May 26, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Fourteenth-ranked Florida State (39-17) dropped its opening round game of the 2010 ACC Baseball Championship to No. 13 Miami (40-15) falling 9-3 Wednesday afternoon inside NewBridge Bank Park. The Hurricanes connected on three home runs and scored seven of their nine runs on two outs to post their second victory over the Seminoles in three all-time meetings in the conference tournament.
The loss marked the fourth in a row for the Garnet and Gold, the longest streak since dropping four straight back in 2006. The Seminoles have now lost three straight in the ACC Tournament dating back to last year. It also was just the fourth loss in 19 opportunities for the Noles in the opening round game of the tournament.
“Well I think the University of Miami did a great job,” said head coach Mike Martin. “They pitched very well and certainly made plays when they needed to and got big hits when they needed them. It’s a credit to them and they deserved to win.”
Sean Gilmartin (6-7) suffered the loss after working 6.2 innings as he allowed nine runs, seven earned, on six hits as he walked four and struck out four.
“You know, I saw a club go out there today and fight and do everything they could,” added Martin. “This is something that you just have to get through. To see the fight that I saw today, I’m very proud of our baseball team. We’re not playing any chopped liver. There are great clubs in this league; we just played one. You make a mistake, they make you pay for it and that’s what happened today.”
The Seminoles opened the tournament with a pair of hits in the first by Holt and McGee. Holt led off the game singling up the middle on the very first pitch from Miami starter Eric Whaley, who was making his second start of the season on Wednesday.
Holt was then retired for the second out of the inning as he was thrown out trying to steal second. It marked just the second time this season Holt had been caught stealing putting to a close his streak of 20 consecutive stolen bases. Two pitches later, McGee doubled down the line in left. But the Hurricanes got out of the inning as Whaley got James Ramsey to ground out back to the mound.
Back-to-back home runs in the second gave Miami an early 3-0 lead. After recording two quick outs, Gilmartin plunked Chris Pelaez on the back before giving up a two-run shot to Nick Melendres. The Hurricane centerfielder took a 1-1 pitch from Gilmartin off the scoreboard in right for his fifth home run of the season. Then Michael Broad stepped in and laced a 2-2 pitch from the sophomore southpaw just over the wall in right for his fourth round tripper of the season to give Miami a three-run advantage.
The Seminoles answered right back with two runs in the top of the third to cut the deficit to 3-2. Boyd and Holt put together consecutive one-out hits recording a single and a double, respectively. An errant throw by Pelaez in right on Holt’s double scored Boyd and moved Holt to third. Sherman Johnson plated the second run of the inning scoring Holt on a sac-fly to center.
Miami added to its lead in the fourth taking advantage of a couple fielding miscues by the Seminoles to give the Canes a 5-2 advantage. Pelaez became the first base runner of the inning as his groundball went right through the legs of Cardullo at short. Melendres followed with his second hit in as many at-bats connecting on a double just inside the bag at third. Both runners advanced a base with Pelaez scoring the first run of the inning on a passed ball. Miami made the score 5-2 on an RBI groundout to short by Broad.
The Seminoles drew within two of the Miami lead plating a run in the fifth. Travis led off the inning with a triple off the wall in right. Following a walk to Boyd, Whaley got Holt to ground into a double play scoring Travis for a 5-3 Hurricane lead.
Miami answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to increase its lead to 8-3. A pair of walks came back to haunt Gilmartin as the Moorpark, Calif., native gave up his third home run of the afternoon as Harold Martinez deposited a 3-1 offering onto the grassy hill in left center. The three-run shot was his team leading 18th home run of the season.
Whaley moved to 5-1 on the year departing after throwing a career-high 5.0 innings in his second start of the season. The freshman right hander allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits as he walked one and struck out a batter.
The Hurricanes added to their lead in the seventh on another two-out RBI. Yasmani Grandal connected on an RBI double down the right field line scoring Frankie Ratcliff from second. Ratcliff reached after drawing his third walk of the afternoon.
Robert Benincasa entered with two outs in the seventh and got Martinez to ground out to second for the final out of the inning. The freshman right hander remained in the game and finished the afternoon throwing 1.1 scoreless innings in relief. Benincasa gave up a hit and struck out a batter.
E.J. Encinosa, Sam Robinson and Daniel Miranda combined to work the final four innings as the three Hurricane relievers allowed just one hit and one walk, while striking out four.
The Seminoles return to pool play on Thursday, May 27 to take on top-seeded Virginia at 4:00 p.m. After the first day of competition in Division A, Virginia and Miami both sit with 1-0 records, while Florida State and Boston College are 0-1. Brian Busch will take the mound for FSU in game two, while Virginia will counter with RHP Robert Morey. Thursday’s game will air live on Sun Sports for those fans subscribing to DirecTV and Dish Network only, while FS Florida will air the game on tape delay beginning at 10:30 p.m.
Fans can listen in locally on 1270 the Team and 94.3 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.
For further updates on the Seminole Baseball team and the ACC Tournament, stay tuned to www.seminoles.com.