April 25, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It was a battle until the very last out on Saturday night as Florida State (29-12, 14-7 ACC) hung on for a 6-4 victory over Wake Forest (20-21, 6-16 ACC) on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles tied a season-high with their eighth straight win, while recording their third straight ACC series victory.
Florida State had some timely hitting on Saturday night as four of the six runs came on two outs. Stuart Tapley went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs in leading the Seminole offense in game two. Mike Meschke had a big two-out hit in the Seminoles’ three-run second as he unloaded on his first collegiate home run, a two-run shot to right center.
Brian Busch (3-2) worked 6.2 innings to pick-up his second straight decision. The freshman southpaw allowed four runs on six hits as he walked three and struck out a career-high six batters. He retired the first seven batters to start the game before giving up a solo home run in the third to Wake Forest catcher Ian Tomkins. Busch retired the side in the fifth and sixth innings before giving way to the Seminole bullpen with two outs in the seventh.
“He was very impressive,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I just thought he ran out of gas. To throw 101 pitches in 6.2 innings was pretty dog gone impressive. You look at his numbers and you have to be impressed with them. I was very happy with his performance tonight.”
“I felt good in the beginning and as the game wore on I definitely got a little tired,” said Busch. “Other than walking those guys in the seventh, I felt like I threw pretty well. I let the home run ball get away from me. I left the ball up and he took advantage of it.”
Wake Forest would make one last run in the ninth off Seminole closer Jimmy Marshall. The senior right started the inning off right by getting Tyler Smith swinging on strikes, but pinch hitter Mike Murray stepped in and laced a double down the right field line. The Deacs then put runners at the corners after pinch hitter Evan Ocheltree struck out swinging but reached on a passed ball, moving Murray to third. Steven Brooks loaded the bases a batter later as he drew a walk. With the tying run at second, Marshall got pinch hitter Austin Stadler looking on strikes before inducing a fielder’s choice groundout off the bat of Dustin Hood to preserve the win for the Seminoles. The save was Marshall’s seventh as he remains perfect on the year in that category.
“It was one of those situations that if you give a club that extra out in any inning its tough to prevent them from scoring,” added Martin. “Jimmy made a good pitch and we gave them an extra out. He made a couple of very, very good pitches to pitch out of a very tough situation. To strike a guy out when it’s first and third shows a tremendous amount of poise.”
Florida State grabbed the early lead on Saturday with three runs in the second. Tapley registered the first hit of the game as he doubled off the wall in left. He scored a batter later as Tommy Oravetz hit an RBI single off the fence in right. Meschke was responsible for the other two runs in the inning as he unloaded on his first collegiate home run. The junior first baseman took the first pitch he saw from Wake Forest starter Phil Negus (2-4) over the fence in right for a two-run shot.
“He had a great swing,” said Martin. “We have been waiting on him to contribute. He got his chance and certainly gave us a big lift.”
“I was happy to be in the line-up tonight and be able to provide a big hit,” said Meschke. “Coach told me to be aggressive and let it fly. I got a good pitch, put a good swing on it and the ball flew out of the park. It was nice to finally break through with that first home run.”
Wake Forest answered with a run in the third on a solo shot off the bat of Tomkins. The hit was the first of the game for the Demon Deacons as it was Tomkins’ second home run of the season.
The Deacons added a run in the fourth as Busch unleashed on a wild pitch with the bases loaded scoring Carlos Lopez from third. The FSU starter was on his way to a quick inning recording a lineout and a strikeout before hitting Lopez on the foot with a 0-2 offering. Busch then gave up a single to center and a walk as Wake Forest loaded the bases with two outs. With Tomkins at the plate, Busch sailed a 2-2 pitch high to the backstop as the Deacs cut the FSU lead to 3-2. Busch came right back and got Tomkins looking on a called third strike to end the inning.
The Seminoles pushed their lead back to two capitalizing on another two-out hit in the fourth. With Jason Stidham on second after starting the inning with a double down the line in left, Ohmed Danesh laced an RBI single through the right side bringing home Stidham for a 4-2 lead.
Another two-out run gave the Seminoles a 5-2 lead after six innings of play. After Negus recorded two groundball outs to start the sixth, Florida State loaded the bases on a single by Tapley and back-to-back walks to Oravetz and Danesh. With Meschke at the plate, Negus unleashed a wild pitch allowing all the runners to advance including Tapley who scored with the fifth Seminole run of the game.
Wake Forest drew within one of the lead in the seventh on a two-out, two-run double by Brooks. Busch’s night came to a close after issuing his second walk of the inning as Martin called on Geoff Parker out of the bullpen. After falling behind in the count to Brooks, Parker fought back to make the count 3-2 before giving up the double to the gap in left center. The sophomore right hander came right back and got Shane Kroker looking on strikes for the final out of the inning.
A sac-fly by Stephen Cardullo in the seventh gave the Seminoles a 6-4 advantage. Rafael Lopez led off the inning with a single to left center. He moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a bunt single down the line at third. Lopez scored a batter later on Cardullo’s sac-fly to deep centerfield.
A base running miscue by the Deacs ended their threat in the eighth. With runners at first and second and one out, Bentley Heyman sent a line drive out to right center. Tyler Holt made a running catch and threw on to second for the double play as the Wake runners were off and running on the pitch.
“It was no question that it was a big play,” said Martin. “Some days you beat them with your bat, some days you beat them with your leather. That was a big play for us, no doubt about it.”
Parker made an appearance for the second straight night and gave up two hits in 1.1 innings. He walked one and struck out a batter.
Florida State and Wake Forest will square-off in the final game of a three-game series on Sunday, April 26 with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Fans can listen to the action locally on 100.7 FM and over the internet on www.seminoles.com. Live stats will also be available via gametracker.