Florida State was desperate for a hit. Not just a big hit – any hit.
Elijah Cabell provided quite the jolt, sending a hanging curveball over the right-field screen for a no-doubt, three-run homer as FSU took a 11-4 win over Cincinnati on Friday night.
“He gave me a curveball and I was just waiting on it,” Cabell said.
FSU scored a combined 10 runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
The Seminoles (4-1) were held without a hit through five innings by Bearcats starter Evan Shawver. He pitched five innings, recording nine strikeouts and giving up an earned run.
“I let them have it pretty good,” FSU coach Mike Martin Jr. said of a conversation in the dugout in the fourth inning. “Got to start faster. … We have to demand to do better.”
The bats did wake up. FSU broke through in the sixth as Matheu Nelson led off, reaching on an error, and advanced to third on Reese Albert’s double. That set up Cabell, who launched a ball that nearly hit the light tower in right-center field.
Robby Martin had a two-run single and Nelson had an RBI groundout as FSU pulled away with a four-run seventh inning.
Ace right hander CJ Van Eyk went just 3.2 innings, throwing 79 pitches (49 strikes). Van Eyk does not have a decision in two starts in 2020.
But FSU’s bullpen was good enough the rest of the way. Clayton Kwiatkowski tossed 1.1 scoreless innings, Chase Haney pitched a scoreless inning and Tyler Ahearn (1-0) surrendered an unearned run.
The FSU pitching staff combined for 10 strikeouts. The Seminoles have hit double-digit strikeouts in all five games this season.
Cincinnati (0-4) stranded 12 runners through eight innings.
Friday night’s box score can be viewed here in PDF format.
And if you haven’t seen the light show at Howser, here’s a video clip of Cabell’s home run courtesy of FSU baseball:
FSU hosts Cincinnati for the second game of the series Saturday at 2 p.m. FSU will throw LHP Shane Drohan, while Cincinnati will counter with RHP Nathan Kroger. Both pitchers are looking for their first win of the season.