March 11, 2003
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 2 Florida State (20-2) erased a 5-2 deficit to defeat St. Joseph’s (1-7) by a final score of 11-5 as 2,316 fans looked on at Dick Howser Stadium Tuesday evening. With the victory, head coach Mike Martin took sole possession of ninth place on the NCAA Division I all-time coaching victory list. Martin, who is in his 24th season as a head coach (all at FSU), is 1,259-418-3 all-time. He passed former Florida State and Georgia Southern coach Jack Stallings with the win.
After starter Mark Sauls gave up five runs (two earned) on six hits in 3.2 innings with some shaky defense behind him, the Seminole bullpen came through with 5.1 perfect innings. Daniel Davidson (2-0) earned the win in relief of Sauls as he tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work. Rhett James and Daniel Hodges worked the eighth and the ninth to secure the win.
St. Joseph’s scored two early runs in the top of the second inning. Jason Volker doubled of the right field screen and Michael DeLorenzo followed with a homer to right.
FSU tied the game in the third with a pair of unearned runs. Aaron Cheesman led off the inning with a walk and Matt Sauls was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Cheesman scored the first run and Sauls advanced to third when St. Joseph’s first baseman John Kokol dropped the ball on a pickoff attempt. Stephen Drew’s RBI-grounder plated Sauls to tie the score.
The Hawks quickly regained the lead with three unearned runs on three Seminole errors in the fourth to make it 5-2. Joe DiNubile and DeLorenzo scored on errors, and Bill McCollum had an RBI-single.
Florida State cut St. Joseph’s lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth. Cheesman’s two-run single to left drove home Chris Hart and Eddy Martinez-Esteve. Hart had reached on a walk and Martinez-Esteve recorded the Seminoles first hit of the game on a bunt down the third base line to put runners on first and second. McCollum’s wild pitch moved the runners up and Cheesman’s single scored the two runs.
The Seminoles took the lead for good at 7-5 with three runs in the sixth. After a Blake Balkcom single and another Sauls walk, Stephen Drew tripled to left center to knock in two. Drew added the third run of the inning when he came home on a wild pitch.
FSU put up four runs on two hits in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Eddy Martinez-Esteve doubled and eventually scored on a passed ball. Drew knocked in his fourth run of the game with a single and two more runs crossed the plate on an error and a wild pitch.
Drew (2-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 Runs) and Martinez-Esteve (2-for-4, 2 Runs) led FSU offensively.
The two-game series between Florida State and St. Joseph’s will conclude on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium. Freshman RHP Glen Simon (1-0) is scheduled to start on the hill for the Tribe.