May 18, 2007
Atlanta, Ga. – Third-ranked Florida State (45-9, 23-6) scored a combined seven runs in the first two innings as they cruised to a 10-2 victory over Georgia Tech (31-22, 15-13) on Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Seminoles recorded double-digit runs in back-to-back games against the Yellow Jackets for the first time since 2002, while FSU took its first series victory from Tech since 2003 when the Garnet and Gold won 2-of-3 in Atlanta. Four Seminoles recorded two hits a piece including right fielder Jack Rye who went 2-for-2 with a home run, three runs scored, two RBI’s and three base-on-balls.
Freshman Matt Fairel (1-0) got the win in relief as he threw a career-high 4.1 innings for his first collegiate victory. The southpaw allowed just four hits and did not face more than four batters in any inning that he pitched. Fairel did not issue a walk while striking out a career-high five.
“I was just glad to get in there from the get go and not allow those inherited runners to score in the third,” said Fairel. “It felt good to go there and help contribute to tonight’s victory.”
Six of the 13 Seminole hits went for extra bases including five doubles, two by Jason Stidham, and Rye’s two-run homer in the sixth. Mark Hallberg, Buster Posey, Rye and Stidham each registered two hits a piece.
The win gave Florida State the school record for league victories in a season surpassing the previous record of 22 set in 1999 when the Seminoles captured the ACC regular season title with a mark of 22-2.
“This team has played well all year,” said Posey on FSU taking its ninth ACC series of the season. “The pitchers did a good job tonight and our guys swung the bats well too. Putting up six in the first is going to be tough on anybody. I think it really allowed everybody to relax a little bit tonight.”
Florida State batted around in its first at-bat of the evening to quickly run out to a 6-0 advantage. The Seminoles sent the first eight batters to the plate without recording an out highlighted by an RBI double down the line in left by Hallberg and a double to right by Stidham to plate a pair. FSU also took advantage of some sloppy defense on the part of the Yellow Jackets as Georgia Tech committed three fielding errors behind starter David Duncan (6-4). Posey and Mark Gildea also registered RBI singles in the inning.
The Seminoles would add a run in the second without posting a hit. Rye and Travis Anderson reached after Duncan issued back-to-back walks with one out. After a fielder’s choice groundout put runners on first and third, the Seminoles pulled a double steal. Stidham took second with some hesitation and as the throw by Wieters was low and in the dirt at second, Rye scored easily for a 7-0 lead.
Georgia Tech scored two in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit to 7-2. Luke Murton and Patrick Long started the inning reaching on a fielding error and single, respectively and would score two batters later on a single to right by Tony Plagman.
The Yellow Jackets looked to threaten again as they loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and second, FSU starter Michael Hyde hit Brad Feltes with his first offering loading the bases and ending the evening for the senior right hander. Fairel came out of the bullpen and got Plagman to pop out to Posey in foul territory to end the inning.
Hyde went 2.2 innings as he gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits. He walked three and struck out two in earning a no decision.
Florida State was denied a run in the fourth as Anderson was thrown out at the plate. Stidham ripped his second double of the game to the gap in right center, but the Jackets used a pair of relay throws by Murton and Michael Fisher to throw on to catch Matt Wieters in plenty of time at the plate to get Anderson.
The Seminoles added a run in the fifth to increase their lead to 8-2. Brandon Reichert recorded his first hit of the evening lacing a double down the line in left scoring Gildea all the way from first. Gildea led off the inning with a walk.
Rye pushed the Seminole lead to 10-2 with one swing of the bat in the top of the sixth. Following Posey’s second single of the ball game; Rye took a 3-2 offering from reliever Jared Hyatt and parked it over the fence in right for his eighth home run of the season.
Brian Chambers pitched the final two innings to preserve the win. The senior right hander gave up just one hit and walked one as he kept the Jackets off the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth innings.
Florida State will return to the diamond on Saturday in the series finale against the Yellow Jackets at Russ Chandler Stadium. The game also marks the final game of the regular season for both teams. First pitch is slated for 4:00 pm and right hander Ryan Strauss is expected to make his 14th start of the season. Right hander Eddie Burns will take the mound for Georgia Tech. The game will be shown live on Comcast Sports South as well as via the internet on ACC Select. Fans can also follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.