ATHENS, Ga. – Florida State hit six massive home runs at Foley Field. And each was critical to a win over Florida Atlantic.
Drew Mendoza and Tim Becker each hit a pair of home runs while J.C. Flowers and Reese Albert added home runs as the No. 3 seed Seminoles were able to stay in front of No. 2 seed Florida Atlantic and pull away with a 13-7 win on Friday afternoon.
“Not six – didn’t expect that,” Mendoza said. “In BP you could kind of tell the ball travels. I thought Wake Forest, NC State, those parks traveled. I haven’t seen it like this before. But to put up six that was definitely unexpected.”
Every FSU batter had at least one hit and the six home runs were the most since the Seminoles had that many in a February game against Youngstown State. The Seminoles cranked out 20 hits and were overpowering even on a day in which the Owls had three home runs.
“We had some very quality at-bats and it was important that we answered (after FAU scored),” FSU coach Mike Martin said.
FSU (37-21) will play Georgia on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The Bulldogs knocked off Mercer on Friday night, setting up a Georgia-FSU matchup. FAU plays Mercer Saturday at 1 p.m. in an elimination game.
Mendoza, Becker and Flowers each hit home runs as part of a second inning that spotted FSU a 5-0 lead. But with left-hander Drew Parrish struggling in his second trip through the lineup, the Seminoles needed the output to defeat the Owls.
Becker didn’t have a home run all season and had just 32 at-bats coming in to Friday. But the walk-on, who had played on FSU’s club team the previous few years, had a career day at an opportune time.
“That was surreal,” said Becker, who was making just his fourth start in 2019. “Didn’t expect that honestly. Got to be ready when you get put into a big situation.”
Parrish was cruising through three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth and fifth as FAU scored a combined three runs to cut FSU’s lead to 5-3.
FAU kept the heat on FSU’s pitchers. The Owls’ Bobby Morgensen had two home runs and the Owls finished with nine hits.
Parrish (8-5) earned the win after pitching five innings and allowing three runs, striking out seven and walking two.
But the Seminoles never trailed on the day and won an NCAA Regional opener for the first time since 2016. FSU lost the 2017 opener only to rally and get to the College World Series. And the Seminoles went 0-2 in Tallahassee in 2018.
FSU will go with sophomore right-hander C.J. Van Eyk (9-3, 3.74 ERA) in Saturday’s game.