April 21, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State (26-12) recorded its fifth straight win with a 9-2 victory over UNC Asheville (7-32) Tuesday night on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles continued their dominance over the Bulldogs recording their 11th straight win, while improving to 20-1 all-time.
After giving up an early run in the third, the 20th-ranked Seminoles bounced right back with six runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. Mike McGee drove in four runs all with one swing of the bat as the Port St. Lucie, Fla., native connected on his first career grand slam. It marked the fifth grand slam hit by a Seminole batter this year.
Rafael Lopez also went deep on Tuesday night hitting a two-run shot in the fourth for his first home run since March 20. Lopez finished the game 2-for-3 as he scored a pair of runs. Sherman Johnson went 2-for-2 as he entered the game to play second base in the fifth.
In his first collegiate start, Hunter Scantling (2-0) went five innings allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits. The freshman right hander was very efficient on Tuesday night throwing just 49 pitches as 33 went for strikes.
“I felt great,” said Scantling. “I just wanted to go out there, get some work in and show coach what I was about. My key was to get a head of the count which I did early on, but I fell behind a couple of times. Overall, I felt great tonight.”
“I am very proud of the way Hunter Scantling went out there and pitched,” said head coach Mike Martin. “The first start of his Florida State career, I thought he pitched with a lot of poise…there were a lot of balls put in play and we want him to be a strikeout guy, but what a great starting point for him. I thought his location improved as he progressed, I was very proud of him.”
UNC Asheville cracked the scoreboard first on Tuesday night as Kevin Weidenbacher registered an infield single up the middle to score Austin Graham. Graham led off the third with a single to center, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Lurie and advanced to third on a groundout by Catlin Carter. With two outs, Weidenbacher hit a groundball back up the middle which was gloved by Stephen Cardullo, but the Seminole shortstop could not throw over to first in time for the out as Graham scored for the first run of the game.
The Bulldog lead was short lived as the Seminoles answered with six runs in the bottom of the third. The big blow came off the bat of McGee who connected on a home run to left center with the bases loaded for his first career grand slam. Cardullo and Tommy Oravetz also registered an RBI in the inning as Florida State sent nine batters to plate in the third posting three hits while drawing a pair of walks.
“That was a good win,” said McGee. “It was nice to get ahead early and put the pressure on them. With the hit, I was a little upset with the way I swung at it. I was out in front; I really did not think I had the home run. I thought it was at least good enough to get a sac-fly out of it. I saw the outfielder keep running towards the wall and then saw the ball bounce off the building. I was completely surprised.”
“Michael certainly had the biggest hit of the ball game,” added Martin. “He’s really playing well. His hit was obviously the key from an offense stand point.”
Florida State pushed its lead to 8-2 in the fourth on the Garnet and Gold’s second home run of the game. Lopez went yard for the fourth time in 2009 as he snuck a 3-2 offering from UNC Asheville starter Michael Bogaert (1-6) just inside the right field foul pole. Ohmed Danesh scored on the play, one of two runs for the Orlando, Fla., native as he started the bottom of the inning dropping a bloop single to right center.
James Ramsey added to the Florida State lead in the sixth with a pinch hit sac-fly to left plating Sean Gilmartin to make the score 9-2. Gilmartin led off the inning with a pinch hit single up the middle and moved to third as Johnson doubled down the line in left for his first double of the season.
The Seminole bullpen once again looked sharp as four pitchers combined to shut out the Bulldogs the rest of the way. John Gast, Geoff Parker, Tyler Everett and Jimmy Marshall each got an inning of work. Parker recorded a strikeout, while Marshall struck out all three batters that he faced. For the first time this year, all five pitchers did not issue a walk. It was the first time such a feat occurred since June 8, 2008, game three of the Super Regional against Wichita State.
Florida State and UNC Asheville will return to the diamond for game two on Wednesday, April 22 with first pitch scheduled for 4:00 p.m. The game will broadcast live on Sun Sports in Tallahassee only and taped delayed throughout the state of Florida at 12 midnight. Satellite subscribers are encouraged to check their schedule line-up. Fans can listen to the action locally on 1270 the Team and over the internet on www.seminoles.com. Live stats will also be available via gametracker.