May 20, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. – Florida State (41-14) opened the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship with a 7-2 victory over Boston College (31-23) Wednesday afternoon inside the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the Tampa Bay Rays Triple A affiliate the Durham Bulls. The victory was the third in a row for the Seminoles in the opening round of the tournament.
Sean Gilmartin registered his league leading 11th win of the season firing six strong innings to earn his second victory of the season against the Eagles. The freshman southpaw (11-2) gave up just one run on five hits as he walked two and struck out three.
“I felt pretty good,” added Gilmartin. “A combination of a little bit of everything was working today. In the sixth inning, I started missing more with my fastball than I wanted to but I just bore down and fought to find my location.”
“Everybody was treated to a heck of a ball game,” said head coach Mike Martin. “One error the entire ball game and that just happened to be a mistake that gave us a run. Sean pitched extremely well. Certainly, Michael’s two-run home run was a lift to us early and then Jason got the big double in the eighth to give us a little bit more of a cushion. It was a good ball game and I am very proud of the way we played.”
Boston College managed the only hit through the first three innings courtesy of an infield single to short off the bat of Mickey Wiswall. The Eagles threatened in the top of the fourth as the first two batters reached on back-to-back walks issued by Gilmartin. After a visit to the mound by Martin, the freshman southpaw settled down to retire the next three batters including a strikeout to Barry Butera with runners at second and third to end the inning.
McGee broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run shot over the blue monster in left. With Cardullo on first after a single to center, McGee took a 2-2 offering from BC starter John Leonard (1-4) out of the park for his team leading 17th home run of the season.
“It was a fastball right down the middle of the plate,” said McGee. “It felt good to get a good swing on a ball in this ball park. That was as good as I could hit a ball, so if that couldn’t get out then I can’t hit a ball out of this park.”
The Eagles cut the deficit to 2-1 with a run in the sixth on an RBI single up the middle by Tony Sanchez. BC looked to add more in the inning but a running miscue resulted in an out at the plate. With Sanchez at second and Wiswall at first, Mike Belfiore stepped in and laced a sharp line drive to the gap in left center that nicked off the out stretched glove of McGee. On the relay throw from McGee to Stidham, Wiswall and Sanchez were both caught at third. Sanchez then broke for home and Stidham threw on to Rafael Lopez at plate to get the catcher out at home. Gilmartin kept the Seminole lead intact as he got Butera to groundout to second to close out the sixth.
“That play at the plate was big for us,” said Stidham. “If he does score (Sanchez) that could be a huge momentum shift for them; we got the good end of the deal on that play.”
Florida State answered the call with two runs in the bottom of the inning to push the score to 4-1. Cardullo led off the inning with a double off the blue monster and scored on an errant throw to third base by Leonard on a sacrifice bunt by McGee. Tommy Oravetz drove in the second run of the inning on a sac-fly to center with the bases loaded to plate McGee.
Stidham provided some insurance in the seventh chopping a two-run double down the line in right scoring Lopez and Tyler Holt, who reached on a walk and single, respectively. Tapley brought home McGee for the final Seminole run of the game on a sac-fly to center.
John Gast and Tyler Everett worked the final three innings to preserve the win. Gast faced four batters in the seventh giving up a hit, while striking out one. Everett pitched the eighth and ninth allowing a run on three hits with a walk and one strikeout.
BC pushed across a run in the eighth on a fielder’s choice groundout to second by Butera.
Florida State will return to the diamond for its second game of the ACC Baseball Championship on Thursday, May 21 at 4:00 p.m. against fifth-seeded Miami. The Hurricanes defeated Georgia Tech 8-6 in game one of Division A Wednesday afternoon. A win for the Seminoles against the Canes and a Boston College win over Georgia Tech would clinch a spot in Sunday’s championship game.
Fans can listen to Thursday’s action locally on 1270 the Team and over the internet on www.seminoles.com. The game will also be shown live on television as fans are encouraged to check their local listings for broadcast listing. Live stats will also be available through gametracker.