March 23, 2003
KINSTON, N.C. – Tony Richie drove in two runs and Daniel Davidson worked 6-2/3 inning Sunday to lift Florida State to a 3-1 victory over NC State at Grainger Stadium. With the win, the Seminoles salvage the final game of the three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series and improve to 25-4 overall and 4-2 in the ACC. NC State, which had its 16-game winning streak snapped with the loss, fell to 21-5 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.
FSU starter Daniel Davidson (3-0) allowed one run on four hits to get the win. He walked two and struck out six. Senior lefthander Daniel Hodges worked the final two innings, allowing one hit, to pick up his sixth save of the season. Wolfpack starter Phillip Davidson (2-2), experiencing uncharacteristic control problems, worked 4-1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits. He struck out two and walked four.
The Seminoles essentially won the game in the top of the third, despite hitting just one ball out of the infield, and that one cleared the infield only by a matter of a few feet. Matt Sauls led off with a bunt single, and Stephen Drew walked. The runners moved up to second and third on Tony McQuade’s grounder to first base, and Sauls came in to score on Tony Richie’s ground ball to third base. Jerrod Brown followed with a bloop single to very shallow left field to chase home Drew and give Florida State a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Daniel Davidson was mowed down the Wolfpack, retiring 15 of 17 to start the game, including 11 in a row at one point. The Wolfpack finally picked up a run in the bottom of the sixth, but squandered a golden opportunity for a big inning. Marc Maynor led off with a sharp single up the middle, and Adam Hargrave and Matt Camp both beat out bunts for singles to load the bases with none out. Jeremy Dutton chopped a grounder to first base for an RBI force play at second base, but Florida State got a huge break when the return throw to first went wide of the bag and caromed off the wall in front of the grandstand. The ball kicked right back to Davidson covering the bag. Dutton, who had turned the wrong way at first, was easily tagged out for the second out of the inning. Joe Gaetti fanned to end the threat, leaving the Pack trailing 2-1.
The Seminoles picked up a huge insurance run in the top of the eighth. McQuade led off with a walk and reliever Nate Cretarolo balked him to second. Richie followed with an RBI single to left to make it 3-1, Florida State. The Wolfpack brought shortstop Chad Orvella in to pitch at that point, and he got Brown on a fly ball and struck out Eddy Martinez-Esteve. Richie was caught stealing to end the inning.