May 16, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State (40-14) closed out the regular season with a 10-2 victory over Grambling State (14-35) Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Seminoles erased a two-run deficit scoring 10 unanswered runs in sixth, seventh and eighth innings to push their home winning streak to 15 straight games. Saturday’s victory also gave Florida State win number 40 on the year as the Garnet and Gold have now registered 40-plus wins in a season for the 32nd year in a row.
“I just came out of the clubhouse and told the guys how proud I was of what they accomplished in the first season,” said head coach Mike Martin. “That was getting it done. Now we enter into a part where all their hard work shows up. We know we have a very tough road to travel. I’m looking forward to the challenge and those young men are looking forward to challenge.”
Mike McGee (5-2) worked six strong innings to pick up the win as he struck out a career-high 12 batters. The sophomore right hander registered at least one strikeout in all six innings while he struck out the side in the second. He allowed two runs on five hits as he walked just two. Both runs came off a home run as McGee gave up a pair of solo shots in the third and sixth innings.
“Michael pitched very well,” added Martin. “It was about time that he got a break. He has pitched well for us all year and I am very happy that he was able to get a win like that.”
Grambling State ran out to a 2-0 lead after five and a half innings thanks to a pair of solo home runs by O.J. Simmons and Sam Keller. Both home runs came on the first pitch from McGee while the home runs were the first of the season for both Tiger hitters.
Tiger starter Odingo Davila (0-1) kept the Seminole offense off-balanced for the first five innings giving up just two hits while allowing just four Seminoles to reach base.
It wasn’t until the sixth when the Seminoles finally cracked the scoreboard. Tyler Holt, who led off the inning with one of his two hits on the afternoon, came around to score on an RBI groundout by Jason Stidham. Stephen Cardullo would tie the game at two as he slid in safely at the plate just in front of the tag by Davila following a wild pitch. After a pair of two out walks to Tommy Oravetz and Ruairi O’Connor, D’Vontrey Richardson brought them both home on a two-out, two-run double to the gap in left center to give the Seminoles the lead for good.
“For the first 12 outs, fatigue looked like it showed up for the first time all year,” added Martin. “No excuses, no excuses. We got a big hit from D’Vontrey Richardson to pick us up. It was a big lift on the ball he scorched off the left field wall.”
Pinch hitter Stuart Tapley pushed the Seminole lead to 5-2 in the seventh driving in Holt from third on sac-fly to right.
The Seminoles would add to their lead in the eighth scoring five times in the inning while sending 10 batters to the plate. Jack Posey drove in Oravetz and Ohmed Danesh on a double to right center. He would score two batters later on pinch hit single to center by James Ramsey. Sherman Johnson would close out the scoring in the eighth as he laced a pinch hit, two-run single to center.
Holt led all batters with two hits on Saturday, while he also stole three bases and is 31-of-35 on the year. Richardson, Posey and Johnson each drove in a game-high two runs.
John Gast pitched two shutout innings as he did not allow a hit. Tyler Everett wrapped things up in the ninth facing four batters allowing one hit, while striking out one. McGee, Gast and Everett combined for 14 strikeouts on Saturday, tying a season-high set twice before against Florida (March 17) and Virginia Tech (May 2). The 12 strikeouts by McGee were the most by a Florida State pitcher since Elih Villanueva struck out 10 against Florida back on May 31, 2008 in an elimination game of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
Florida State will now head to Durham, N.C. on Monday for the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship which gets underway on Wednesday, May 20. Game times for the tournament will be announced in the next couple days. Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to www.seminoles.com for further details on the upcoming tournament.