April 19, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – In front of a record crowd of 6.789, second-ranked Florida State (34-4, 18-2 ACC) snapped a three-game losing streak to top ranked Miami (32-4, 16-2 ACC) with a 9-5 come-from-behind victory Saturday night at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles pounded out 14 hits in game two while the bullpen turned in a solid effort not allowing a run in five innings of work to even the series at a game a piece.
Jason Stidham led the offense on Saturday night as the sophomore second baseman tied a career-high with four hits including a pair of doubles. He also drove in three and scored a run in the win. Freshman Stuart Tapley went 3-for-4 with a double and scored twice while senior Dennis Guinn registered two RBIs and a double. Five of the nine Seminole runs were scored on two outs.
The Florida State bullpen played a major role in Saturday night’s win as three pitchers combined to limit the Hurricane hitters to just one hit over five innings. Jimmy Marshall (4-0) threw 2.1 innings allowing one hit and two walks while striking out three to pick up the win. Freshman southpaw John Gast was called on to face back-to-back lefties in the seventh and did his job getting Yonder Alonso to groundout and Dennis Raben to fly out to center to end the inning. Ryan Strauss pitched the final two innings to pick up his third save in as many chances.
“I was just very proud of the way Jimmy Marshall came in and held things down,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I thought Jimmy was the key along with Gast and Ryan Strauss. It was nice to see Johnny go out there and get the job done in a very tough situation.”
“It was a game that we were very fortunate to win but it was a game that we did a lot of things right,” added Martin. “I was pleased with the aggressiveness that we showed on the bases. It was a typical Florida State, Miami game filled with a lot of excitement and certainly a big win for us.”
Heading into the Miami series, the Florida State bullpen was 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 22.2 innings of work in the month of April. In the first two games against the Hurricanes, the bullpen has compiled 9.2 innings allowing three runs, only one earned, on five hits. A total of five pitchers have combined for eight strikeouts and four walks.
“We have a bunch of competitors on this club,” explained Martin. “It was encouraging to see us bounce back that soon, crucial in a series like this when you’re playing a team as talented as Miami is.”
Florida State starter Geoff Parker went four innings in his fourth start of the season. The freshman right hander allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits, all career-highs while striking out five. He did not issue a walk for the first time as a starter.
Miami grabbed the early lead in game two with three runs in the top of the first. The Hurricanes registered three consecutive hits off Parker highlighted by a two-run homer off the bat of Dennis Raben. Jemile Weeks got things started with a single to right and after stealing second, came around to score on a single back up the middle by Yonder Alonso. Raben followed a batter later with his fifth home run of the season to cap the three-run first.
In the third, the Hurricanes added to their lead on a sacrifice fly RBI by Mark Sobolewski as Miami took advantage of a Seminole fielding error in the inning. The first two batters reached as Alonso singled to left center while Raben reached on a fielding error at short allowing Alonso to race to third. A batter later Sobolewski lifted a fly ball deep enough to right to bring home Alonso for a 4-1 lead.
Florida State roared right back with four runs all on two outs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at four. The Seminoles recorded five hits in the inning including three doubles as six straight batters reached. After recording a walk in his first at-bat to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 38 games, freshman Tyler Holt roped a ball to left field but was thrown out at second as he tried to stretch his hit into a double.
With two outs in the inning, FSU went on a tear recording back-to-back doubles by Stidham and Buster Posey. Stidham doubled off the wall in right while Posey’s hit went down the left field foul line scoring Stidham easily from second. After a Jack Rye walk put runners at first and second, Guinn brought them both home lacing a double down the left field line. The senior first baseman would score a batter later as Tony Delmonico found the whole through the right side of the infield. Guinn made a nice head first slide at home to avoid the tag by Hurricane catcher Jason Hagerty who had the plate blocked awaiting the throw from Raben in right.
The Hurricanes took the lead right back on a solo home run by Adan Severino in the top of the fourth to take a 5-4 advantage. Severino led off the inning and connected on a 0-1 pitch over the fence in right for his fourth round tripper of the season.
Florida State grabbed its first lead of the game in the sixth with three runs to take a 7-5 lead. Hurricane starter Enrique Garcia (2-1) was knocked out of the game in the sixth after Tommy Oravetz and Mike McGee registered back-to-back base hits. Kyle Bellamy came on and gave up a single to Tapley, but an errant throw by Weeks at second brought home Oravetz to tie the game at five. Holt would give the Seminoles the lead for good as he sent a sacrifice fly to right to bring home McGee. Stidham closed out the scoring in the sixth on a single to right that went just beyond the glove of the diving Weeks to score Tapley.
In the eighth, Stidham once again came through drilling a two-run double to wall in deep center off Miami reliever Carlos Gutierrez. Tapley and Holt scored on the play to give the Seminoles a 9-5 lead.
Strauss pitched the eighth and ninth innings for his third save of the season. The senior right hander struck out the side in the eighth and sealed the Seminole victory in the ninth as he got Weeks looking on strikes to end the game.
“That’s what the game is all about,” said Strauss. “Playing a team like Miami; it felt good to get the job done.”
Florida State and Miami return to the diamond on Sunday, April 20 in the third and final game of the series on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. First pitch is slated for 12:30 p.m. Fans can catch all the action over the internet as ACC Select and gametracker will be available for the contest. The game can also be heard live over the radio on 100.7 FM as well as on XM Radio channel 190 with Eric Luallen providing all the play-by-play action.