May 30, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State (43-16) advanced to the winner’s bracket in the 2009 Tallahassee Regional with a 16-4 victory over Marist (31-27) Friday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles broke open a 4-4 tie scoring 12 runs over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to move to 36-11 all-time in the opening round game of the NCAA Regional.
Tyler Holt and Stephen Cardullo went a combined 5-for-11 with six runs and five RBI in leading the Seminoles to a win over the Red Foxes. FSU pounded out 16 hits, seven of which went for extra bases, including five doubles and two home runs.
Mike McGee and Jason Stidham each connected on a three-run home run in Friday night’s victory. With the win, the Seminoles completed a perfect day for the Atlantic Coast Conference as all seven schools in this year’s field of 64 registered a win.
John Gast (5-3) worked 2.1 innings in relief to pick up the win. The sophomore southpaw allowed just one run on three hits as he walked two and struck out a career-high five batters. At one stretch, Gast struck out four batters in a row.
In making his ninth start of the season in right field, Ruairi O’Connor gave Florida State the early lead in the second on a two-out double off the wall in right. Stuart Tapley led off the inning with a double to the gap in left center and came around to score on the senior right fielders first double of the season.
A Seminole error opened the door for a three-run Marist fifth. In what would have been an inning ending fly out to center resulted in a sac-fly by Richard Curylo scoring Andrew Stanton for the first Red Fox run of the game. On the very next at-bat, Jon Schwind gave Marist its first lead of the game connecting on a two-run shot to left. The center fielder took a 2-0 offering from FSU starter Brian Busch high off the scoreboard in left for his fourth home run of the season. Busch would face one more batter before Martin went to the bullpen calling on Gast. Gast walked the first batter that he faced but got Brian McDonough to ground into a fielder’s choice at short to close out the inning.
Busch earned the no decision on Friday throwing 4.2 innings in his first NCAA Tournament start. The freshman lefty gave up three runs, none earned, on five hits as he walked one and struck out three.
The lead was short lived for the Red Foxes as the Seminoles answered right back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to regain the lead at 4-3. The first two batters reached on a single by Rafael Lopez and a walk to Holt. After Marist starter Josh Rickards struck out Cardullo, Red Foxes head coach Dennis Healy brought on right hander Eric Alessio (2-4). On just the second pitch of the game from Alessio, McGee went opposite field for a three-run shot giving the Seminoles their second lead of the game. The home run was McGee’s team leading 18th home run of the season.
Marist drew even in the sixth on an RBI double by John Prano. With a runner at third and the infield playing in, Prano laced a double down the third base line just beyond the out stretched glove of Tapley scoring Ryan Gauck, who led off the inning with a base hit to center.
The Seminole recaptured the lead for the third time on Friday night with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. All four runs came with two outs including a three-run blast from Stidham to give FSU a four-run cushion. Cardullo got things started drilling a 1-2 offering back up the middle scoring Ohmed Danesh, who opened the bottom of the sixth with pinch hit double to left. Following a walk to McGee, Stidham sent the first pitch he saw from Alessio over the fence in right for his 12th home run on the year. It marked the third straight game that Stidham has homered.
Florida State added some breathing room in the seventh scoring five runs to increase the Seminole lead to 13-5. The Garnet and Gold sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning while benefiting from two errors by the Red Foxes. Cardullo and Tapley each drove in a pair of runs on a double and single, respectively.
The Seminoles capped the scoring with three more runs in the eighth. Holt registered his first RBI of the game with a double down the line in left scoring Parker Brunelle. Cardullo followed with an RBI single to right for his fourth RBI of the game. Two batters later, pinch hitter Sherman Johnson brought home Cardullo for the 16th run of the game on an RBI single to left center.
Tyler Everett pitched the final two innings to close out the game.
Florida State will return to the diamond on Saturday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m. when the Seminoles take the field against the Georgia Bulldogs (38-22). The game will air live on ESPNU, while 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.