Jan. 31, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 18 Florida State (1-0) defeated VMI (0-1) by a final score of 8-7 in front of 5,882 fans at the grand opening of Dick Howser Stadium Saturday afternoon. The crowd was the eighth largest crowd in school history. Sophomore left-hander Hunter Jones pitched six innings giving up four runs (all unearned) and struck out a career-high eight batters in the first weekend start of his career. Jones retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced to help FSU to a 6-4 lead heading into the seventh.
In the top of the eighth trailing 7-4, the Keydets tied the game at seven apiece. Derrick Smith’s RBI-double down the right line scored Eddy Martinez-Esteve in the bottom of the ninth for the win. Martinez-Esteve had reached on a walk.
Kevin Lynch earned the win for FSU after working the final two innings in relief. Lynch recorded three strikeouts and allowed one run on two VMI hits.
The Seminoles got off to a rough start as VMI scored three runs in the top of the first. After a pair of walks to Brandon Massenburg and Zach Kennedy to lead off the inning, Kelly Sweppenhiser scored from second on Hunter Jones’ throwing error to third. Jon Wade’s grounder was the misplayed, allowing Massenburg and Kennedy to score and make it 3-0.
Florida State answered with two runs in the bottom half of the first to cut the Keydet lead to 3-2. Shane Robinson led of the bottom of the first with a walk and moved to third on a Stephen Drew single up the middle. Robinson then scored on Martinez-Esteve’s sacrifice fly to center. Smith’s sacrifice fly with one out scored Drew from third.
FSU tied the score at four in the bottom of the second behind Bryan Zech’s RBI-double to left. Ryne Malone tripled to center in his first career at bat before scoring on Zech’s double. Zech then stole third before Matt Sauls’ bunt plated him to make it 4-4.
The Seminoles took their first lead of the game at 5-4 in the third as Smith hit his second career home run, a deep fly ball over the fence in right. FSU extended its lead to 6-4 as Drew added another solo home run in the fifth.
Smith finished the day 2-for-2 with a home run, double and three RBI. Drew scored three runs on the afternoon while going 2-for-4 with a home run and a stolen base.
Jeff DeMara (0-1) took the loss for VMI after giving up one run on one hit in 1.1 innings of work.
Florida State and VMI will return to action on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Senior RHP Eddie Cannon will take the hill for the Seminoles while RHP J.J. Hollenbeck will start for the Keydets. The three-game series will conclude Monday at 2:00 p.m.