Feb. 28, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. – Fifth-ranked Florida State (6-1) fell from the ranks of the unbeaten falling to Auburn (3-4) 10-9 on Saturday at Plainsman Park. The loss snapped the Seminoles’ seven-game win streak against the Tigers in the series as Auburn won for the first time since February 10, 2006.
Tyler Holt continued his hot hitting on the year finishing the game 3-for-3 with two doubles and a home run. The sophomore centerfielder reached base on all five plate appearances as he was hit by a pitch in the third and walked in the fourth. For the series, Holt is hitting .714 with 10 hits in 14 at bats. He has four doubles, a triple and a home run.
“Well, I would give up all three hits to win the ball game,” explained Holt. “I’m hoping we can come out tomorrow and still hit the ball like we did but play a little better as a unit.”
With the Seminoles down two in the eighth, Holt brought the Seminoles within one as he led off the inning with a solo home run to right. The blast was his first of the season and fourth of his career.
The attempts for a come-from-behind victory got off to a great start in the ninth as Stephen Cardullo led off the inning with a sharp single to center. But Tiger reliever Austin Hubbard would buckle down and get the final three outs of the game for his first save of the season.
“We made some costly mistakes that ended up costing us the ball game,” said head coach Mike Martin. “The positives – Mark Peterson came in and pitched well. It was a game I thought we were going to get control of, but give Auburn credit, they did a good job and they deserved to win.”
Florida State wasted very little time to crack the scoreboard in game three plating two runs in the top of the first. Holt led off the game with a double to the gap in left center, his seventh double of the season and seventh hit of the series. The double marked the sixth consecutive at-bat that Holt has registered a hit, while the sophomore center fielder extended his streak of reaching base to 17 straight games.
Holt then moved to third on a wild pitch by Auburn starter Jon Luke Jacobs and scored on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Ohmed Danesh. Jason Stidham followed with a double off the bottom of the wall in right and advanced to third on a bunt single down the line at third by Stuart Tapley. Meschke brought home Stidham for the second run of the game on the second sac-fly of the inning.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 3-0 as Holt scored for the second time on Saturday. The sophomore center fielder led off the third inning as he was plunked in the back on a 0-2 offering from Jacobs. He successfully stole second for his third stolen base of the season and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Stidham. With two outs and Tapley at the plate, Jacobs unleashed his second wild pitch of the game scoring Holt for a three-run Seminole lead.
Auburn tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the third. The Tigers began the inning with three consecutive hits off starter John Gast as Brian Fletcher led off the inning with a single to right center followed by a double to right by Justin Hargett. Gast slipped on the infield grass following Hargett’s hit but would remain in the game after being looked at by team trainer Jake Pfeil.
An RBI infield single by Trent Mummey scored Fletcher from third for the first Auburn run of the game. A passed ball charged to Rafael Lopez brought the Tigers within one of the lead as Hargett scored on the play. Gast got Joseph Sanders to pop up to short for the first out of the inning, but an error by Tommy Oravetz at second led to the third Auburn run of the game.
Gast finished the third but would not return to the game after suffering a right ankle injury. The sophomore southpaw pitched three innings allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits. He walked one and struck out one on 49 pitches.
The Seminole regained the lead in the fourth on a two-out RBI single through the right side off the bat of Lopez. Oravetz scored on the play after being hit on a 2-0 offering from Jacobs. It marked the fifth time this season that Oravetz has been hit by a pitch. It also moves his career total to 31 moving him into a tie for sixth place all-time with Tony Thomas, Jr.
The lead was short lived as Auburn came roaring back with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-4 lead. Bo O’Dell (0-1) entered out of the pen in relief of the injured Gast and got off to a good start getting Casey McElroy to groundout to Oravetz at short. But a hit-by-pitch, an error by Tapley at third, back-to-back singles and a sacrifice fly accounted for all the Auburn scoring in the fourth. The inning came to a close as Lopez threw out Sanders trying to steal second.
Tapley’s error in the fourth was the sophomore third baseman’s first in 40 games snapping his consecutive errorless streak at 39 games.
Florida State recaptured the lead in the sixth with four runs to take an 8-6 lead. Cardullo led off the inning with a mammoth shot to dead center clearing the 25 foot wall for his first home run of the season. The hit would end the afternoon for Jacobs who went five plus innings allowing five runs on six hits.
After a groundout by Oravetz for the first out of the inning, the Seminoles registered three consecutive hits including an RBI double off the wall in left by Holt. D’Vontrey Richardson, who singled on a chopper to left, scored easily from third on the play. A walk to Danesh loaded the bases for Stidham who sent a sacrifice fly to center plating Lopez, who reached on a single to right.
The Tigers went to the bullpen for the second time in the inning bringing on Michael Hurst. After getting ahead of Tapley 0-2, Hurst hit the Seminole third baseman loading the bases for the second time in the inning. Mike Meschke closed out the scoring in the sixth picking up an RBI drawing a walk with the bases loaded.
The Tigers came right back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to retake the lead at 10-8. O’Dell started the inning retiring his fourth batter in a row as he got McElroy swinging on strikes. But the streaked ended with Fletcher as the Tiger left fielder hit a solo shot to left center for his first home run of the season. Back-to-back singles by Hargett and Mummey gave way to a three-run homer off the bat of Sanders giving Auburn a two-run lead. Holt came within inches of robbing Sanders of the homer run as the centerfielder tracked the ball to the wall, timed his jumped perfectly and had the ball momentarily until his impact with the wall jarred his glove off his hand and over the wall.
Mark Peterson came on in relief of O’Dell in the sixth and induced a pair of fly outs to end the inning. Making his first career appearance, Peterson worked 2.0 plus innings as the red shirt freshman did not give up a run or a hit while striking out two and walking two.
He was relieved in the bottom of the eighth with one out after walking consecutive batters. Ben Francis came on and got Sanders to fly out to right for out number two. Martin went to the pen once again and brought on sophomore Ryan Vigue for the lefty-lefty match-up. He walked Ben Jones on four straight pitches and after issuing a ball to Hunter Morris, Martin once again went to the bullpen, this time calling on right hander Jack Posey. Posey left the bases loaded getting Morris to fly out to left to keep the Auburn lead at one.
Sanders led the offensive explosion for Auburn on Saturday going 2-for-5 with five RBI. Mummey finished the game with three hits and three runs scored.
“It’s a long road, like last year’s team we went to Omaha with 12 losses and this is just one,” added Holt. “It will show a lot of character from this team on how we bounce back tomorrow. Hopefully we will bounce back like the true Seminoles that we are.”
Florida State and Auburn will face-off in the fourth and final game of the series on Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Fans can listen to all the live action over the radio on 100.7 FM. Live stats for the game will be available via gametracker on www.seminoles.com.