In a matchup that featured two of college baseball’s best arms, Florida State‘s Luke Weaver outdueled North Carolina State‘s Carlos Rodon in a 6-1 Seminole victory. FSU moves to 15-2 overall, while the Wolfpack drop to 14-3.
Both starting pitchers were excellent, as each struck out the side in the first inning. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth when Wolfpack catcher Brett Austin drove in Andrew Knizer with a single. Still, the inning had a bit of an empty feel to it for NC State, as they failed to advance runners on two separate bunt attempts.
FSU answered in the bottom of the inning, using a single by Casey Smit, a triple by Justin Gonzalez, and a single by slugger D.J. Stewart to plate two runs, which was all Weaver needed. He went 6.1 innings, surrendering seven hits, and notching seven strikeouts against two walks. The right-hander would throw 114 pitches, 77 of them for strikes.
Rodon went 6.2 innings for the Wolfpack, allowing five hits and those two runs. The left-hander struck out a dozen, and also worked four and hit a batter. He threw 125 pitches, 79 for strikes. NC State has scored just 12 runs in Rodon’s five starts, with all three of their losses coming in games in which he has pitched.
In the 7th and 8th innings the Seminoles added to their lead. After Gage Smith came on in relief to get a ground ball double play to quell a Wolfpack rally, FSU scored a run with a two-out walk to Brett Knief followed by singles from John Nogowski and Jose Brizuela. Three singles and two walks resulted in three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, after which Kenny Burkhead threw a 1-2-3 9th inning.
It was a nice opener to the weekend for an FSU team that is seeking to establish their primacy in the ACC. The two teams will square off at 6 pm tomorrow. Logan Jernigan is the likely starter for NC State, while Brandon Leibrandt looks to take the hill for FSU.