April 28, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Top-ranked Florida State (35-7) recorded its sixth shutout of the season blanking Rhode Island (26-18) 2-0 Saturday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
Four Seminole pitchers combined for the two-hit shutout in game two, the fewest hits allowed by Florida State this year, while the six shutouts equaled the total from last year. With the win on Saturday night, Florida State has now won all 11 weekend series.
"Any way you look at this game, it starts with the guy on the bump," said head coach Mike Martin. "We got four guys that went out there and pitched extremely well. From Compton, to Scantling, to Busch, to Benincasa, it was an encouraging lift for us to see the six innings out of Compton and to see Busch look a little bit like the Brian Busch that's been here for three years.
"That was a good win for us against a very good team. Our team knows that's a good club. We know we have to play well."
FSU starter Mike Compton (8-0) remained perfect on the year as the freshman right hander allowed just two hits in 6.0 innings of work. He walked three and struck out two while facing the minimum in an inning three times Saturday night. The Branson, Mo., native allowed just two runners to reach second base during his outing.
"It has definitely been a step forward since the last couple of outings," said Compton. "It's all about getting back to my fastball command and keeping the ball low. Things definitely started to click tonight especially as the game went on. I ran into some trouble early, but had a great defense behind me to help me out tonight. Our defense makes our jobs as pitchers so much easier."
Brian Busch, Hunter Scantling and Robert Benincasa all worked a scoreless inning in relief. Busch struck out two and walked one batter in the seventh. Scantling retired the side in order on just six pitches in the eighth. Benincasa worked the ninth and posted two strikeouts and a groundout for his league leading 11th save of the season.
A night after both teams combined for 28 hits, the Seminoles and Rams combined for just six hits in game two. Four different Seminoles recorded a hit as Josh Delph had the lone extra base hit with a double in the second inning. Devon Travis, James Ramsey and Jayce Boyd all registered a single in the win.
"Playing Rhode Island is a tremendous challenge," added Martin. "Those guys know how to play. They are a well-coached team. Jim Foster does a great job with that team."
Florida State registered a run in each of the first two innings for the only scoring Saturday night. Sherman Johnson drew a lead-off walk in the first, moved to second on a single through the right side by Travis and advanced to third on a passed ball. After URI starter Nick Narodowy (1-6) hit Ramsey with a pitch to load the bases, Boyd brought home Johnson for the first run of the game on a sac-fly to right.
The Seminoles would add an unearned run in the second when Stephen Spradling reached on a hit-by-pitch to open the inning and scored on a passed ball. The junior designated hitter moved into scoring position on Delph's double down the right field line.
"I've been hit by a lot of pitches (this year) but as long as it helps out the team, I will do it every time," said Spradling. "That's how you win games is by getting on base, so if that's what it takes, then that is what I will do."
Narodowy would exit the game after 5.1 innings allowing only two runs, one earned, on three hits as he walked one and struck out three.
URI pitchers would finish the game issuing six hit-by-pitches, the most recorded by the Seminole offense since getting hit six times against UCF in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional on June 6, 2004.
Both Ramsey and Boyd would finish the evening 1-for-2 at the plate. Ramsey reached base in three of his four plate appearances with two hit-by-pitches. Delph also reached base three times getting hit twice.
The Seminoles also turned in a solid defensive performance turning a pair of double plays including an outstanding play by Johnson on a tough one-hopper off the bat of catcher Milan Adams in the fourth. Johnson made a shoe string grab running to his left to start the 5-4-3 inning ending double play.
"The play Sherman made was a big league play," said Martin. "That was just as good as it gets. We just got it done tonight."
Florida State and Rhode Island will return to the field for the series finale on Sunday, April 29 at 1:00 p.m. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles All-Access, while fans can listen to the game locally on 100.7 FM and over the internet on Seminoles.com. Live stats will be available via gametracker, while fans can receive updates on Twitter @FSU_Baseball.