May 21, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Fourth-ranked Florida State (47-9) grabbed an 8-3 victory over Wake Forest (24-30) Wednesday night in the first game of the 2008 ACC Baseball Championship at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville, Fla. The Seminoles continued their success against the Demon Deacons in the tournament winning for the fifth straight time while pushing their all-time record to 9-3 in the championship. FSU also remains perfect against Wake in ACC Tournament games played in Florida improving to 4-0.
“It’s always encouraging to play solid baseball on the first day,” explained head coach Mike Martin. “In this game, we know that we must have a short memory. We can’t dwell on what happened tonight. We are going to play a very good Virginia team Friday night. We also know that we played pretty well the first game last year and then got beat the next two. Overall, I thought it was a well played baseball game by our club.”
FSU slugged four home runs in game one marking the 23rd time this season that the Seminoles have registered a multiple home run game. It is the third time this year that the Garnet and Gold have hit three or more round trippers.
Dennis Guinn led all hitters on Wednesday night with three hits in four at-bats. The senior first baseman drove in two and scored twice, while he was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Guinn registered a triple in the second, a single in the sixth and a two-run homer in the seventh.
Buster Posey went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs collecting three RBI and two runs scored. The two home runs ties Posey with Miami’s Yonder Alonso for the league lead at 19. Jason Stidham also collected two hits in the win.
Matt Fairel improved to 10-2 on the year as the sophomore southpaw went seven innings allowing four runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out eight. It was the eighth time this year that Fairel has struck out seven or more batters in a game. He has reached the eight strikeout plateau in three consecutive games.
Florida State took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a solo home run by Stuart Tapley. The freshman third baseman took a 3-1 offering from Wake Forest starter Ben Hunter (4-6) out of the park in right field for his seventh home run of the season.
“I was just trying to put a decent swing on the ball,” added Tapley. “I was sitting dead red fastball and it was a hittable pitch that I liked. I was able to just stay through the ball and make good contact.”
The Deacs broke through with three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. Ben Terry started the inning with a leadoff walk and came around to score on a double to right by Willy Fox to tie the game at one. Allan Dykstra gave Wake Forest its first lead of the game crushing a two-run shot out to right on a 2-1 pitch from Fairel. It was home run number 15 for Dykstra on the year as it also marked the second time this year that the Deacon first baseman has gone yard off Fairel. It was just the fourth home run offered up by Fairel in 14 starts.
The Seminoles answered right back with three-runs in the bottom half of the sixth to retake the lead for the second time on Wednesday evening. Buster Posey tied the game at three with one swing of the bat for his team leading 18th home run of the season. Stidham led off the inning reaching base as he was hit by a pitch. He would come around to score a batter later on the Posey homer to left. FSU would then load the bases with one out following back-to-back singles by Guinn and Tony Delmonico and a walk to Ohmed Danesh. Following an infield pop out to Mike McGee, Hunter unleashed on a wild pitch scoring Guinn to give the Seminoles a 4-3 lead.
“We’re going to fight regardless, first inning or 9th inning, down five runs, up five runs,” said Guinn. “We have that mentality that when we’re down we’re not going to give up. We got down 3-1; there was no hesitation and no different train of thought. We went back to the dugout; we just knew coming back up we had to respond and we responded in the right way.”
FSU increased its lead to 7-3 on a pair of home runs by Posey and Guinn in the eighth. Posey connected on his second home run of the game drilling a pitch from Wake reliever Brad Kledzik out of the park to dead center field. The ball traveled at least 420 feet as it marked his fourth multi home run game of his career and the third time this year that Posey has hit home runs in consecutive at-bats.
Jack Rye followed with a hit that fell just inside the left field foul line for his 11th double of the season. Guinn then stepped in and crushed his 15th home run of the season clearing a pair of fences in left field for a two-run shot.
The Seminoles added one more run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly RBI by Tyler Holt scoring pinch hitter Stephen Cardullo, who led off the inning with a single to right. Holt finished the game 0-for-4 with an RBI as the freshman centerfielder did not reach base for the first time all season putting to end a streak of 55 consecutive games of reaching base.
John Gast and Jimmy Marshall each pitched an inning in relief keeping the Deacs off the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth inning. Gast faced the minimum as he gave up a hit, while Marshall allowed two hits, hit a batter and struck out one.
Second-seeded Florida State will next face sixth-seeded Virginia on Friday, May 23 at the ACC Baseball Championship in Jacksonville, Fla. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 pm with the game being broadcast live on Sun Sports, SportSouth and NESN. Fans can also listen to the game live over the radio on 100.7 FM as well as nationally on XM Channel 190.