March 8, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Game two of a doubleheader on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium may have featured some cold temperatures Saturday evening but it was the Florida State (11-0, 2-0) bats that were on fire as the Seminoles blanked Maryland (5-6, 0-2) 16-0 in front of a crowd of 4,532. FSU pounded out 14 hits in game two reaching the double-digit hit plateau for the 11th straight game to start the season. The Seminoles have now won 32 straight games against the Terrapins.
With the doubleheader sweep, Florida State has now won all 17 series against Maryland since joining the ACC in 1992. The Garnet and Gold leads the all-time series 53-3 including a mark of 27-2 at home. Dating back to the last league series in 2006 against NC State, the Seminoles have won 11 of their last 12 ACC series.
“We had some really strong pitching for us no doubt about it,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Elih pitched extremely well and Matt Fairel had a great outing. We are very excited about the way our guys played. We know that tomorrow is another day, so we have to be ready to go.”
The Seminoles once again got another strong performance from sophomore Matt Fairel (3-0). The southpaw from Winter Haven, Fla., worked seven scoreless innings to tie a career-high. He allowed seven hits and walked two while tying another career-high with seven strikeouts. Fairel has now pitched 10.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
“I felt comfortable out there tonight,” said Fairel. “My defense picked me up a lot; they helped me out two or three times. Tony Delmonico and Jack Rye made some great plays that really helped me out to preserve the shutout.”
Offensively, left fielder Ruairi O’Connor had a big game going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored. In his career against Maryland, O’Connor has registered six hits with four runs and six runs batted in. Buster Posey and Jack Rye also collected a pair of hits in game two.
Tyler Holt, the ACC leader in on-base percentage, improved on that number in game two as he reached base on four of his six at-bats. The freshman centerfielder drew three base-on-balls and a single while scoring twice and driving in a pair. Tommy Oravetz, who got his second start of the season at second base, scored twice, drove in two runs and walked two times. Jimmy Marshall and Nick Vickerson each picked up their first collegiate hit on a single to right field in the eighth.
The Florida State offense gave Fairel some breathing room right off the bat thanks to a five-run first inning. The first five batters reached on a leadoff walk by Holt and four straight hits by Oravetz, Posey, Rye and Tony Delmonico. All five of those batters would come around to score. O’Connor’s RBI single to centerfield ended the night for Terrapin starter Kevin Biringer (1-1), who lasted just two-thirds of an inning in his second start of the season.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 8-0 in the third on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Holt and Oravetz scoring designated hitter Mike McGee and third baseman Stuart Tapley. O’Connor would score the third run of the inning on a fielding error by Maryland pitcher Mike Sufozynski.
In the sixth, Florida State added three more runs on two consecutive doubles by Tapley and O’Connor. Tapley laced a double down the line in left to score Delmonico who drew a walk. After a Maryland pitching change, O’Connor greeted Brett Jones with a double to right to score Dennis Guinn and Tapley.
Florida State would bat around for the second time in the game putting a five spot on the board in the eighth. The Seminoles sent 10 batters to plate collecting five hits and two base-on-balls.
Bo O’Dell and Jimmy Marshall each pitched an inning in relief contributing to the combined shutout. The last time the Seminoles shutout an opponent was on March 27, 2007 as Florida State defeated North Florida 6-0. The last shutout posted by FSU in an ACC game came in game three of last year against Boston College as the Seminoles blanked the Eagles 7-0.
With the 16 runs on Saturday night, Florida State has now scored 10 or more runs in 29 of the 56 all-time games against Maryland.
“To start out 2-0 in the ACC is really big,” added Fairel. “Every game that you win in this league counts for something. You got to get up for every game; you can’t afford to lose to anyone. There are so many great teams in this league.”
Florida State will return to the diamond to face Maryland on Sunday, March 9 in the series finale. Senior Ryan Strauss will take the mound in his second start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 pm. The game will be broadcast live on ACC Select, while faces can also catch the action on gametracker and over the radio on 100.7 FM.