TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Florida State’s Billy Strode tossed six shutout innings to lead fourth-ranked Florida State to a 4-0 win over Stetson, Tuesday at Dick Howser Stadium.
Strode (1-1) allowed just two hits and struck out five. He wiggled his way out of what proved to be a key jam in the first inning, setting the tone for rest of the game.
Stetson’s Kevin Fagan led off the first inning with a walk and moved to second when Tyler Bocock was hit by a pitch. Patrick Mazeika followed with a long single high off the fence in right field to load the bases. But Strode fanned Josh Powers for the first out, and Garrett Russini tapped a 1-2 pitch just out in front of home plate for an easy inning-ending double play.
“We had an opportunity to get on the board in the first and we can’t get a ball more than three feet from home plate,” said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. “That’s a chance to get a signature inning on their home turf. Instead, we load the bases and put the bat on our shoulder and hit into a double play.”
FSU (31-9) scored all the runs it needed in the bottom of the first after Josh Delph led off with a double and scored two batters later on D.J. Stewart’s sacrifice fly as the Seminoles gained a 1-0 lead.
The Seminoles took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on Jose Brizuela’s sacrifice fly.
Stetson’s bullpen kept the Hatters in the game, limiting Florida State to two hits over the next three inning but the Hatters (17-25) offense couldn’t solve Strode. At one point the left-hander set down 19 of 21 Stetson batters before leaving the game after allowing a lead-off walk to Russini in the seventh.
Still trailing 2-0, Stetson again loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. But Mazeika popped up to right field and Powers struck out looking to end the threat.
“The really disappointing part of the game is we just put the bat on our shoulders and let the umpire ring us up,” said Dunn. “We’ve got to compete right there. We had an opportunity to possibly win a game on their home turf and we let the umpire call us out.”
FSU added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth on a throwing error by Fagan and a double by Justin Gonzalez.
Bocock, Mazeika and Robert Bruce had the only hits for Stetson. Gonzalez was 3-for-4 to pace the Seminoles.
Jordan (2-6) suffered the loss despite allowing just two runs on five hits in four innings. Josh Thorne enjoyed one of his best outings this season, hurling 2.2 shutout innings.
The Hatters and Seminoles wrap up their two-game series, 4 p.m., Tuesday.