NCAA regionals | FSU 11, Troy 0

Luke Weaver, Seminoles trump Troy in NCAA regional

 

Luke Weaver pitched eight scoreless innings, striking out 14 as Florida State shut out the Trojans to move to 2-0 in regional play.

Special to The Miami Herald

Luke Weaver has had some stellar outings for FSU this year — but never anything like Saturday night in front of a packed house at Dick Howser Stadium.

Pitching in a winner’s-bracket game of the Tallahassee NCAA regional against Troy, Weaver was beyond dominant for the No. 7 Seminoles, working eight scoreless innings and striking out a career-high 14 batters without surrendering a single walk with an 11-0 win over Troy.

“The story of the game was Luke Weaver and how he pitched,” Troy coach Bobby Pierce said.

“His fastball was jumping on us, we couldn’t really make an adjustment to it, we were trying to, but he hid the ball very well, had good velocity.

“We never really could get much stirring in any inning, really.”

While Weaver was dominant and center fielder Seth Miller continued to get on-base and set the table for the Seminoles, Florida State moved to 2-0 in regional play.

“We’re just very proud of the way we played overall today,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “We knew it would be a tough ball game — it was. I know people might see the score and think it was a so-called cakewalk, but it was a long way from it.”

In two regional games, Miller has led off five innings and gotten on base four times (two doubles, two walks). The Seminoles have scored in three of those four innings, 12 runs in all.

Miller was the sparkplug again Saturday, fighting back from behind in the count to earn a walk in the top of the 5th and set the Seminoles up for a three-run inning to break open the game.

“My job when I lead things off is just to get on base,” Miller said. “We just manufacture runs ... that’s Seminole baseball.”

After Miller’s walk, shortstop Giovanni Alfonzo singled up the middle and both runners advanced into scoring position on the throw. Then Florida State used a couple of sacrifices to plate its first two runs of the game. John Sansone hit a grounder to second to bring in Miller and Alfonzo scored on a Josh Delph sacrifice fly.

DJ Stewart capped the inning with a solo home run for the Seminoles to make it 3-0.

That would prove to be all Florida State starter Weaver needed (though it was far from all that he got). Weaver faced 26 batters and struck out 14 of them.

Even more impressive, he did it battling the flu. The sophomore had been taking prescription medicine since visiting the doctor in the middle of the week with a fever.

The Seminoles poured it on late, scoring seven runs in the last two innings. First baseman John Nogowski was 2 for 4 with a homer, a triple and three RBI while DJ Stewart was 2 for 3 with a pair of walks and a pair of RBI.

FSU has now won its first two regional games by a combined score of 21-0.

“It was a very important game, but our guys know one thing: we have not accomplished anything,” Martin said. “This thing is a long way from being over.”

Florida State’s path to a Super Regional requires just one more win. Next up, Troy will face off against Alabama in an elimination Sunday at noon. The winner will take on FSU in the evening and must defeat the Seminoles twice to win the regional.

Read more FSU stories from the Miami Herald

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