TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Samford baseball team upset seventh-ranked Florida State, 7-6, in the first round of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional on Friday evening at Dick Howser Stadium.
The Bulldogs advance to the winners' bracket of the regional, where Samford will take on Oklahoma on Saturday at 4 p.m. CST. The television assignment for the game will be announced later tonight. The Sooners reached the winners' bracket game with a 20-10 win over Mississippi State earlier Friday.
In the win for Samford, Brooks Carlson went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Austin Edens went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Branden Frymanand Taylor Garris also drove in a run each for the Bulldogs.
Josh Rich (7-5) pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief to earn the win for the Bulldogs. Wyatt Burns tossed the final 3.2 innings, allowing one run on one hit to pick up his 13th save of the season.
For Florida State, Mike Salvatore drove in two runs in a 1-for-5 performance. Rhett Aplin, Drew Mendoza, Reese Albert and J.C. Flowers drove in a run each for the Seminoles. Cole Sands (7-4) pitched 2.2 innings, giving up two runs on three hits to take the loss on the mound.
Florida State struck first with a run in the bottom of the second inning. After Steven Wells led the inning off with a double, he later scored on a sacrifice fly by Albert for a 1-0 FSU lead.
Samford answered with two runs in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. With two outs in the inning, Troy Dixon doubled to left-center field. Carlson then hit a home run to left field to give the Bulldogs the lead.
Samford added to its lead with a run in the top of the fourth inning to make the score 3-1. With one out in the inning, Edens reached on an infield single. Garris then singled to center field, moving Edens to second base. Edens then moved to third base on a wild pitch. With two outs, Edens scored on an infield single by Fryman for a two-run Samford lead.
The Bulldogs extended their lead with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Edens singled through the right side of the infield to drive in Carlson for the first run of the inning. Connor Burns scored when Garris reached on a fielder's choice, and Anthony Mulrine scored on the play on an FSU error for a 6-1 Samford lead.
The Seminoles answered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the Samford lead to 6-5. Flowers singled to drive in Albert for the first run of the bottom of the inning. Salvatore then tripled to drive in Flowers and Nick Derr. The inning's final run was scored when Aplin singled to drive in Salvatore to bring Florida State to within one run of Samford.
Florida State threatened again in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Seminoles loaded the bases with one out. Samford then brought in Burns to pitch. Burns got Salvatore to ground into a double play to end the inning and the FSU threat.
Samford added another run in the top of the seventh inning. Sam Teague walked to lead off the inning. Teague later scored on a balk to push the Bulldogs' lead to 7-5.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, FSU plated a run when Mendoza doubled to right field to drive in Wells to make the score 7-6. Burns, however, was able to keep the Seminoles scoreless the rest of the way to close out the victory.
SAMFORD POSTGAME NOTES
· Samford is now 3-2 all-time in NCAA Regional games, and 1-2 in postseason games vs. Florida State.
· This marks just the second-ever win over Florida State in program history. Samford is now 2-21 all-time against the Seminoles.
· Brooks Carlson's home run in the third inning was his team-leading ninth of the season.
· The win was Samford's fifth-straight and ninth in the last 10 games.
· Wyatt Burns earned his 13th save of the season.
· The matchup with Oklahoma Saturday will mark the first meeting with the Sooners since the 2012 season, when Oklahoma won two-of-three over Samford in Norman, Oklahoma.