Bayou bounce-back: FSU rallies to take Game 1

BATON ROUGE, La. — Florida State went from being no-hit to tying the game to winning it.

Baseball on the Bayou was fun, just as it has for the Seminoles in the NCAA postseason.

Reese Albert’s three-run homer tied the game in the top of the seventh and Tim Becker put the Seminoles ahead in the eighth, providing the game-winning run as FSU rallied to win Game 1 of the Super Regional 6-4 on Saturday afternoon.

The late-inning heroics secured a 40-win season for a 42nd straight season as well as giving the Seminoles the upper hand in the best-of-three Super Regional.

FSU was 19-13 after a loss to Florida in Tallahassee on April 9 but is 21-8 since then, helping the Seminoles (40-21) hit the plateau in each of Mike Martin’s 40 seasons as head coach.

Albert had a professional at-bat, fouling off pitch after pitch until he smacked a 3-2 offering deep to right field to complete a rally from a 4-0 deficit – and one that had seen the Seminoles not generate a hit through the first five innings.

“I kept fouling off borderline strike calls,” Albert said. “He finally just gave me the pitch that I could do some damage with. … It was middle in. And I kind of knew as soon as I hit it.”

That set the table for Becker, who also fouled off a few pitches before serving up a fly ball that was deep enough to left field to bring in Mat Nelson for the game-winning run. Albert added a solo home run to give J.C. Flowers the cushion as he recorded a two-inning save, his 12th of 2019.

Antonio Velez (4-2) earned the win, tossing a shutout inning in the seventh.

C.J. Van Eyk (10-3, 3.71 ERA) will start for FSU in Game 2 of the Super Regional on Sunday at 6 p.m. (ESPN2). Van Eyk is 7-0 in his last eight starts, recording 65 strikeouts and allowing just 16 walks.

FSU generated four walks but no hits through the first five innings against two LSU pitchers.

After a Drew Mendoza walk and a Robby Martin single, FSU’s first of the game, the Seminoles had runners on the corners with one down in the sixth. Matheu Nelson’s two-out infield hit scored Mendoza to put FSU on the board, 4-1.

An inning later, FSU’s bats woke up in a big way. From being no-hit through five, adding a run in the sixth, tying it up in the seventh and winning it in the eighth, it again showed quite the resolve in the Seminoles.

“I think just us fighting, just having good at-bats, staying patient, there’s nine innings in the game and we know that we have to use all of our outs,” Flowers said. “I think we did that today.”

Junior left-hander Drew Parrish lasted just 4.2 innings, allowing four runs (three earned). He gave up six hits, including five singles, and was hurt by two FSU errors as the Tigers built an early lead. But Albert’s shot got Parrish off the hook.

A crowd of 11,636 filled Alex Box Stadium on Saturday.

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