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Florida State Takes Game One of Double-header With USF 14-3

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After inclement weather forced Florida State and South Florida to cancel the Friday night opener of their three-game weekend series, the two schools were forced to try and get a double-header in on Saturday afternoon. 

Beneath overcast skies, with rain-clouds obscuring Tallahassee on the weather maps, the Seminoles and Bulls managed to squeeze in game one after a noon start on Saturday and Florida State took the early game 14-3.

The Seminoles got on to the board first with three hits on three runs in the bottom of the opening inning. After surrendering a walk to Florida State leadoff hitter, sophomore RF Josh Delph, USF starter Joey Lovecchio was able to retire the next two Seminole batters before a Stephen McGee double with two out plated the first Florida State run. Junior DH Marcus Davis singled in the junior catcher the next batter before senior CF Seth Miller added an RBI single of his own to push the Seminole lead to 3-0.

Lovecchio ran into trouble the next inning too. Once again the senior RHP started an inning by walking the leadoff hitter and once again it resulted in Florida State runs. After issuing an opening pass to sophomore 3B Jose Brizuela, junior 1B Casey Smit singled to put two on for the Seminoles. Two batters later Delph doubled off the rightfield wall to make it 5-0 FSU.

Lovecchio avoided walking the leadoff man in the 3rd, instead surrendering a solo home run to Davis. After Miller doubled and a wild ball four to Brizuela put men on the corners with no outs, USF manager Lelo Prado was forced to replace Lovecchio (2+ IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, K) with junior LHP Lawrence Pardo. 

Pardo got Smit to line out to second, but freshman 2B John Sansone drew a walk to load the bases for Delph. After working the count to full Pardo got the second out on a grounder to first, but the throw home was late allowing another Seminole run to cross. A batter later senior SS Justin Gonzalez bunted for a hit and drove the 8th Seminole run of the game in, giving Florida State a commanding lead through three.

USF got their first run in the top of the 5th when senior LF Chad Taylor brought freshman 3B Levi Borders in from third with a sac-fly following a leadoff triple. 

Florida State would get the run back in the bottom of the fifth on a Sansone RBI-double. But in the top of the sixth USF was on the offensive again, scoring two more on a two-run homer by sophomore RF Austin Lueck. 

Beyond that though, Florida State starter Brandon Leibrandt was superb, working six innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs while striking out five. It was good enough to get the sophomore left-hander his second win of the young season.

Leibrant turned the game over to the Seminole bullpen after the 7th and was replaced by junior LHP Brandon Johnson who worked a scoreless 7th and 8th inning. 

The Seminoles added five more runs behind doubles by freshman OF Jameis Winston and junior C Ladson Montgomery as the rain began to pour in the bottom of the 8th. But the weather won again on Saturday, forcing the game to be called early with 2 outs in the inning.

After a small dispute over whether the runs scored in the 8th would count it was determined that all five Seminole runs would stand, and FSU won by a final score of 14-3.

Tomorrow the Bulls and Noles will attempt to play games two and three of the series in a Sunday doubleheader starting at 11 AM- weather permitting.

 

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