The book on the 2016 Florida State Seminoles was that while still ultra talented, their roster lacked the true superstar it sported throughout the years. Where they had true mashers in the lineup in the past, they now had a much more subdued approach to the game. On raw ability, FSU is one of the best in the nation, but a good pitcher could really take it to them.
That's exactly what Mike King did. King pitched 8.1 innings, scattering eight hits while walking only two. Pitching to contact, he only struck out one, but he forced 15 groundball outs and, at one point, retired eight straight, needing only 101 pitches to do it. Heading into the ninth, he allowed only one run, which came quickly on back-to-back base hits.
But even a nearly-perfect pitching performance wasn't enough. FSU pitching overpowered the Eagle bats. BC produced one base hit in the first, fourth, and fifth but didn't do anything else offensively as the Seminoles walked out of a Shea Field with a 3-0 decision in the first game of the three-game series.
King went pound-for-pound with FSU ace Mike Compton, who rebounded from a couple of bad starts to throw five solid innings. He allowed all three Eagle hits and walked three to just one strikeout, but he faced only five over the minimum through a shortened outing. Compton (4-1) did pick up the victory since he got the one run of support in the top of the fifth.
That run came when Matt Henderson singled with two outs in the top of the frame. The very next batter, Taylor Walls, doubled, and Henderson came around to score from first, staking FSU to a 1-0 lead. As it turned out, that was all they needed.
BC went down in order in the second, third, sixth, seventh, and eighth. Until reliever Tyler Warmoth hit Mitch Bigras with a pitch with two outs in the ninth, FSU pitching, behind Compton and reliever Jim Boyles, retired 14 straight.
In the ninth, FSU received a couple of insurance runs. Jackson Lueck led off with a double, scoring two batters later when Ben DeLuzio doubled him home. That ended King's day, though he was responsible for DeLuzio, as Mike Gambino went to his bullpen in favor of Brian Rapp. Rapp induced a flyout to start his outing, but DeLuzio advanced to third, scoring when Henderson grounded one to Joe Cronin at third that handcuffed the Eagle captain. The run was unearned.
For FSU, Lueck had a multi-hit game, going 3-4 with a run scored. That was really the only highlight offensively for the team, who received single hits from Walls, DeLuzio, Henderson, and Darren Miller. John Sansone and Cal Raleigh, considered two of the better hitters in the FSU lineup, went a combined 0-8.
For BC, Cronin, Donovan Casey, and Nick Sciortino had the base hits, while the rest of the lineup combined to go 0-18 against FSU pitching.
Jim Voyles threw three innings of relief, striking out one, and Warmoth struck out two in the ninth to lock down his second save of the season.
King (4-2) took the loss for BC. Brian Rapp threw two outs in the ninth, facing three batters and not allowing a hit.
The two teams will play a rescheduled doubleheader on Saturday due to the weather forecast in the Greater Boston area with first pitch coming at 11 AM.