The best cuts taken by anyone in Savannah State colors on Friday evening may have come from a few of their fans mocking the tomahawk chop in the top of the 2nd inning.
Beyond that, it wasn't a very good outing for the Tigers.
DJ Stewart and Marcus Davis lead the way for Florida State offensively, both went 3 for 4, Stewart drove in three and scored three runs himself while Davis drove in four on a pair of doubles. Behind Davis and Stewart's output and a stellar outing from senior Scott Sitz, the Seminoles routed Savannah State 10-0.
"It was a good win for us. A lot of positive things from the offensive side, but of course this is just one game," cautioned Florida State head coach Mike Martin.
Savannah State ace Kyle McGowin, a Golden Spikes finalist who entered the game 12-1 with a 1.33 ERA, got absolutely rocked by the Seminoles early on and the game was out of hand by the end of the 3rd inning.
"I didn't have my fastball at all so I had to go with my secondary [pitches]," admitted McGowin after the game. "They're just a really patient team."
After scoring one in the bottom of the first, Florida State blew the game wide open with a five run second inning.
Seth Miller doubled to lead things off and reached third on a wild pitch, but McGowin buckled down and struck out the next two Seminole batters. He unraveled when he came too far inside on Josh Delph and plunked him though, putting men on the corners for DJ Stewart- who made him pay. A two-out double brought in Miller and effectively opened the flood gates for the Seminoles.
Marcus Davis followed Stewart's RBI sigle by hammering a double to bring in Delph and Stewart, the next batter Stephen McGee crushed a ball over the left-field wall to make it 6-0 Florida State.
McGowin's struggles continued into the third as well when Florida State tacked on four more and pushed their lead out to 10. Once again Seth Miller started things off, this time with a leadoff walk. After John Sansone singled and Delph walked to load the bases, back-to-back doubles by Stewart and Davis brought in four more runs and all but cemented the game for Florida State.
For all the hype coming into the game, McGowin looked uncomfortable at times once things got started. All season the biggest crowd McGowin had played in front of was smaller than 1,500 people. On Friday with Dick Howser nearly full there were several times that many people on their feet, screaming loudly and trying to rattle the SSU starter.
It may have worked.
McGowin threw 132 pitches but lasted just five innings, giving up nine hits and ten earned runs while walking six in the process. It earned him just his second loss of the year. That sparkling 1.33 ERA was up over two by the end of the evening, now sitting at 2.02.
Conversely Scott Sitz was excellent for the Seminoles, throwing 7.1 innings of shutout baseball, giving up seven hits, walking no one and striking out eight. It was more than enough to earn his 10th win of the season.
"I think obviously it was the Scotty Sitz show tonight," said Martin. "He did an outstanding job of spotting his fastball, he had the curveball and the change-up going, and anytime you can shut out a team of the ability of Savannah State you have to be very pleased."
Brandon Johnson replaced Sitz in the 8th and stayed on to close out the 9th for Florida State as well.
The Seminoles did get a scare when starting catcher Stephen McGee injured his hand on a catcher's interference early on. McGee stayed in to belt a two-run homer just a few moments later, but Ladson Montgomery replaced him in the top of the 7th.
After the adrenaline wears off and the swelling really picks up, it's possible McGee could be down for the rest of the weekend, FSU will revisit that tomorrow.
"It just goes to show you the mental and physical toughness that he possesses," said Martin. "We're just prayerful that he's going to be OK and will return to the same Steve McGee."
Florida State will take on Troy tomorrow evening in the first Winner's bracket game, Troy knocked off Alabama in the early game, 5-2.
Savannah State will play Bama at noon in an elimination game.
For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...
(Photo courtesy of Ryan Syrkus)