June 3, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 4 national seed Florida State (52-11) bounced back from an opening day shutout to win four straight games and advance to the eighth NCAA Super Regional in school history with a 16-7 win over Tulane Monday night at Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles bats continued to remain red hot as FSU scored double digit runs for the fourth game in a row.
Florida State will host a best of three game series with Wichita State in Super Regional action, marking the first Super Regional in Tallahassee since 2002, with games Friday, June 6 at 2 p.m. (ESPN2), Saturday, June 7 at Noon (ESPN2) and Sunday, June 8 at 1 p.m. (ESPN). Remaining tickets for the Tallahassee Super Regional will go on sale tonight on Florida State’s official athletics website, Seminoles.com. Tickets will also be available by phone or walk-up sales beginning Tuesday morning at 8:30.
The Seminoles have now reached a Super Regional on three occasions after falling into the loser’s bracket. In 2003, FSU lost the second game of the Regional and advanced just as the Seminoles did in 2000. The last time Florida State lost the first game of a Regional and went on to win that tournament was in 1992, before the NCAA instituted a Super Regional format.
Florida State once again was propelled to victory by the big inning. The Seminoles broke open a scoreless game in the top of the fourth scoring six runs. It was the eighth time in the last four games FSU scored five or more runs in an inning and the fifth time the squad scored six or more runs in a frame in the regional. After a 7-0 loss to Bucknell in the opener, Florida State proceeded to score 74 runs in the next four games to storm its way into the Super Regional.
Matt Fairel, who pitched three innings Saturday in a win over Florida, threw 99 pitches for FSU and went 5.2 innings in picking up his 11th win of the season. The Seminole ace scattered seven hits and allowed four runs, of which three were earned. After getting knocked out of the game with the rival Gators just two days before, Fairel bounced back to give Florida State the start they needed after using nine pitchers in the first three days of regional play.
In the fourth inning, Florida State’s bats came alive. The Seminoles, who had stranded five runners in the first three frames, came right back putting runners on second and third with nobody out as they finally broke through versus Green Wave ace Shooter Hunt (9-4). Tommy Oravetz started the big inning with a ground out scoring the first run of the game. Hunt looked like he would get out of the fourth with no further damage as he went up 0-2 on Tyler Holt but a wild pitch scored Stuart Tapley from third making it a 2-0 game. Another miscue cost the Green Wave as a shallow pop to center was misplayed allowing Holt, who reached on a single, to score all the way from first base. An intentional walk and infield single loaded the bases and then Dennis Guinn busted the game open clearing the bases with a double giving Guinn his eighth RBI in the regional. That knocked Hunt out of the game after going 3.2 innings and giving up six runs, only two of which were earned.
Tulane reliever Nick Pepitone got in trouble in the fifth on an Oravetz single and a walk to Ohmed Danesh. After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position lightning rolled in and caused a delay that lasted 49 minutes. When play resumed Holt lined a single past third baseman Rob Segedin plating two more runs and boosting the Florida State lead to 8-0. Buster Posey added to the lead with an RBI single giving him 13 RBIs for the regional. Jack Rye singled in another run as FSU scored double digit runs for the fourth straight game.
Tulane got on the board in the bottom of the fifth as shortstop Josh Prince singled in the first run of the game off Fairel. The second run of the game for the Green Wave came in on the first Seminole error of the night as Tulane narrowed the score to 10-2.
The Green Wave continued to chip into the Florida State lead as Warren McFadden continued to have a superb Super Regional. The DH recorded his sixth hit in six at bats as he homered to cut the Seminole lead to 10-4 in the bottom of the sixth but the Seminoles answered again with a four-spot in the top of the seventh to push the lead back to 10 runs at 14-4.
FSU and Wichita State will meet for the seventh time in program history, with four of the seven meetings coming in NCAA Tournament play. The teams have split four games in the College World Series and the Shockers hold a 2-0 advantage in regular season meetings. The only time the two teams have met in Tallahassee came in 1990 when Wichita State defeated FSU 8-7. The game will feature two coaches who rank second and third all-time in wins. Shocker coach Gene Stephenson and Seminole boss Mike Martin are second and third respectively in all-time wins and have combined for over 3,000 victories in their careers.
Monday night’s NCAA Tallahassee Regional championship game was played in front of 6,032 fans, the fourth-largest crowd in stadium history for a postseason game.
– Tommy Oravetz moved into sole possession of ninth place all-time for career hit by pitches after being plucked with a pitch in the second inning. It was his eighth hit by pitch of the season and 26th of his career.
– With six runs in the top of the fourth, FSU has now scored five or more runs in an inning eight times in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
– Jimmy Marshall entered the game with two outs in the top of the sixth for his second appearance of the tournament. It marked the 36th game that the junior right hander has played in moving him into a tie for sixth place all-time with Rhett James (2003) and Daniel Hodges (2002) for relief appearances in a single-season.
– Tyler Holt recorded hits in four of his first five at-bats running his tournament total to 13 in five games. It marked the third fourth-hit game of his career and second during the regional tournament.
– The Seminoles scored 74 runs in the 2008 Tallahassee Regional – the second most in school history. The most runs accounted for in regional play by a Seminole squad came in 1998 when Florida State posted 76 runs in four games: W, 10-7 vs. Liberty; W, 27-6 vs. Delaware; W, 23-2 vs. Oklahoma; W, 16-10 vs. Auburn.
– This season marks the sixth time in school history that the Seminoles have lost the first game of an NCAA Regional and come back to win the tournament: 1962, 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1992 are the others.
2008 TALLAHASSEE ALL-REGIONAL TEAM
C – Buster Posey (unanimous), Florida State
1B – Dennis Guinn (unanimous), Florida State
2B – Jason Stidham, Florida State
3B – Stuart Tapley (unanimous), Florida State
SS – Tony Delmonico, Florida State
OF – Tyler Holt (unanimous), Florida State
OF – Scott Powell, Tulane
OF – Matt den Dekker, Florida
P – Mathew Wilson (unanimous), Bucknell
P – Matt Fairel, Florida State
DH – Warren McFadden, Tulane
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Buster Posey, Florida State (unanimous)
– Tallahassee Regional –
2008 NCAA DIVISION I BASEBALL TALLAHASSEE REGIONAL POSTGAME QUOTES
GAME SEVEN: Florida State 16, Tulane 7
TULANE QUOTES: HEAD COACH RICK JONES
“We ran into one of the hottest teams in the country. There’s no question about it. I felt really good about our club going into tonight. We were the same place we were this time last night. When we came in, we had to win one ball game and had been playing well but we were facing a Florida State club with a good an offense as they are you can’t let them have anything other than what they’ve earned. We had some things happen tonight that were a little uncharacteristic of this club and if you look at the numbers, they bear that out. We had a dropped ball in the outfield where we had a little miscommunication and that’s something we take a lot of pride in. That very seldom happens to us, but it happened at a bad time tonight, particularly after we handled the first and third situation when they broke the runner from third and we handled that one. So that was a momentum-turner there from a two-run lead to a four-run lead there real quickly and then they tacked on.”>
(about Matt Fairel)>
“I thought the lefty did a good job of battling and we ran as many different looks out there as we could.”>
(about Shooter Hunt)>
“I thought that Shooter really had good stuff. He hit it as hard as he could but his pitch count got up. You know it was a pretty tight zone. I’m not saying it was a bad zone, pretty tight zone and he just missed on a bunch of pitches there which put him deeper in the count, trying to pitch these guys as best he could which you have to do.”>
FLORIDA STATE QUOTES: HEAD COACH Mike Martin
“When we lost the first ball game we knew it was going to be a challenge to come back through the loser’s bracket and I got a text from Clint Purvis, our team chaplain, and he told me to refer to Psalm 50:15 and I did and I just want to say thank God for this baseball team because they have given us a lot of great memories. We still have a long way to go to get where we want to get but we’re closer than we were two days ago and I’m very proud to be a part of this program.”>
CF Tyler Holt
(about his game tonight)>
“I was swinging it well. Coach has been pushing to be short with the bat through the barrel and I went through with it. I tried my best to be short with every pitch, every swing I took and it worked out for me tonight.”>
P Matt Fairel
(on play by Guinn in the second inning that got him out of a jam)>
“That was a great time to make that play. It got us in the dugout with no runs, kept the tie ball game and then we came back and capitalized on that play. It took the momentum into the next inning and carried over to put up some runs. It was a huge play turning the momentum of the game. It turned it around for us.”>