Johnson successfully completed seven out of seven plays at third, and Justin Gonzalez made the highlight reel by laying out to snag a liner up the middle in the seventh.
"Any time a pitcher pounds the strike zone and works quick, it makes it fun for us," Travis said. "We don't want to sit out there and see ball, ball, ball. We understand that it happens, but when a guy's out there and working quick like Weaver did today and throwing strikes, it makes it easy on us."
The Seminole bats stayed hot.
Seth Miller opened the third with his second triple of the year, Jose Brizuela notched his first career three-hit game with a trio of singles and Johnson picked up his 25th walk of the year, extending his streak of reaching base to 21 consecutive games.
FSU lived by the big inning once again, pushing five across in the fifth. Travis led off with a solo homer that barely snuck over the left field fence. It was his first since May 8, 2011. James Ramsey doubled, and both Boyd and Stephen McGee singled before DH Josh Delph doubled down the left field line to make it 8-0. Brizuela followed with a line-drive single to right to plate Delph for the ninth and final run for the Seminoles.
Travis thanked the wind for carrying his home run out of the park.
"I threw my bat. I was pretty mad at myself," he said. "I definitely did miss it. I'll be honest, that's a routine flyout on any other day. It got up in the wind stream and helped me out."
Bryant Holtmann and Mack Waugh combined to close out the final two frames, allowing no hits.
Getting offense from the entire lineup excites both Travis and Brizuela.
"Any time you can get production from the bottom, which we expect, it helps us out a lot," said Travis. "It was definitely great to see guys like Josh Delph [come through]. Seth's been hitting the ball well. Justin get up there, get a knock, get his confidence rolling again. It was definitely a really good day for us."
"It's not just today," Brizuela added. "We've been hitting the whole week. Offensively and defensively, we look pretty good right now."
FSU finally receives a much-earned day off Thursday before traveling to face a tough Wake Forest team for the upcoming weekend series.
Jonathan Bockman is the baseball reporter for NoleDigest.com and a student in Sport Management at Florida State.
Weaver dominant, earns standing 'O'
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