Baseball falls at #8 Florida State, 16-9
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff had a grand slam for JU on Tuesday.
Sophomore Taylor Ratliff had a grand slam for JU on Tuesday.
Two big innings helped No. 8 Florida State defeat the JU baseball team, 16-9, on Tuesday night at Mike Martin Field.

The Dolphins (0-4) took a 6-2 lead with the help of a grand slam by sophomore Taylor Ratliff in the second inning. The Seminoles (4-0) quashed the JU momentum by scoring five in the fourth inning and sixth in the sixth inning to get the win.

“We started really well, but couldn’t finish,” JU head coach Terry Alexander said. “They capitalized on all of mistakes tonight. We have to find a way to play consistently the whole game and not in spurts.”

Jayce Boyd went 4-for-5 with five RBI and two runs scored to lead the Seminoles’ attack. John Nogowski recorded three RBI on two hits in the win.

Ratliff finished 2-for-6 with five RBI for the Dolphins. Junior Jake Huxtable recorded two RBI, while seniors Jonathan Murphy (single) and Kevin Lehane (home run) each had run-scoring hits.

Seminoles reliever Mack Waugh (1-0) struck out seven batters and allowed two runs on five hits in 3.1innings to get the win. Robert Benincasa fanned four to help the Florida State cause.

Freshman Nolan Peterson (0-1) took the loss for the Dolphins after allowing four runs on three walks in an 0.1 inning of work. Senior Sean Green allowed one run and struck out two batters in the final two innings for the Dolphins.

Trailing 2-1 with one out in the second inning, Seminoles starter Luke Weaver walked three straight batters to load the bases. Huxtable followed with an RBI single to left field, while Ratliff cleared the bases with a grand slam to give the Dolphins a 6-2 lead.

The Seminoles scored a run in the second inning on an error before making it a 6-4 deficit in the third on a sacrifice fly from Stephen McGee to plate Nogowski.

In the FSU fifth inning, Sherman Johnson led off with a walk. Devon Travis followed with a double, while James Ramsey walked to load the bases. Boyd walked to score a run in the next at-bat. Peterson was relieved by sophomore Adam Maxon who allowed an RBI single to Nogowski to give the Seminoles a 7-6 advantage. Justin Gonzalez had a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the next at-bat before the Seminoles tacked on two more runs from bases-loaded walks to wrap the inning.

The Dolphins cut the deficit to 9-8 in the fifth inning on RBI hits from Huxtable and Ratliff. Juniors Dan Gulbransen and Adam Brett Walker II each reached to start the sixth inning, but Benincasa struck out the next three batters to end the threat.

Boyd and Nogowiski each had two-run hits during a sixth-run sixth inning to give the Seminoles a commanding a 15-8 advantage.

Murphy had a two-out single in the eighth inning to score Gulbransen for the Dolphins.

The Dolphins open the home schedule on Friday with Northeastern in the inaugural Roger Strickland Classic at 4 p.m.