April 5, 2009
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Two grand slams by Miami (23-8, 10-5 ACC) in the first two innings were too much to overcome as the Hurricanes went on to defeat Florida State (18-10, 7-6 ACC) 14-8 in the series finale Sunday afternoon on Mark Light Field inside Alex Rodriguez Park. The Hurricanes took 2-of-3 from the Seminoles marking the first series victory for Miami over FSU at home since 2005.
Mike McGee provided the offensive highlights for Florida State on Sunday going 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs and five RBI. His two home runs in game three marked his third multi-home run game of the season and second of the weekend. Stuart Tapley went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two walks.
For the third straight game, Florida State struck first with a run in the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Tyler Holt led off the game drawing a walk from Miami starter Iden Nazario (4-0) and scored with Stidham at the plate and two outs as the Hurricane southpaw unleashed a wild pitch.
Miami erupted for five runs in the first and five more in the second to take a commanding 10-1 lead. After getting Nathan Melendres to fly out to right for the first out of the inning, McGee struggled to find his control as he walked two and hit a batter loading the bases for Yasmani Grandal. The Miami catcher hit a groundball to Jason Stidham at second in what looked like an inning ending double play, but Stephen Cardullo dropped the throw from Stidham allowing Scott Lawson to score from third as no outs were recorded on the play. The error would prove costly as the next batter Harold Martinez unloaded on a grand slam over the wall in left for his fourth home run of the season.
It was the first grand slam given up by a Seminole pitcher since April 20, 2008 in an 11-10 loss against Miami in Tallahassee. Yonder Alonso hit the slam in the third inning off Elih Villanueva.
McGee’s afternoon would come to an end following an RBI double by Jason Hagerty with one out in the second. The 1.1 innings of work on Sunday marked the shortest outing as a starter for the Seminole right hander. With runners at second and third, Geoff Parker came in and quickly loaded the bases issuing a walk to Chris Herrmann. One batter later the bases were wiped clean on the second grand slam of the game for the Hurricanes. This time the blast came off the bat of Grandal, who took a 0-2 offering from Parker out to left for his team leading ninth home run of the season.
“Miami did a very good job,” said head coach Mike Martin. “They took advantage of the mistakes we made. We walked an awful lot of people. It was just one of those things you have to fight through and we weren’t able to fight through it. They took advantage of it by hitting the ball out of the ball park.”
McGee was charged with eight runs, seven earned, on just three hits. He walked three, hit two batters and struck out one in falling to 2-2 on the year. Parker worked 2.2 innings giving up two runs on three hits as he struck out three and walked one. Hunter Scantling pitched a perfect fifth as he set down the Hurricanes in order on a ground out and a pair of fly outs.
The Seminoles chipped away at the Miami lead in the fifth courtesy of back-to-back triples off the bat of pinch hitter Tommy Oravetz and Sunday starting catcher Parker Brunelle. Oravetz roped a pitch just beyond the diving glove of Melendres in center to register his team leading third triple of the season. Brunelle followed with a hard shot off the wall in left center for his first career triple scoring Oravetz. The catcher would score on a wild pitch by Nazario.
Florida State cut the deficit once more on a solo shot off the bat of McGee. The Port St. Lucie, Fla., native left the ball park on the first pitch he saw from Nazario to start the sixth. The home run was McGee’s eighth of the season and third of the series.
Miami pushed its lead back to eight on a two-out, two-run double by Herrmann in the sixth off Seminole reliever Tyler Everett.
Nazario would give way to Taylor Wulf in the seventh as the Hurricane starter went six innings allowing four runs on five hits as he walked five and struck out six on 95 pitches.
In the seventh, the Seminoles continued to battle scoring three runs to cut the Hurricane lead to 12-7. All three runs in the inning came on two outs as McGee went yard for the second time on Sunday blasting a line drive over the left field wall. Tapley and Stidham each registered two out walks and came around to score on the home run by McGee.
Miami added two more runs in the seventh to increase its lead to 14-7. With Jack Posey on the mound, Martinez connected on a solo shot to right center for his second home run of the game. The second run of the game scored on a fielding error by James Ramsey in left field. With the base loaded, Melendres sent a deep fly ball to the wall in left which Ramsey could not handle after battling the wind and sun. The ball dropped in allowing Ted Blackman to score from third.
Jimmy Marshall pitched the eighth in making his first appearance of the series. The senior right hander kept the Hurricanes off the scoreboard as he posted a pair of strikeouts.
Cardullo extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games with a single to center in the ninth. He would score three batters later on an RBI groundout to short by McGee, his fifth RBI of the game.
Florida State wraps up its eight game road stand as the Seminoles head to the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville, Fla., for the second time in as many weeks to face North Florida on Wednesday, April 8. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. Fans can also listen in locally on 1270 the Team and live over the internet on www.seminoles.com. Live stats will also be available via gametracker.