TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Waiting through a seven-hour weather delay on Sunday did not cool off Florida State’s bats.

The Seminoles got a leadoff home run from Taylor Walls and never let up as they defeated Sam Houston State 19-0 to advance to the College World Series for the first time since 2012.

Walls, who had his second multi-home run game of the season, got Florida State on the board on the third pitch of the game when he put a Heath Donica changeup over the wall in left field.

“When he hit it out of the park in the first inning that was a pretty clear indication of how things were going to go,” said Florida State head coach Mike Martin. “That was certainly a big lift for us and we never let up from there.”

Walls, a junior shortstop, reached base in all seven of his plate appearances. He was 3 for 3, drove in four runs and had five runs scored. His second home run came in the third inning to give the Seminoles a 9-0 lead.

Florida State (45-21) had 10 players get hits. Of those 13 hits, four were home runs. Quincy Nieporte, who also drove in four runs, had a three-run homer to left in the second and pinch-hitter Kyle Cavanaugh homered to lead off the eighth. It is Florida State’s first four-homer game this season.

The Seminoles also drew 12 walks and were hit by a pitch seven times.

“They have a very well balanced lineup that is tough to pitch to,” Sam Houston State coach Matt Deggs said. “If you lose the battle of the freebees with them it can be a miserable night and that was the case. They did a great job of capitalizing.”

Three Florida State pitchers combined for its second shutout of the NCAA tournament and held Sam Houston State to four hits while striking out 15.

Drew Parrish (6-3) went the first five innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out nine. Cole Sands went three innings and Andrew Karp pitched the ninth.

Donica (9-3) allowed a career-high eight runs in two innings, surpassing the previous high of seven. The senior right-hander, who was the first of seven Bearkats pitchers, allowed five hits along with having three walks, three strikeouts and three hit batters.

Jaxxon Grisham was Sam Houston State’s only player to reach third base. He had a one-out double in the seventh, advanced to third on a Taylor Beene ground out and then was stranded.

Sam Houston State, which made the super regional for the first time, ends the year 44-23.

CAN’T KEEP HIM OFF BASE

Walls reached base in 11 consecutive plate trips over the weekend. He is the first Florida State player to do that since Justin Gonzalez in 2014.

HARD DAY’S NIGHT

The game originally was set to begin at noon but was delayed three times due to inclement weather. At 5 p.m. Sam Houston State took the field, only to be pulled a minute later due to lightning strikes in the area. First pitch finally took place at 7:30 p.m.

UP NEXT

The Seminoles will face fourth-seeded LSU in their first CWS matchup. Florida State will be making its 22nd College World Series trip, which ties it with Arizona State for third-most, but is still looking for its first national title. This will be head coach Mike Martin 16th appearance, which would be second most in CWS history.


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JOE REEDY
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