March 22, 2003
KINSTON, N.C. – Colt Morton belted home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, and Vern Sterry scattered three hits over eight innings Saturday night as 25th-ranked NC State defeated No. 2 Florida State 5-2 in the second game of a doubleheader at Grainger Stadium.
With the sweep of the doubleheader, the Wolfpack has won 16 games in a row and improved to 21-4 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. FSU dropped to 24-4 overall and 3-2 in the conference. Sterry (6-0) allowed two runs on three hits, walked three and struck eight. He retired the side in order just twice, but ran into trouble just once, in the top of the sixth inning. Florida State reliever Rhett James (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. He walked none and struck out one.
Sterry and Florida State starter Trent Peterson had a double no-hitter through the early innings. Peterson retired the first eight men he faced and did not allow a hit until Marc Maynor’s scratch infield single with two away in the bottom of the fifth. Maynor went all the way to third on an errant pickoff throw, but the Wolfpack stranded him there.
Florida State did not get its first hit until the top of the sixth, but cashed it in for two runs. With one away, Stephen Drew broke an 0-for-15 slump with a single to right field. Drew stole second and Tony McQuade worked Sterry for a walk. Tony Ritchie followed with an RBI single to center, and McQuade and Ritchie moved to second and third on the throw to the plate. Jerrod Brown’s sacrifice fly to center field got Ritchie home to give the Seminoles and Peterson a 2-0 lead.
The Wolfpack tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. Morton led off with his eighth homer of the season, a long line drive to left field. With two away, Maynor laid down a perfect bunt for a single, and scored all the way from first when Seminole third baseman Eddy Martinez-Esteve threw away Adam Hargrave’s grounder for a run-scoring error, knotting the score at 2-2.
Morton struck again in the bottom of the eighth, a towering two-run blast with Justin Riley aboard, and Tim Coffield followed with a solo shot that was nearly as long as Morton’s to give the Pack a 5-2 lead.