June 1, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A five-run seventh inning helped Florida State (48-11) to a 6-2 come-from-behind victory over No. 4 seed Bethune-Cookman (33-26) in Game Two of the 2007 NCAA Division I Tallahassee Regional Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium. With the win, the Seminoles advanced in the winners’ bracket and will face Mississippi State, 6-3 winners over Stetson in Game One, on Saturday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Sun Sports. The Wildcats will play Stetson in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
After a scoreless first inning, Bethune-Cookman struck first with a two-run second inning. With one out, Alejandro Jiminez homered to right field, his sixth blast of the season, which started a string of hits for the Wildcats. Jose Almonte and Drew Clark followed with back-to-back singles and a walk to Jose Ortiz-Rivera loaded the bases with just the one out. A deep fly out to left field by Neal Jones scored the second run for the Wildcats before the side was retired on a pop up to short.
While Bethune-Cookman had hits in each of the first three innings for a total of six, the Seminoles struggled at the plate managing just one Buster Posey single heading into the bottom of the third. In that inning, the Seminoles threatened and showed signs of an offensive resurgence. With one out, Brandon Reichert drew a walk and with two outs, went to third on a double to deep right field by Mark Hallberg but both would be left on base as Posey grounded out to second. The Seminoles managed another hit in the bottom of the fourth but again stranded two base runners.
The Seminole starter, right-hander Michael Hyde, began to settle down on the mound retiring the Wildcats in order in both the fourth and fifth innings but the Seminoles still couldn’t get in rhythm offensively.
While Bethune-Cookman starting pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, who struck out six Seminoles through the first five innings, continued to cruise, Florida State made a change on the mound in the top of the sixth. With one out and one on, lefty Matt Fairel replaced Hyde and Jiminez hit into a double-play which sent Bethune-Cookman back the dugout.
The Seminoles finally got their bats going in the seventh inning and got them going in a big way, scoring five runs, capped off by a two-run homer by Posey, his third of the season. Stidham got things started with a single to right and with one out, went to second on a walk to D’Vontrey Richardson. Stidham scored on a single by Reichert and Richardson advanced to third, prompting a pitching change for the Wildcats.
Righthander Felix Machado entered the game with runners at the corners and Player of the Year Tony Thomas, Jr., who was 0-3 on the night, up to bat. Thomas flied to deep center, but the sacrifice fly was enough to score Richardson and tie the game. It was the spark the Seminoles needed as Hallberg ripped a double to right center, sending Reichert across the plate. But the rally wasn’t over. Posey, who was 2-for-3 already in the game, hit the blast that put the Seminoles up three runs at 5-2.
In the bottom of the eighth, Stidham got into the long ball action and drilled a home run, his fifth of the season, to right center. It marked the fourth time this season that the Seminoles recorded multiple home runs in a game played at Dick Howser Stadium.
Fairel earned the win, making him 2-0 on the year, as the Seminole pitchers allowed just one hit in the final six innings of play. Rodriguez got the loss and went to 10-4 on the year.