April 10, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Seventh-ranked Florida State (24-7, 9-5 ACC) improved to 4-1 on the road in ACC play with a 5-4 victory over Wake Forest (10-23, 2-12 ACC) Saturday evening on Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park. The Seminoles were held to just five hits in game two, their lowest hit total in a win this year, en route to their seventh straight victory over the Demon Deacons.
The Florida State bullpen was dominant Saturday night as Tyler Everett, Brian Busch, Daniel Bennett and Mike McGee held Wake Forest scoreless for 6.1 innings. In 123.0 innings this year, the Seminole bullpen lowered its ERA to 2.49 with 118 strikeouts. Seminole relievers have turned in a 2.03 ERA in league play recording 52 strikeouts in 57.2 innings of work.
“I was just very pleased with Tyler Everett, Brian Busch, Daniel Bennett and Mike McGee; it was just a great win for us tonight,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Any time you hold a team scoreless for six innings in the ACC you know you have accomplished a lot. And the four guys out of the bullpen tonight were certainly on top of their game and we needed that; that was a big shot in the arm. This was a big win for us tonight.”
Everett was first out of the pen in game two working 3.1 innings to move to 3-0 on the year. The junior right hander gave up three hits and struck out a career-high six batters. Busch, Bennett and McGee each worked an inning in relief and did not give up a hit, while all three pitchers registered one strikeout. McGee faced the minimum in the ninth to earn his fifth save in as many chances.
“I was just trying to get the ball over the plate and let our defense work,” said Everett, who lowered his league leading ERA to 1.11 on the year. “It was a great team effort tonight and it always puts the pitcher’s mind at ease when the guys behind you are playing great defense.”
All the scoring on Saturday night occurred in the first three innings with Tyler Holt giving the Garnet and Gold the lead for good on a three-run home run in the second.
“Certainly, the big home run from Tyler Holt was huge,” added Martin. “You never know what is going to happen. It’s just a game in which you take advantage of every opportunity you get. We had some other opportunities to get some runs, didn’t but kept our composure and got some great pitching tonight.”
“Two strikeouts on me and I was looking outer-thirds and he threw a fastball and my hands just reacted and it went over,” said Holt on hitting his home run.
For the second straight game, Florida State struck first taking advantage of two Demon Deacon errors in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead. The second error led to a run as Sherman Johnson scored from first on a throwing error by Shane Kroker at third base. With Holt and Johnson aboard, McGee hit a groundball to Kroker who stepped on third for the force out. His throw to first to double up McGee went wide of the bag as Johnson hustled all the way from first to score the first run of the game.
The first inning was an exact replica of Friday night’s game one as Wake Forest answered right back with a run to tie the game at one apiece. Ryan Lloyd drew a one-out walk from FSU starter Geoff Parker. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base to left by Steven Brooks.
And like Friday night, Florida State came right back with three runs in the top of the second to take a 4-1 advantage. All three runs came off one swing of the bat as Holt connected on a three-run shot to left good for his second home run of the series and team leading seventh of the season. With two outs, Jayce Boyd kept the inning alive registering the first Seminole hit of the ball game lacing a two-out single to center off Wake Forest starter Tim Cooney (3-2). Rafael Lopez followed with a single through the right side. Both Seminole runners scored on Holt’s towering home run to left.
“I finally changed something up,” said Holt on hitting three home runs in the last seven games. “I had to get back in a rhythm. I think I found something that I can stick with and luckily the results have been showing. I’m not trying to hit them out, but they are going out and I’m not going to complain.”
Wake Forest cut the deficit to one with two runs in the second. Trenton Langston led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double to right center by Ryan Semeniuk. Kroker brought home Langston on an RBI groundout to second, while Mark Rhine drove in Semeniuk for the second run of the inning on a single through the left side. Parker got out of the inning with the Seminoles leading by one as Lopez threw out Rhine trying to steal second and then Blair looking on strikes.
FSU pushed its lead to 5-3 scoring another run on two outs. Cooney recorded outs to the first two batters that he faced before Cardullo dropped in a two-out bloop single to right center. The senior from Miami, Fla., then swiped second and third for his 10th and 11th stolen bases of the season. After Justin Gonzalez was hit by a pitch, Travis stepped in and sent a single to right center scoring Cardullo from third giving the Garnet and Gold a 5-3 lead.
A leadoff walk to Lloyd would result in a run as Matt Conway brought the Deacs within one of the Seminole lead on a two-out RBI double to the gap in right center. The hit would end the night for Parker after just 2.2 innings. The junior right hander was charged with four runs on four hits as he walked three and struck out three.
Everett came on and got Langston to strike out swinging to keep Florida State’s lead in tact at 5-4.
Cooney’s night came to a close after issuing consecutive walks to Cardullo and Gonzalez with one out in the fifth. Ryan McGrath entered out of the bullpen and registered fly outs from both Travis and Boyd to keep the deficit at one.
The Deacs got a runner at third with two outs in the seventh against Seminole reliever Brian Busch. The sophomore southpaw then issued a walk to Conway before getting pinch hitter Bentley Heyman to fly out to James Ramsey in right for the final out of the inning.
Bennett entered in the eighth and worked around a leadoff walk to Semeniuk. After a sacrifice bunt by Kroker moved Semeniuk to second, Bennett recorded a strikeout of Rhine before getting Pat Blair to groundout to Cardullo at short for out number three.
The Seminoles return to the diamond for the final game of the series against the Demon Deacons on Sunday, April 11 at 1:00 p.m. Fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.