Josh Delph single in three-run eighth helps Florida State salvage series
ATLANTA -- Second-ranked Florida State (27-8, 14-4) got a key two-out, two-run single from Josh Delph in the top of the eighth as the Seminoles came from behind to defeat Georgia Tech (23-14, 10-8) 5-4 on Sunday afternoon inside Russ Chandler Stadium.
"It was such an unbelievably tough at-bat," Florida State head coach Mike Martin said on Delph's at-bat in the eighth. "He fell behind 0-2, fouled off a couple pitches and then just really showed what he is all about in hanging in there. No doubt it was a big lift for this baseball team."
All weekend the Seminoles were in search of that key inning to flip the momentum in their favor. That inning finally came in the eighth on Sunday as the Seminoles scored three runs, all on two outs, to grab their first lead of the weekend. The win snapped FSU's three-game losing streak while the Noles avoided their first sweep at the hands of the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta since 2005.
Florida State loaded the bases in the eighth off Sam Clay (2-1) as the sophomore southpaw issued two walks and a hit-by-pitch to the first three batters he faced in the inning. The Jackets then went to the bullpen and called on Dusty Isaacs, who recorded back-to-back strikeouts to the first two batters that he faced.
Pinch hitter Jameis Winston kept the inning alive in the eighth as he drew a bases loaded walk paving the way for Delph's key base hit. After falling behind 0-2, Delph worked the count to 2-2 before lacing a base hit back up the middle to plate Jose Brizuela and Casey Smit giving Florida State a one-run lead.
"I was very proud of the way [Jameis] came through to drive in the run for us to get us within one and of course proud that Joshua came through," Martin said.
"I love big moments like that," Winston said on his at-bat in the eighth. "And obviously I was able to get a walk and Delph came through big. It was good to get a win today."
"He made a good pitch on me," Delph said. "The first pitch was a high fastball and he just beat me. He made a good pitch on the outside black, down 0-2; I knew he had good sliders. I got a fastball low and outside, I was a little early on it and probably should have hit it to left field, but it worked. I got around a little bit and hit it up the middle."
Dylan Silva worked a perfect eighth inning before handing the ball to Winston in the ninth. The sophomore right hander gave up a single back up the middle to Connor Justus to open the ninth, but a well-timed pitch out on a steal attempt erased Justus from the base paths as Ladson Montgomery threw down to Justin Gonzalez for the first out of the inning.
Winston bounced back to get pinch hitter Keenan Innis swinging on strikes for out number two. He then worked around a two-out walk getting pinch hitter Mitch Earnest to fly out to left for the final out of the game. The save for Winston was his fifth of the season.
"I probably wasn't as sharp as I usually am but whatever it takes to get a win, I'm down for it," added Winston.
Silva retired all four batters that he faced in game three to improve to 2-0 on the year.