Feb. 6, 2000
TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 5 Florida State (5-1) beat No. 22 Arizona State (8-2) 9-7
in front of 4,312 fans at Packard Stadium to win the three-game series
against the Sun Devils, 2-1.
Shortstop Brett Groves’ single to left in the top of the tenth inning with
two outs proved to be the game-winning hit. With the score tied at 7-7,
catcher Chris Hart singled up the middle and advanced to second when ASU
third baseman Mike Lopez booted a ground ball hit by designated hitter Bobby
Spano. Spano later scored on a wild pitch.
“This was a big win for us in the early part of the season,” said head
coach Mike Martin. “To win two games on the road against a team like
Arizona State is huge in the overall picture, but it is still early. I was
very proud of our fight in this series.”
Arizona State took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first
inning. Center fielder Jeff Duncan walked and stole two bases, eventually
scoring on left fielder Mitch Jones’ ground out.
The Seminoles put up five runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-1
lead. Groves started things off with a home run to right field, the fourth
of his FSU career. Second baseman Marshall McDougall walked and advanced to
second when third baseman Pichi Balet singled on a slow roller down the
third base line. With two outs, catcher Blair McCaleb’s grounder to Lopez
was mishandled at third, allowing McDougall to score. Center Fielder Karl
Jernigan made the Sun Devils pay for the mistake with a three-run home run
to left center.
In the bottom of the fourth, ASU tightened things up with two runs to cut
FSU’s lead to 5-3. Second baseman Brooks Conrad singled and came around to
score on Shortstop Dennis Wyrick’s sacrifice fly. Lopez, aided by a Groves
throwing error, scored on a ground out by Duncan.
First baseman Ryan Barthelemy’s second home run of the season made it 7-3
FSU in the top of the fifth. Barthelemy’s blast to center scored McDougall,
who had doubled to left.
Left fielder Mitch Jones’ leadoff homer in the bottom of the fifth pulled
the Sun Devils within three at 7-4 after five innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, ASU tied the score at 7-7. Relievers John
Bentley and Chris Whidden gave up five singles that led to the three Sun
Whidden worked his way out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth when he
struck out Wyrick with runners on first and third.
RHP Mike Ziegler (1-0) went 6.0 innings in his second career start, giving
up four runs (three earned) on seven hits. Chris Whidden got the win (1-0)
in relief for FSU and Mike DiBlasi picked up his first save of the year as
he held the Sun Devils in check in the bottom of the tenth inning. Jason
Fingers (1-1) took the loss for ASU.
“We are looking forward to an exciting home series with the No. 1 team
(Stanford) in the country this coming weekend,” said Martin. There have
been several No. 1 teams to come into Tallahassee that I wasn’t sure if they
really were the best team in the nation. There is no doubt in my mind that
this Stanford team is No. 1 from what I’ve seen so far. They have everyone
back from last year’s College World Series team.”
Florida State hosts No. 1 Stanford February 11-13 in Tallahassee. Friday’s
game it scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start, but that time could be moved to
6:00 p.m. An announcement regarding Friday’s game time will be made Tuesday.