April 1, 2008
Jacksonville, Fla. – Florida State (24-3) used the short game and long ball combination to perfection on Tuesday night to post a 10-2 victory over Florida (20-7) in front of packed crowd of 7,215 at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville, Fla. The win snapped a three game losing streak to the Gators and avenged a 6-1 loss to their intra-state rival two weeks ago in Gainesville to even the season series at a game apiece.
“We did a lot of bunting tonight and I was very pleased with our execution,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was a very well played game by our ball club tonight. I was very proud of the way our guys played the game and it was a good win for us.”
In his first career start against the Gators, Ryan Strauss pitched seven solid innings to push his record to 3-0 on the year. The senior right hander eclipsed the 100 pitch mark for the fourth time in six starts as he gave up just one run on four hits. He walked a season-low one batter while striking out four. It marked the second time this season that Strauss completed seven innings of work.
“It was a good win,” added Buster Posey. “Ryan Strauss threw the ball very well and we had some timely hitting which is what it takes to get a win. We are playing good baseball right now. It’s a lot of fun; we have a good group of guys and we’re just grinding out some games.”
Strauss faced no more than four batters in six of the seven innings that he worked and finished the game retiring the last seven Gator hitters that he faced.
“I was very pleased with his composure,” added Martin on Strauss’ performance in the win over the Gators. “He showed great poise and threw the ball very well. He had all three pitches working for him tonight.”
At the plate, Tony Delmonico and Buster Posey each recorded three hits while Jason Stidham and Stuart Tapley collected a pair. Freshman Tyler Holt went 1-for-3 with a two walks as he has now reached base safely in all 27 games this season. Buster Posey, Jack Posey and Dennis Guinn all registered two RBIs in the win.
The Seminoles manufactured the first two runs of the game thanks to a little small ball. Delmonico led off the bottom of the second with a single up the middle and moved to second on a walk by left fielder Mike McGee. The next batter Stuart Tapley, getting his first start as the Seminole designated hitter, laid down a sacrifice bunt towards the first base line to advance the runners. On the very next pitch, Jack Posey executed another sacrifice bunt to perfection scoring Delmonico from third to give FSU an early 1-0 lead.
In the third, Stidham and Posey reached on back-to-back singles and moved up a base on the third Seminole sacrifice of the game, this time off the bat of senior Jack Rye. Guinn stepped in and drove in Stidham on a fielder’s choice groundout to make the score 2-0. Delmonico and McGee laid down consecutive bunt singles to load the bases but a fielder’s choice groundout by Tapley ended the inning.
“We’ve been working hard on that,” explained Posey on the team’s use of small ball early in the game. “That’s part of the way we are going to play the game. It’s something we take a lot of pride in, getting bunts down and moving runners over. It’s not every night that we are going to score 10 runs and pound out 13 hits.”
The Gators cut into the Seminole lead in the fifth on an infield single by catcher Buddy Munroe to score Jon Townsend from third. Townsend and Brandon McArthur led off the inning with back-to-back singles through the left side off Strauss. Florida would threaten with two outs in the inning as they loaded the bases, but Strauss got Cole Figueroa to fly out to McGee in left to maintain FSU’s one-run advantage.
In the sixth, Tapley pushed the Seminole lead back to two on a two-out solo home run to left off Florida starter Stephen Locke (2-1). Tapley unloaded on a 1-1 offering from Locke for his third round tripper of the season.
Buster Posey gave the Seminoles a four-run cushion in the seventh as he hit a two-run blast to left. Holt led off the inning with a walk off Gator reliever Clint Franklin. After several throws over to first to keep Holt close, Posey took the first pitch he saw from Franklin and hit it out of the stadium for his eighth home run of the season. Posey’s eight home runs in 2008 surpass his home run totals in his first two seasons.
Florida State broke the game open in the eighth scoring five runs off the Gators’ Kyle Mullaney as 10 batters went to the plate. McGee started the inning with a walk and scored on a groundout by Jack Posey for his second RBI of the evening. Tapley singled to right center and was replaced by pinch runner Luke Smierciak who immediately stole second and crossed the plate on a single to center by Stidham. Holt drew his second walk of the game and scored on a wild pitch. Rye hit an RBI double down the line in left to score Stidham while Guinn rounded out the scoring with an RBI groundout to third scoring Buster Posey.
Jimmy Marshall and Tyler Everett threw an inning in relief to close out a stellar pitching performance by Strauss. Marshall gave up a hit and a walk while striking out two. Everett pitched the ninth and allowed one run on one hit. He hit a batter and struck out two.
Florida State will return to the diamond on Wednesday to face the Jacksonville Dolphins at Alexander Brest Field at 6:00 pm. Fans can catch all the action over the internet as gametracker will be available for the contest as well as a live broadcast over the internet on A-Sun TV. The game can also be heard live over the radio on 1270 the Team with Tom Block providing all the play-by-play action.