Seminoles' 7-run 4th keys rout of Stanford
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State coach Mike Martin said Stanford's Mark Appel was the best pitcher he has seen this season.
Luckily for Martin and his Seminoles, Appel couldn't get anything good going Friday night.
Devon Travis homered twice and drove in six runs and Florida State took advantage of Appel's wildness on its way to a 17-1 victory over Stanford in the opener of their best-of-three NCAA super regional.
"The only thing you can predict about baseball is the unpredictability," Martin said. "We happened to have some things go our way against him (Appel) tonight. It just happened to be one of those nights."
Florida State (47-15) chased Appel with seven runs in the fourth inning.
The Seminoles batted around in the fourth and fifth innings to build an 11-1 lead. Travis, a second baseman drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 13th round earlier this week, singled in a run in the fourth, hit a two-run homer in the sixth and belted a three-run shot in the seventh.
Freshman left-hander Brandon Leibrandt (8-2) pitched six innings before leaving with a 14-1 lead. He struck out four and was backed by three double plays.
Appel (10-2) was hurt by his wildness and an error by shortstop Kenny Diekroeger, who booted a potential double play grounder as Florida State scored its first run. Florida State sent a dozen batters up in the fourth when Appel walked three, hit a batter and wild pitched in a run.
"I just didn't get the job done," the big right-hander said. "You're always going to have a few bad outings every year, but you wish they aren't in the super regionals."
Appel, chosen with the eighth pick of the first round by Pittsburgh in this week's Major League Baseball draft, threw 48 of his 95 pitches in the fourth.
Stanford's pitchers threw 206 pitches in the game, walked 12 and hit five batters.
Cardinal leadoff batter Jake Stewart doubled and scored on Stephen Piscotty's single for the lone Stanford run. Stewart also had a single and Brian Rigira had three singles for Stanford (41-17), which suffered its worst loss of the season.
"A good old-fashioned whooping," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "It just got away from us."
Florida State also won a game by 16 runs early in the season with an 18-2 win over Maine.
Florida State's leadoff hitter, Sherman Johnson, scored four runs and catcher Stephen McGee drove in three. Travis and James Ramsey each had three hits for the Seminoles.
Travis, who hit both of his home runs over the left field wall, said he was surprised that both left the park.
"I don't think I ever remember hitting two home runs in my life in a game, not even in little league days," Travis said. "I don't know what happened."
Both schools emptied their benches in the final innings. Stanford got 22 players into the game and Florida State 18.
Florida State will try to wrap up the series Saturday and earn a trip to the College World Series with freshman Mike Compton (11-2) scheduled to face Stanford's Brett Mooneyham (7-5).