Top-ranked Florida State (28-6, 15-1 ACC) erased a late one-run deficit, scoring two runs in the ninth to defeat Boston College (13-21, 4-12 ACC) 6-5 Friday afternoon on Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at Shea Field.
With the Seminoles trailing 5-4 in the ninth, Jayce Boyd hit a game-tying double down the line in right to score Devon Travis from first and then scored the go-ahead run on an RBI fielder's choice groundout by Jose Brizuela to give FSU a 6-5 lead.
"Any time you are playing anybody on the road and you win, you're happy," said coach Mike Martin. "We showed a lot of mental toughness today. I was very proud of the way the guys got it done after falling behind in the eighth inning."
Boston College threatened in the bottom of the ninth, putting runners at the corners with two outs. But Robert Benincasa shut the door on the Eagles, getting Rob Moir to fly out to Seth Miller in right for the final out of the game.
Benincasa worked 1 2/3 innings to move to 3-0 on the year, as the junior right hander allowed two hits and two walks while tying a season high with four strikeouts.
"Benny did a very good job of getting us out of a trouble spot in the eighth," added Martin. "I was very proud of what he did today. He is proving every time he goes out there that he is one of the best closers in the country, and I am proud that he is on our team."
FSU moved to 15-1 in the ACC and 9-1 on the road while improving to 9-0 in one-run games on the year.
Nate Bayuk (2-2) suffered the loss for BC, as the senior left hander gave up the two runs in the ninth.
The Seminoles received production from their entire lineup on Friday, as the starting nine either recorded a hit or drove in a run. James Ramsey, Boyd and Miller led the Garnet and Gold with two hits apiece, while Josh Delph drove in a team-high two runs on a double in the sixth.
Justin Gonzalez reached base on all four plate appearances, finishing 1 for 1 with an RBI single, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. The junior shortstop scored twice and stole a season-high three bases in the win.
"It's something that Martin Jr. is working very hard with our hitters," said Martin of assistant coach Mike Martin Jr. on getting production from everyone in today's lineup. "He is trying to get everybody contributing, and that is what we know we have to have as we go through the season."
Brandon Leibrandt did not factor into the decision Friday afternoon. The freshman southpaw allowed three runs on seven hits, as he walked two and struck out three in 5 2/3 innings of work.
"Leibrandt gave us what we needed, and that was almost six innings," said Martin. "You really have to take your hat off to him. He has been one of the so-called hard-luck pitchers in that he hasn't gotten a decision in three of his last four starts."
BC grabbed the early lead, plating a run in the bottom of the first courtesy of a solo home run off the bat of Tom Bourdon. The Eagle center fielder took the first pitch he saw from Leibrandt over the fence in right for his seventh home run of the season. It was the first run allowed by Leibrandt in his last three starts, snapping his scoreless innings streak at 15 innings.
The lead was short lived, as the Seminoles answered with two runs -- both with two outs -- to take their first lead of the afternoon at 2-1. Brizuela drew a walk and scored on an RBI single to left by Gonzalez. After a stolen base and a balk put Gonzalez at third, Delph battled to draw a walk and Sherman Johnson followed with an RBI single through the right side to plate Gonzalez for the second run of the inning.
Boston College registered a leadoff single from Moir to start the bottom of the second, but Leibrandt kept the one-run leadin tact by recording back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout to retire the side.
The Eagles put runners at the corners with one out in the third on a walk and a single by Travis Ferrick and Blake Butera, respectively, but could not plate a run, as Leibrandt posted consecutive flyouts to keep Florida State's lead at 2-1.
FSU put two on in the fourth but BC starter Eric Stevens left them stranded, getting Johnson looking on strikes to end the inning. Miller hit a double down the line in right for his second hit of the afternoon, and Gonzalez drew a walk. Both runners moved up a base on a groundout to first by Delph.
The Seminoles added to their lead in the sixth on a two-run double off the bat of Delph. With Miller and Gonzalez aboard following a hit-by-pitch and a walk, respectively, Delph ripped a double down the line in right off Stevens to score both Seminole runners to give FSU a 4-1 lead. The hit ended the afternoon for Stevens, who was charged with four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, as he walked four and struck out three.
BC got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning on a two-out double off the wall in center by Spenser Payne to cut the Seminole lead to 4-3. The Eagles strung together a two-out rally in the sixth on three consecutive hits off Leibrandt. Anthony Melchionda and Moir posted back-to-back singles and came around to score on Payne's two-run double.
Martin went to the bullpen and called on Brian Busch, who walked the only batter he faced before Martin headed back to the pen and brought on Gage Smith. Smith got the final out of the inning, getting Marc Perdios to ground into a fielder's-choice putout at second.
After entering the game with two outs in the sixth, Boston College's John Gorman retired seven straight hitters before hitting Gonzalez on the arm. BC went to the bullpen and brought on Bayuk. The senior southpaw walked pinch hitter John Nogowski but got Johnson swinging on strikes to end the inning.
The Eagles retook the lead on another two-out hit, as Perdios singled to center to bring home Melchionda and Moir to give BC a 5-4 lead. Smith allowed back-to-back base hits, ending the afternoon for the redshirt sophomore right hander. Benincasa entered and issued a walk to Payne but came back to strike out Matt Pare. Perdios stepped in and needed just one pitch to give the Eagles the lead, lacing a base hit back up the middle to plate two and give BC a one-run lead. Benincasa bounced back to get Eagle pinch hitter John Hennessy looking on strikes to end the eighth.
Smith was charged with two runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings, as he struck out one.
Florida State and Boston College will square off in Game 2 of the series Saturday, with the first pitch set for 1:30 p.m.
Two-run rally lifts No. 1 FSU past BC
Nole Digest Top Stories
FSU's Walker is ACC Defensive Player of YearDemarcus Walker is the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for 2016.
Nole DigestWednesday at 3:03 PM
Miami Commit Back from FSU Official VisitScout 300 offensive tackle and longtime Miami Hurricanes commit, Navaughn Donaldson, dishes out the latest after spending this past weekend with Jimbo Fisher's Florida State…
Scout FootballTuesday at 4:59 PM
Deondre Francois is ACC Rookie of the YearFlorida State Seminoles freshman Deondre Francois is the 2016 ACC Overall Rookie of the Year and the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Nole DigestTuesday at 11:17 AM
Florida State WR Target Promoted to 5-StarsDetroit Cass Tech wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones is now a five-star on Scout, a little later than many expected, but with his outstanding career and senior season complete,…
Scout FootballTuesday at 8:26 AM