FSU baseball improved to 5-1 on the season with a 10-5 win against Cincinnati on a bright, sunny but chilly day at Dick Howser Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Elijah Cabell and Reese Albert each hit home runs and Tyler Martin went 3 for 4 with a double to lead the Seminoles.
Cincinnati (0-5) took an early 2-0 lead with a two-hit second inning only to see FSU come back to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning, where they scored two runs on three hits.
Right fielder Robby Martin led off the inning with a triple and crossed home plate one batter later when first baseman Carter Smith singled to center. Second baseman Jackson Greene laid down a successful sacrifice bunt allowing Smith to tie the game after two innings.
FSU had an opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the third, where it had bases loaded with one out, but they could not get a baserunner across the plate.
Catcher Matheu Nelson led off the inning with a walk. Two batters later, Cabell was hit by a pitch to put two men on base. An errant throw from Cincinnati catcher Joe Powell to first base trying to pick off Cabell left FSU with two runners in scoring position. Robby Martin then walked to load the bases. Smith then hit flew out to leftfield, but Nelson was held at third base by FSU head coach Mike Martin Jr. Shortstop Nander De Sendas then struck out to end the scoring threat.
The Seminoles did take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Third baseman Tyrell Brewer walked after a Greene fly out, then advanced to third after DH Tyler Martin hit a bloop double to shallow right field. Nelson then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring Brewer across the plate to give FSU a 3-2 lead heading into the fifth inning.
FSU starting pitcher Shane Drohan struggled in the second inning, where he threw 32 pitches and gave up two runs but was mostly effective over his four innings of work, giving up four hits, two earned runs, struck out seven and walked three of 20 batters he faced.
Right-handed relief pitcher Doug Kirkland replaced Drohan to start the fifth inning but gave up a double and single to the first two batters he faced and was quickly replaced on the mound by Chase Haney, who inherited runners on the corners. Cincinnati scored to tie the game at 3-3 after Brewer bobbled a ground ball while trying to turn a double play to end the inning. The error left runners on the corners with one out. The Bearcats then scored to take the lead on grounder to short when the Seminoles were again not able to turn a double play to get out of the inning. After recording the force out at second a high throw by Greene to first base allowed the runner on third to score and Cincinnati took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth.
FSU once again put runners on the bases in the bottom of the fifth. Cabell was hit by his second pitch of the game to reach first. Robby Martin then walked to give the Seminoles runners on first and second with no outs. A wild pitch then advanced the runners into scoring position with one out. De Sedas, who committed two fielding errors in the first inning, atoned for his struggles at short when he singled to right field to plate both runners to give FSU a 5-4 lead.
Haney held the Bearcats in check in the sixth allowing a single hit in the inning but threw just 12 total pitches in the inning to the four batters he faced. Tyler Martin singled to lead off the Seminoles’ half of the inning, which was followed by a lazy fly ball to right field for a single by Matheu to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Cabell then hit a three-run home run after a strikeout by Albert to give FSU an 8-4 lead before the Bearcats got out of the inning retiring the next two batters in order.
Senior lefthanded reliefer Antonio Valez took over for Haney, who pitched two complete innings and allowed just one hit, in the seventh and quickly retired the first two batters he faced before giving up a home run to Cincy first baseman Griffin Merritt that cut the Seminole lead to 8-5. He then gave up a double down the third baseline to catcher Joe Powell, who then advanced to third on a wild pitch but was able to get out of the inning without further damage when Bearcats right fielder Nate Meyer flew out to left field.
Velez made quick work of the Bearcats in the eighth inning. He retired the side in order, which was highlighted by striking out the first two batters he faced in the inning, throwing just three pitches to each batter before a pop out by Cincy left fielder Tyler Weimer ended the inning.
After a leadoff walk to Nelson to start the Seminoles half of the eighth, Albert, who was 0-4 with four strikeouts for the game entering the at-bat, hit a two-run home run to right field to extend FSU’s lead to 10-5. Albert entered the at-bat hitting just .150 for the season with just three hits in his previous 20 plate appearances. Cabell was then hit by a pitch for the third time in the game and advance to second with no outs before being replaced by pinch-runner Logan Lacey.
Dylan Simmons, who had entered the game at first base in the sixth inning when Smith moved to third, pitched the ninth inning to close out the game for FSU. He gave up a single to shortstop Joey Bellini before retiring the final three Cincinnati batters with three groundouts to secure the win.
FSU wraps up its three-game series with Cincinnati on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium.
To hear what FSU baseball coach Mike Martin Jr. had to say about today’s come from behind win please click on the YouTube link below: