April 17, 2010
CARY, N.C. – Sixth-ranked Florida State (27-9, 11-6 ACC) fell to Duke (21-15, 6-11 ACC) 10-6 Saturday afternoon at the USA Baseball Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The Seminoles lost for just the fourth time in the last 36 games against the Blue Devils, while the loss snapped FSU’s five-game, ACC road winning streak.
The Blue Devils erased a 5-1 deficit scoring all 10 runs over the final four innings including four runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh. Duke finished the game out hitting FSU 16-10.
“I thought when we were up 5-1 that we had everything under control,” said head coach Mike Martin. “But little did I know, nine runs later it would be Duke’s ball game.”
Marcus Stroman closed the door on the Seminoles yielding just one hit in 3.0 innings of work to move to 4-1 on the year.
Making his first start of the season, Brian Busch worked five plus innings in earning a no decision. The West Boca Raton, Fla., native allowed four runs on seven hits as he walked one and struck out three.
“He pitched pretty good,” said Martin on Busch making his first start of the season. “I’m not saying that he had a dominant outing, but for five innings he pitched very good baseball.”
Tyler Everett (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season as the junior right hander was tagged for five runs on five hits in 1.1 innings of work.
Tyler Holt and Jayce Boyd both registered two hits on Saturday afternoon, while Mike McGee led all Seminole hitters with two RBI. Six of the 10 Florida State hits in game two went for extra bases including a two-run home run by McGee in the third.
“We just got to look at this one and throw it away and be ready to go tomorrow,” said Martin. “Duke’s got a very good baseball team and so do we, tomorrow is another day.”
A leadoff walk to James Ramsey to start the second inning resulted in a Florida State run as the Seminoles took an early 1-0 lead in game two. Ramsey moved to second on the Seminoles first hit of the ball game, a single to left by Boyd. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a well executed sacrifice bunt by Stuart Tapley. Sherman Johnson brought home Ramsey on a soft grounder to third that Duke third baseman Eric Brady could not field cleanly.
Jeremy Gould connected on a one-out double to the gap in right center in the bottom of the second for Duke’s first hit of the game. Busch would strand the runner at second as he got Stroman looking on strikes and Brian Litwin to fly out to right to end the inning.
The Seminoles pushed their lead to 3-0 on a two-run home run by McGee in the third. With Holt on at first after drawing his 30th walk of the season, McGee took a 1-1 pitch from Duke starter Dennis O’Grady out of the park to center field for his sixth home run of the season.
A leadoff double by Duke’s Eric Brady went by the way side as Busch retired the next three batters that he faced including back-to-back strikeouts to close out the bottom of the third.
Florida State extended its lead to 4-0 in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Holt and Stephen Cardullo. Holt laced his team leading 14th double of the season down the line in left and scored a batter later as Cardullo crushed a two-bagger off the wall in right center.
The Blue Devils cut the lead to three on a sac-fly to center by McCurdy scoring Litwin. Litwin began the inning with a single through the right side, stole second and moved to third on a fly out to right. He scored two batters later on the sac-fly to center.
The Seminoles answered the call with a run in the sixth to push their back to four at 5-1. Boyd started the inning with a double to right center ending the afternoon for O’Grady. Michael Ness entered out of the bullpen and gave up an RBI double to Tapley. The Seminole designated hitter went opposite field sneaking a double inside the bag at first to score Boyd from second. After a sacrifice bunt moved Tapley to third, the Seminoles seemed to have added to their lead on a sac-fly to right by Devon Travis, but on an appeal play at third Tapley was called out for leaving the base early, thus resulting in an inning ending double play.
Duke scored four runs in the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. The Blue Devils opened the inning with three straight hits off Busch including an RBI single by Stroman which ended the afternoon for the Seminole southpaw.
Everett came on and gave up an RBI single to Litwin. The third run for the Blue Devils came off a strikeout as Everett got Brady swinging. On the ensuing play, Lopez threw down to second to get Litwin on an attempt steal, but the throw short hopped Travis allowing Stroman to score from third. McCrudy drove in the fourth run of the inning on his second sac-fly of the afternoon.
For the second straight inning, the Seminoles responded to a Duke run with a run of their own to retake the lead at 6-5. Lopez led off the seventh with a double to left and scored on a base hit to right by Holt.
The Blue Devils erupted for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take their first lead of the afternoon at 9-6. Duke sent nine batters to the plate in the inning as seven straight Blue Devils reached on a walk and six consecutive hits. The Blue Devils grabbed the lead as Litwin hit a two-run double to right off Everett. FSU went to the pen and brought on Daniel Bennett. The junior right hander gave up a base hit back up the middle to Brady scoring a pair and giving Duke a three-run lead.
FSU put runners on at second and third with two outs in the eighth but could not cut into the Duke lead as Stroman got Holt to strike out swinging to end the threat.
Duke added one more run in the eighth on a throwing error by Lopez following a passed ball.
The Seminoles return to the diamond for the final game of the series against the Blue Devils on Sunday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. Fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.