Feb. 22, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sixth-ranked Florida State (4-0) completed the four-game sweep of Hofstra (4-0) with a 10-4 victory Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles registered 16 hits in game four including seven doubles all coming in the first four innings.
Leading the offensive attack on Sunday was leadoff batter Tyler Holt who finished with a game-high three hits. The sophomore center fielder reached base on four of his six plate appearances and finished the game with a pair of doubles, a single and a walk. He also scored three times in the series finale.
“You know it’s really important, it’s really big to start off well,” head coach Mike Martin said. “Say what you want to about Hofstra, they had four seniors, two or three juniors. They are pretty dad gum good. That bunch was impressive.”
Sophomore Mike McGee wrapped up another successful opening weekend in a Seminole uniform as the Port St. Lucie, Fla., native worked six innings in his first start of the season. The right hander allowed two runs, all unearned, on five hits to pick up win number one on the year. He walked just one while striking out three Pride hitters.
At the plate, McGee went 1-for-2 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. He finished the weekend hitting .556 (6-for-11) with a double, a home run, five RBI and five runs scored. McGee slugged .909 while posting a .667 on-base percentage. Last year in his first collegiate series, McGee posted multiple hits in all three games against Duquesne en route to a .727 average.
“You start with Mike McGee,” explained Martin. “He controlled both sides of the plate; his fastball and his curveball got going. He’s a great competitor. You are just glad he’s on your team.”
Three doubles in the bottom of the first led to an early 2-0 Florida State lead. Holt led off the inning with a double over the head of left fielder Scott A’Hara. After two straight outs, Jason Stidham and Stuart Tapley followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to give FSU a two-run advantage. Stidham came within inches of hitting his first home run of the season but the ball hit off the top of the fence in right center for a standup double while scoring Holt easily from third. Tapley then drilled a double to the wall in deep center plating Stidham for the second run of the inning.
Hofstra threatened in the top of the second loading the bases with only one out but came away empty handed. McGee got out of the jam recording consecutive strikeouts including a called third strike on center fielder John Kenny to end the inning.
The Seminoles added to their lead in the bottom of the inning thanks to a two-run single back up the middle off the bat of catcher Rafael Lopez. D’Vontrey Richardson led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double off the fence in right by Ohmed Danesh. Both would score one batter later on Lopez’ base hit up the middle.
The Pride cut the Seminole lead in half scoring two unearned runs in the top of the third. Mark Stuckless started the inning with a single to center and moved to second on a passed ball. He scored a batter later on an RBI double by Tom Legregni. After a pop up by Matt Prokopowicz, Legregni successfully stole third and came around to score on an errant throw by Lopez on the attempted throw down to third.
A trio of doubles in the fourth led to a pair of runs for Florida State as the Seminoles regained their four-run cushion. Holt started the charge once again with a leadoff double to right. He scored two batters later on a double to left center by McGee. Stidham would follow with his second double of the game lacing a ball down the right field foul line for his second two bagger of the game.
McGee kept the Pride off the scoreboard until his departure after six facing the minimum number of hitters in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. After giving up a single to Kenny to begin the fifth, McGee quickly erased the Pride base runner picking off Kenny at first.
The Seminoles pushed their lead to 7-2 in the sixth with all the offensive action coming on two outs. Stidham drew a two-out walk and moved into scoring position as he successfully stole his first base of the season. Tapley followed with his second hit of the game lining a base hit up the middle scoring Stidham for the seventh Seminole run of the game. Tapley finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI and a walk. Three of Sunday’s runs all came on two outs.
Hofstra made things interesting in the seventh scoring two off reliever Bo O’Dell. The senior right hander had trouble locating the strikeout zone as he gave up three walks and a single. His third walk came with the bases loaded as Kenny drove in Elliot Hagburg for his first RBI of the game. It marked just third time in 35 career outings that O’Dell had given up three walks in a game.
Martin went to the bullpen and brought on Brian Busch. Making his third appearance of the weekend, Busch was once again impressive getting Stuckless to line out to left for out number one. He then induced Legregni into what looked to be an inning ending double play, but second baseman Sherman Johnson had trouble with the exchange after getting the first out at second allowing A’Hara to score from third for the fourth Hofstra run of the game. That would be it for the Pride in the seventh as the freshman southpaw got Prokopowicz swinging on strikes to end the threat.
Florida State increased its leads in the seventh scoring three more runs to make the score 10-4. The Seminoles sent nine batters to the plate in the seventh as Lopez, Holt and Mike Meschke all scored in the inning. Meschke, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the sixth, finished the contest 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
Ben Francis came on and pitched a scoreless eighth allowing just one hit while facing four batters. Freshman Kris Castellanos made his Seminole debut pitching two-thirds of an inning in the ninth posting two walks and a strikeout before giving way to Jack Posey for the final out of the game. Posey was impressive in his first appearance as a pitcher recording a strikeout to close out the four-game sweep for the Seminoles. Of the eight pitches thrown by Posey in the ninth, seven were for strikes.
Florida State will return to the diamond on Thursday, February 27 for the first of four games against the Auburn Tigers. The Seminoles will host the first two games on Thursday (6:00 p.m.) and Friday (4:00 p.m.) before both teams head to Auburn for the final two games on Saturday (2:00 p.m. EST) and Sunday (2:00 p.m. EST). Fans can listen to the first two games of the series on 1270 the Team, while the final two in Auburn can be heard on 100.7 FM. Thursday’s game will be shown live on FS Florida and Friday’s game will be carried on ACC Select. Live stats for all four games will be available via gametracker on www.seminoles.com.