02/21/2014

Florida State Beats Georgia 8-3 in Series Opener

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As the old saying goes, 'patience is virtue.' And that's never more true than in baseball -- especially on a night when the bats aren't hot.

As the Florida State Seminoles (5-0) played host to the Georgia Bulldogs (1-4) for the first of a three game series on Friday night, that's exactly where FSU found itself.

On a night when the bats never really got on track for Florida State, the Seminoles were able to use excellent plate discipline to draw walks, move base runners and score runs in an 8-3 win over the Bulldogs -- all despite being out-hit by Georgia 10-8. 

FSU used a six-run fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and take control of the game on Friday. Brett Knief lead the inning off by getting plunked before Georgia starter Ryan Lawlor issued three straight walks to put the Seminoles ahead 2-1. 

That would mark the end of Lawlor's day, but not the end of his line. David Sosebee replaced him on the hill and quickly walked in another run. Danny De La Calle followed that with a two-run single to make the score 5-1. All five of those runs were charged to Lawlor.

FSU continued its fourth with a Josh Delph sacrafice fly to plate its fifth run of the inning, then a wild pitch and a balk helped the Seminoles score their sixth run on a Knief single up the middle. 

By the end of the frame the Seminoles had scored six runs despite getting just two hits. 

"You can look at that inning and certainly know that was the key to the ballgame," said FSU head coach Mike Martin. 

Junior RHP Luke Weaver (2-0) was good enough to get Florida State the win, but hardly looked to be in mid-season form. A week after holding Niagara without a hit or run in his 2014 debut, Weaver looked very human on Friday night, scattering eight hits and three earned runs across five-plus innings of work.

"I felt good, I felt like [with] the fastball I was pounding it, the change up was better than it's been in a while," admitted Weaver after the game. "This team, I mean my hats off to them, it's just one of those days when you throw good, I felt like I was throwing it well and they were just getting hits."

Jess Posey, the younger brother of FSU's last Golden Spikes winner, Buster Posey, proved a worthy nemesis for Weaver. The sophomore 3B was 3-3 against FSU's ace -- including a sixth-inning two-run homer that knocked Weaver from the game. 

Posey got the first hit of the season against Weaver in his first at-bat, scored the first run of the season against Weaver following his second AB and then on his third trip to the plate ended Weaver's night on a towering shot to right-center. 

"Next question," joked Martin, when asked about Posey's performance against FSU. "He was really impressive. There's a spot in my heart that says, 'nice going.' But Luke Weaver would be the so-called recepient so therefore it's hard for me to do anything but tip my hat. He did a great job."

Added Weaver: "He had my number the whole night. Hat's off to him."

Billy Strode replaced Weaver in the 6th and struck out the side on his way to 1.2 scoreless innings pitched. He was replaced by Gage Smith with two outs in the top of the 7th. Smith stayed on to work a scoreless 8th and -- after the Seminoles added an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th -- stayed on to wrap up the 9th too. He finished his night with one hit and no runs surrendered and struck out two over 2.1 innings pitched.

FSU hosts Georgia against tomorrow at 2 PM and then again on Sunday at one.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtesy of Travis Register)

02/18/2014

FSU Overcomes Early Deficit, Beats Jacksonville 12-6

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The following is a press release from Florida State University:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida State (4-0) rallied late scoring nine unanswered runs over the final four innings to defeat Jacksonville (1-3) 12-6 on Tuesday in front of a capacity crowd of 3,000 inside John Sessions Stadium to remain undefeated on the season.

“It is never easy on the road,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “It’s never easy at home, but it is always more difficult when you are on the road. JU is an impressive club. They have some guys that are out right now but I was very, very impressed with them.”

John Sansone’s two-run shot in the sixth sparked the come-from-behind victory as his first home run of the season trimmed the deficit to 6-5. The Seminoles then tacked on two more runs in the seventh to grab the lead for good before pulling away for the final margin with a five-run ninth inning.

“It was a change-up low,” said Sansone. “It felt good when it came off the bad.”

Added Martin: “No question it jump started us; in fact you could feel the dugout come alive when that ball left the ball park."

The Florida State bullpen did its part to keep the Seminoles in the game as five relief pitchers combined to limit the Dolphins to just one run on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Bryant Holtmann (1-0) picked up the win working two scoreless innings allowing just one hit, while striking out two. Billy Strode also gave up one hit as he walked one and struck out five. Gage Smith and Jameis Winston closed out the game working the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, as the Seminoles registered their eighth straight win over JU and fifth in a row at Jacksonville.

“We have a good bullpen,” said Holtmann. “We just have to go out there and do our jobs. Everyone did their job tonight; it was able to keep us in the game and we came back.”

Sansone and DJ Stewart paced the Seminoles’ 12-hit attack with three hits apiece, while Brett Knief and Ben DeLuzio recorded two hits each.

Sansone finished the game a triple shy of the cycle as the sophomore second baseman hit a single up the middle in the second, the two-run shot in the sixth and an RBI double in the ninth.

Stewart reached base on all five of his plate appearances going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles, a single and two walks. The Yulee, Fla., native also scored three times. Stewart extended his streak of reaching base to a career-best 31 straight games.

“I’m seeing the ball really well,” said Stewart. “I’m just trying to get whatever the pitcher is throwing to me and hit it where they pitch it, not trying to get too big. It was a big win for us tonight.”

Florida State grabbed the early Tuesday afternoon plating two runs in the top of the first off JU starter Parker Perez. 

The lead was short lived though as the Dolphins answered right back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning off FSU starter Peter Miller to even the score. The first three JU batters reached on back-to-back singles and then an RBI double off the wall in left by Connor Marabell to plate Angelo Amendolare from second. The second run came on a fielder’s choice groundball to short off the bat of Seth Dewitt as Gonzalez threw to third to get Marabell. 

Jacksonville took its first lead of the game with three runs in the second. The Dolphins strung together three singles, two walks and a sac-fly off Miller to take a 5-2 advantage.

Miller’s day would come to an end after just two innings in his first start of the season. The senior right hander was charged with five runs on six hits and three walks.

The Seminoles cut the deficit to 5-3 in the third as Gonzalez and Stewart opened the inning on a walk and double, respectively. Knief followed with an RBI groundout to short to bring home Gonzalez but that would be the only run for the Noles as Nogowski hit into an inning ending double play as he hit a pop up to second with Stewart running on the play.

Florida State retook the lead for good in the seventh with two runs taking advantage of a couple of walks and a throwing error by JU catcher Braddock Rowe on a pick-off attempt at third. Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Stewart’s second hit of the game, a single to right. Knief then ripped a single back up the middle that went off the glove of pitcher Zach Gordon (0-2). Gordon could not recover in time to get any one out as Gonzalez scampered home for the tying run.

After Knief was picked off at first for the first out of the inning, the Seminoles would go on to load the bases following a walk to Nogowski and a hit-by-pitch to Sansone. Stewart scored the go ahead run when Rowe tried to pick off the sophomore left fielder at third following the first pitch to DeLuzio. The errant throw got away from Drew Luther allowing Stewart to score to give FSU a 7-6 lead.

The Noles broke the game open in the ninth with five runs highlighted by a two-run triple by DeLuzio and then a two-out RBI triple by Delph.

“It’s huge to respond like we did,” said Sansone. “We are down 6-3 after the fifth inning on the road; it’s never easy to dig out of a hole like that on the road. It was big for us to come back like that.”

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Luke Weaver, DJ Stewart Named to Golden Spikes Watchlist

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The Golden Spikes Award is presented annually to the top player in college baseball and no school has had more Golden Spikes winners than Florida State. Four Seminoles have won the honor, Mike Fuentes in 1981, Mike Loynd in 1986, JD Drew in 1997 and Buster Posey in 2008.

This year, FSU has two more chances to add its fifth Golden Spikes Award winner -- Junior pitcher Luke Weaver and sophomore outfielder DJ Stewart have both been named to the preseason watchlist as announced by USA Baseball.

Stewart has been a star since arriving on campus. Last season as a true freshman he lead the Seminoles in hts, batting average and slugging percentage while driving in 59 runs. He was named a freshman All-American by four different publications following the 2013 season. 

Over the summer Stewart played in the Cape Cod League where he was named a Cape League All-Star after hitting .274 with four home runs, 11 doubles and 25 RBI in 35 games.

Weaver, a junior who became the Seminoles' ace last season, seems poised for another big season and could be looking at a first round draft grade come the end of the season. 

As a sophomore Weaver went 7-2 with a 2.29 ERA and struck out a team high 119 batters in just 98.1 innings while walking just 19. He was named most outstanding player of the Tallahassee Regional after striking out a career-high 14 against Troy. 

Over the Summer Weaver pitched for the US National Collegiate team, compiling a 2.14 ERA over five starts and 21 innings of work.

The Golden Spikes Watchlist is a rolling list. Currently there are 60 names on it, by midseason and updated 50-name watchlist will be released.

On May 27 the semifinalists will be announced.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtest of Travis Register)

02/17/2014

FSU Blows Early Lead, Loses to UNC 81-75

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Florida State (15-11, 6-8 ACC) started hot and finished cold on Monday night. The result? An 81-75 loss to North Carolina (18-7, 8-4) that dealt even more damage to FSU's fast-fading NCAA tournament hopes.

The Seminoles came into the game on the proverbial bubble and needed a win to bolster their resume.

Things started off looking good for Florida State too. Ian Miller provided the early spark for the Seminoles. Making just his first career start, the senior guard provided 11 first half points and helped Florida State build a 15 point, 21-6 lead in the early going.

"The first timeout, when I called it, I didn't do any coaching I just screamed at them -- I thought that's what they needed," said UNC head coach Roy Williams, who picked up his 300th career ACC win on Monday.

"But after that I said we can get back in there... We missed two lay-ups, we missed a wide open three, we missed both shots of a two shot foul, we missed the first shot of a one-and-one. Just make a couple plays and we'll be right back in there. And the last three or four minutes of the first half we did get back in it."

Despite starting cold the Tar Heels were able to hang around long enough for the Seminoles' big men to get into foul trouble. While UNC struggled on the boards at the outset, Okaro White, Michael Ojo, Robert Gilchrist and Boris Bojanovsky all had multiple fouls in the early going. That forced FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton to shift to a smaller rotation and UNC gained the edge in the paint.

"For us to lose our most experienced senior player was probably a little more challenging than it might have been if we were in another circumstance," said Hamilton, who admitted the team is too thin to weather foul trouble -- especially with regards to its big men.

UNC outrebounded the Seminoles 42-32 over the course of the game and took the definitive advantage in the second half when they caught fire from the field. Lead by guard Marcus Paige, the Tar Heels shot 67.9 percent after halftime and managed to put the Seminoles away over the final five minute of regulation.

"In the second half Marcus’ teammates started looking for him and he got this look in his eye and started making a bunch of shots," said Williams.

After scoring just 4 first half points Paige heated up and scored 16 -- including a stretch where he hit three 3-pointers -- in the second half. 

Said Hamilton: "We just never recovered from that."

Paige finished with 20 points and seven assists. Forward Kennedy Meeks lead the scoring with 23 points and 7 rebounds, Brice Johnson added 14 points and 11 boards and JP Tokoto finished with ten points.

For Florida State, Miller lead the way with 22 points, Montay Brandon had a career-high 18 and Aaron Thomas finished with 16. 

After playing two games in three days for the second time in ten days, the Seminoles will now get a bit of a rest. FSU next plays on Saturday (Feburary 23rd) at Pittsburgh before hosting Georgia Tech on March 2nd and visiting Boston College on March 4th.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtesy of Travis Register)

02/16/2014

Florida State Picks Up the Sweep, Pounds Niagara 13-0

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The following is a press release from Florida State University:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida State (3-0) completed the series sweep of Niagara with 13-0 shutout victory on a beautiful Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.

The Seminoles pounded out 15 hits led by senior captain Justin Gonzalez, who went 3-for-3 with two singles and a double. Gonzalez reached base on all five plate appearances in the series finale as he also drew two walks. He has now reached base safely in nine straight plate appearances heading into Tuesday afternoon’s contest at Jacksonville. The Miami, Fla., native also extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games.

“What impressed me the most about today was the patience that we showed in the box,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “That ball game wasn’t exactly going our way early, but in the third inning we have no body on and two outs and we get three walks and a base hit by Brizuela to get a couple of runs. That has a way of affecting the other club and I was very pleased with that.”

Jose Brizuela and John Sansone finished the afternoon with two hits apiece, while three Seminoles recorded their first hit in a Seminole uniform including Danny De La Calle, Gage West and Nick Graganella.

De La Calle drove in two runs on a sharp infield single to short as part of FSU’s eight-run fifth inning to break the game open. West connected on a solo shot to right in the seventh as it marked the first home run by a Seminole in 2014 and Graganella laced a two-out single up the middle in the eighth.

Sunday’s game also marked the return of starting pitcher Mike Compton (1-0), who made his first start since throwing 6.0 innings in a win over Stony Brook at the 2012 College World Series. The redshirt sophomore missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. On Sunday, Compton allowed just one hit in 5.0 innings of work as he walked two and struck out three.

“Compton had a very good outing,” said Martin. “It is great to have him back. He is a very important part of our team.”

Compton set down the first five batters that he faced before giving up back-to-back two outs walks in the second. The Branson, Mo., native bounced right back to get Niagara catcher Joel Brophy swinging on strikes to retire the side. He then worked around a fielding error in the third and a throwing error in the fourth. De La Calle helped his battery mate out in the fourth when he gunned down Greg Rodgers trying to steal second base. 

In the fifth, Compton recorded a pair of groundouts including an outstanding diving play by Gonzalez on a groundball to his right robbing Brophy of a base hit. The senior shortstop quickly got to his feet and threw a bullet over to John Nogowski at first for the first out of the inning. After another groundout to short, Compton struck out Anthony Firenzi to close out the inning.

“It’s been over a year since I last started,” said Compton. “It was great to get out here in front of the home crowd. Nerves were a little bit there in the first inning, but we had great defense and it’s all about keeping the ball low, hitting spots and letting the defense work like usual. Everything felt great; elbow felt great, there was no fatigue, no pain. It felt 100 percent so it was all good.”

Bryant Holtmann, Alec Byrd and Dylan Silva each worked a scoreless inning in relief. Holtmann gave up a two out single but struck out two in his first appearance of the season. Byrd worked around a single and a walk by getting a groundball double play and a fly out in his collegiate debut. Sylva also worked around a walk and single by recording a fielder’s choice groundout and a double play to end the eighth.

“It was great to see Holtmann throw the way he did today,” added Martin. “He is a guy we are counting on to help us this year. To see him pitch the way he did was very encouraging.”

The Noles went on top in the third courtesy of a two-out, two-run single to right by Brizuela. Niagara starter Liam Stroud (0-1) recorded to quick outs to open the inning but then issued three straight walks to Gonzalez, DJ Stewart and Brett Knief. The walks would come back to haunt Stroud when Brizuela gave Florida State its first runs of the afternoon on his two-run single to right.

The walk to Stewart extended his streak of reaching base to 30 straight games.

Florida State broke the game open with an eight-run fifth inning to take a commanding 10-0 lead. The Seminoles sent 12 batters to the plate in an inning that featured eight hits and one walk. Knief began the scoring barrage with a two-run single up the middle. After a Brizuela double and an intentional walk to Nogowski loaded the bases, John Sansone and Ben DeLuzio followed with RBI singles to left. De La Calle brought home two on his infield single to short. Gonzalez capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single to left.

FSU added three more in the seventh for the final margin. West led off the inning clubbing a 2-1 pitch from Dienston Manuela over the fence in right for his first career home run. Casey Smit would then drive in two on a two-out double to left center.

The game was called after eight innings due to a travel curfew.

Florida State could not have asked more from its starting rotation this weekend as Luke Weaver, Brandon Leibrandt and Compton threw a combined 17 shutout innings allowing five hits and four walks, while striking out 15 Purple Eagle hitters.

“It was a good opening weekend for us,” said Martin. “It’s not something that we ever take for granted. We know how difficult it is to win three games.”

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

02/15/2014

Florida State Takes Series Against Niagara, Wins 4-1

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The following is a press release from Florida State University:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida State (2-0) secured its 33rd consecutive series victory on opening weekend with a 4-1 victory over Niagara (0-2) Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.

The Seminoles received another outstanding performance from their starting pitcher as this time Brandon Leibrandt (1-0) blanked the Purple Eagles over 6.0 strong innings allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out five.

In fact, the announced attendance of 5,511 inside Dick Howser Stadium on Saturday was treated to a pitcher’s duel as Leibrandt and Niagara starter Drew Fittry exchanged zeroes through the first five innings. 

"Of course when you're not scoring any runs after five innings and your starter is holding the other team to the same number of runs, you have to be excited," head coach Mike Martin said.  "You just hope you get an opportunity and we did and we took advantage of it."

Fittry (0-1) stymied the Seminole bats in game two holding Florida State to just one hit in 5.1 innings of work. This coming just one day after the Seminole bats exploded for 15 hits. Brett Knief’s RBI single in the sixth erased Fittry’s no-hit bid while chasing the senior right hander from the game.

"I tip my hat to our guys who stayed tough and had disciplined at bats," Martin said. "We had a couple of chances to really bust it open, but credit them (Niagara).  They made good pitches and got outs when they needed them."

“He was effective working both sides of the plate,” said junior first baseman John Nogowski on Fittry. “He had a little slider and change-up. We were kind of antsy I felt like early but Brett got the big hit to get things rolling. But their guy did a nice job of shutting us down for five innings.”

Justin Gonzalez, who led off the sixth with a hit-by-pitch, one of three on the afternoon to tie a single-game school record, scored from second on Knief’s single to center. John Nogowski would drive in Knief for the second run of the inning on a two-out double to left center to give Florida State a 2-0 lead.

“I was just trying to be productive,” said Knief. “We had Justin on at second; I was trying to work up the middle. Got into a 1-0 count, thought he was going to give me a pretty good pitch and it just happened.”

The Seminoles extended their lead to 3-0 in the seventh without registering a hit. Florida State took advantage of a walk and three hit-by-pitches in the inning with the lone run coming off a DJ Stewart sac-fly to center scoring Danny De La Calle.

Niagara broke through with its first run of the game in the eighth off reliever Taylor Blatch. Making his first collegiate appearance, Blatch issued a walk to the first batter he faced before giving up a double to Jordan Schwartz and an RBI infield single to Pavel Rusova-Chavez. With the go ahead run at the plate, Martin went to the bullpen and called on closer Jameis Winston.

“I just wanted to get out there and pitch,” said Winston. “Obviously, I was excited and when they called down to the bullpen, I was ready.”

Winston delivered retiring the final six batters to earn his first save of the season. The sophomore right hander got the Seminoles out of the jam in the eighth recording a pair of fielder’s choice groundouts followed by a Thomas Rodrigues fly out to left. He returned to pitch the ninth and set down all three Niagara batters that he faced on a groundout, fly out and strikeout to end the game.

Gage Smith made his second appearance in as many games working a perfect seventh as he recorded a strikeout.

Nogowski registered two of FSU’s three hits on the afternoon with an RBI double in the sixth and a single to lead off the eighth. The only other Seminole hit of the game came off the bat of Knief in Florida State’s two-run sixth inning.

Stewart, Knief, Nogowski and Danny De La Calle all recorded an RBI in Saturday’s victory.

Despite being held to just three hits, Florida State took advantage of six hit-by-pitches and six walks from four Niagara pitchers.

Both Stewart and Gonzalez extended their streaks of reaching base following Saturday’s game to 29 and 14, respectively. Stewart’s career-best 18-game hitting streak came to a close after the sophomore left fielder finished the game 0-for-2 in four plate appearances.

Leibrandt faced just two over the minimum in his first start of the season as two of the four hits he allowed were erased from the base paths both on pickoffs and both against designated hitter Thomas Rodrigues. The first came in the first inning when Rodrigues was picked off at second after doubling down the line in right. He was picked off for the second time in the fourth after reaching on a bunt single.

“Had a few butterflies, but once I got out there I was able to settle down and make pitches when I needed to,” said Leibrandt. “It (pick-off move) is one of those things I work on pretty often in practice trying to make it look exactly like I am going home. I’ve had some success so far (with it); I’m hoping to keep it going.”

The Seminoles and Purple Eagles wrap-up the weekend series with game three on Sunday, February 16 at 11:30 a.m. Redshirt sophomore Mike Compton will be on the mound for FSU making his first start since 2012.  

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

02/14/2014

Florida State Beats Niagara 13-2 in Season Opener

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Sophomore left-fielder DJ Stewart lead the offense with a career-high four hits and pre-season All-American Luke Weaver was superb on the mound as Florida State opened its season with a 13-2 win over Niagara on Friday evening in Tallahassee.

"The first batter and the first pitches of the season are tough to overcome emotionally," said Weaver. "I just battled through it all."

Despite the nerves, Weaver was nearly perfect for the Seminoles in his 2014 debut. After walking the first hitter he faced, Weaver buckled down to retire the next 16 consecutive batters. 

"Can't say enough about how Luke pitched," said FSU manager Mike Martin. "No-hitters are something you don't think about until you get to the fifth inning and the other club doesn't have [a hit]. We knew he was only going to go close to 90 [pitches] and I think he ended up with [89]."

Weaver finished the day after six innings -- leaving with his no-hitter in tact. The junior struck out seven, didn't give up a hit or run and allowed just two baserunners to the Purple Eagles. 

Offensively, Stewart had little trouble shouldering the load for the Seminoles, going 4-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. 

"[DJ] is a heck of an athlete, you know he as a football player also in high school," said Martin. "He's just a guy that's turning into an outstanding leader. He got more hits tonight than I used to get in a week. He had a heck of a night."

In the first Stewart doubled in Josh Delph to put the Seminoles ahead early and then helped Florida State add to its lead by doubling and scoring on a Jose Brizuela infield single during a two-run third inning. 

Brizuela ended the day 2-for-3 with two RBI's. Redshirt senior Justin Gonzalez -- back after missing last season with a hip injury -- also drove in two for the Seminoles and junior DH Josh Delph doubled twice from the leadoff spot. 

Junior LHP Billy Strode replaced Weaver at the top of the seventh and promptly got himself into a bases loaded jam. After retiring the first batter of the inning Strode surrendered a one-out double to Niagara 2B Michael Fuhrman, walked LF Joel Klock, hit 1B Greg Rodgers with a wild pitch and then walked CF Taylor Hackett to plate the first run of the ball game for the Purple Eagles.

Senior RHP Gage Smith came in to close out the inning, striking out a hitter before picking off a base-runner at second -- though Niagara did score for the second time in the inning during the run-down.

That was as close as Niagara got though. Florida State doubled its lead in the bottom of the 7th inning after control problems started to plague the Niagara bullpen. 

If Niagara didn't have its best stuff, that's probably attributable to the brutal path the team was forced to take to Tallahassee. Due to inclement weather the Purple Eagles had to first bus to Pittsburgh, then fly into Houston, take another flight to New Orleans and then bus to Tallahassee. Niagara didn't even make it to its hotel before arriving at Dick Howser Stadium.

Niagara starter Jordan Schwartz still pitched valliantly, scattering nine hits and five runs across 5.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately for the Purple Eagles, after climbing to within three runs in the top of the seventh the bullpen couldn't keep it close and the fifth-ranked Seminoles rolled late.

Smith pitched a scoreless top of the 8th, and -- after Jameis Winston walked and scored a run in the bottom of the inning -- Brandon Johnson came on and pitched a [finish].

FSU hosts Niagara again tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM and on Sunday morning at 11:30. 

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

(Photo courtesy of Travis Register)

02/05/2014

Florida State National Signing Day: Open Thread

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It's National Signing Day and Florida State is in the mix for a number of players. Already, five players have enrolled early and are in Tallahassee for the Spring semester, today the Seminoles hope to nail down the rest of their class.

As many as 30 players could sign with the Seminoles by the end of the day, check back here early and often for running updates from National Signing Day.

 

Update: The first surprise of the day has come in for Florida State, Derrick Nnadi, a four-star DT that was expected to sign with Virginia Tech has flipped and signed his LOI with FSU.

Update: Five-star WR Travis Rudolph has made it official and signed his LOI. Rudolph first committed at the Under-Armor All-American game.

Update: Four-star Miami Central QB Treon Harris has decommitted and signed a LOI with Florida.

Update: Five-star DE Malik McDowell has chosen Michigan State. His parents had preferred for him to choose Ohio State or FSU but he opted to sign with the Spartans.  

Update: Florida State has landed another five-star receiver, this time Homestead's Ermon Lane has committed.

Update: As expected, five-star WR Malachi Dupre has selected LSU over FSU, Bama and UCLA. 

 

Players Who Have Faxed in their LOI:


Dalvin Cook, RB, 5* (Early Enrollee)
Kain Daub, LB, 4* (Early Enrollee)
Trey Marshall, S, 4* (Early Enrollee)
Kareem Are, OG, 3* (Early Enrollee)
Stephen Gabbard, LS, 2* (Early Enrollee)

JJ Consentino, QB, 4* (7:08 AM)
Adam Torres, DT, 3* (7:08 AM)
Brock Ruble, OL, 3* (7:20 AM)
Rick Leonard, DE, 3* (7:25 AM)
Corey Martinez, OL, 4* (7:30 AM)
Alec Eberle, OL, 3* (7:30 AM)
Derrick Nnadi, DT, 4* (7:45 AM)
Malique Jackson, ATH, 3* (8:00 AM))
Jacon Pugh, LB, 4* (8:09 AM)
Derrick Kelly, OL, 4* (8:20 AM)
Jonathan Vickers, RB, 3* (8:20 AM)
Travis Rudolph, WR, 5* (8:38 AM)
Lorenzo Featherston, DE, 4* (8:50 AM)
Roderick Johnson, OL, 4* (9:19 AM)
Demarcus Christmas, DT, 4* (9:19 AM)
Mavin Saunders, TE, 4* (9:59 AM)
Chad Mavety, OL, 4* (10:02 AM)
Fredrick Jones, DT, 3* (10:20 AM)
Ryan Izzo, TE, 4* (10:25 AM)
Delvin Purifoy, LB, 4* (10:26 AM)
Ermon Lane, WR, 5* (11:41 AM)
Arthur Williams, DT, 3* (3:33 PM)

 

Keep checking back for regular updates...

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

02/04/2014

Counting Down To National Signing Day: Players Already Enrolled

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With less than 24 hours left before National Signing Day the rumors are more rampant than ever. Is Treon Harris set to decommit from FSU? Did Lorenzo Featherston's last minute trip to Miami sway him and what in the world is Malachi Dupre going to do?

Right now FSU has 27 commitments after Blake McClain opted to flip to Nebraska. Several of those verbals look tenuous at best in the 11th hour (we'll have more on that later today on the Herald's FSU blog). On the other side of the spectrum, five of the 27 have already signed their letters of intent and are currently enrolled at FSU for the Spring Semester.

Here's a look at the five players already enrolled at Florida State.

Dalvin Cook, RB - Considered by most scouting services to be a five-star recruit and one of the top backs in the nation, Cook starred at Miami Central where as a senior he was named Florida's 'Mr. Football.' Look for Cook to have a good Spring and to challenge Karlos Williams for carries come next Fall.

 

Kain Daub, LB - The Jacksonville Sandalwood linebacker is considered a four-star recruit and the number four outside linebacker in the 2014 class. At 6-3, 234 he has the size and measurables to contribute early and will attempt to get the jump on that with a good showing this Spring and Summer.

 

Trey Marshall, S - A four star safety from Lake City, Marshall is ranked in the top 200 recruits in the country by most recruiting services. Seeing the field early could be a challenge though, even with losing Terrence Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner the Seminole secondary is loaded -- especially at safety where Jalen Ramsey, Nate Andrews and a healthy Tyler Hunter will already be battling for playing time.

 

Kareem Are, OG - Considered a three-star prospect Are was one of the top Junior College recruits in the country. He will likely add depth in 2014 before challenging for more playing time when Tre Jackson and Josue Matias graduate following next season.

 

Stephen Gabbard, LS - Gabbard is a local kid that was ranked as the third best long-snapper in the country.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

02/03/2014

Viewing Guide for FSU Fans on National Signing Day

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National Signing Day is upon us. On Wednesday, players across the country will finalize their college decisions and fax in their letters of intent. 

Once again, it should be a good day for Florida State fans.

FSU currently has a 27 players in their 2014 recruiting class with room for potentially three more before things start to get dicey with roster spots. Already there are five players enrolled early -- including LB Kain Daub and Florida's 2013 Mr. Football, Miami Central RB Dalvin Cook -- until the other 22 fax in their letters, anything can still happen as FSU fans found out when Blake McClain decommitted and opted to sign with Nebraska over this past weekend.

McClain came from Sandalwood HS in Jacksonville, the same school that Jeremy Pruitt managed to flip Demarcus Walker from Alabama to FSU at last year. Pruitt's departure likely played a role in McClain's decision to go elsewhere and it could impact other players as well. 

Still, don't expect that to crater FSU's class come signing day. The Seminoles are still waiting for decisions from several high profile players on Wednesday.

With that in mind, here it your TV Viewing Guide for Wednesday:

Three FSU targets will be making their college decisions on ESPNU.

WR Malachi Dupre will choose between Alabama, FSU, LSU and UCLA in the 10 o'clock hour. Dupre is the 17th ranked played in the ESPN 300 and is considered a five star player by most scouting services.

DE Lorenzo Carter will choose between UF, FSU, UGA and LSU in the three o'clock hour. Carter is rated 14th on the ESPN 300 and would be a major pull for the Seminoles. Jeremy Pruitt, now at Georgia, could complicate things for Florida State on this decision though.

The third target is Carter's teammate, Myles Autry, an athlete rated 249 in the ESPN 300 who will be choosing between FSU, UGA and Georgia Tech in the three o'clock hour as well.

In addition, ESPN will have a reporter (my guess being Jeanine Edwards) on-site at Florida State to interview Jimbo Fisher throughout the day. Then at 6:30 on WatchESPN.com FSU fans can watch the "Florida State Signing Day Special," which will recap the Seminoles 2014 class.

Of course, you can also keep checking back here on the Miami Herald's FSU blog too. We'll have updates and reaction throughout the day.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...