Feb. 29, 2008
Auburn, Ala. – Florida State (5-0) scored early and held on late to take both games on the road of a home and home series against Auburn (4-2) with a 6-5 victory Friday afternoon at Plainsman Park. Sophomore Matt Fairel pitched a career-high seven innings to pick up his second win of the season while Jimmy Marshall got the final three outs in the ninth to register his first career save.
All six RBIs on Friday were recorded by Seminole newcomers including five by Florida State freshman. Jack Posey, who got his first start of the season as the Seminole designated hitter, went 1-for-1 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. Left fielder Mike McGee also recorded two RBIs on a single and a sacrifice fly, while Tyler Holt picked up an RBI with a single in the second. Tony Delmonico accounted for the sixth Seminole RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Auburn staged a ninth inning comeback benefiting from the fifth Seminole error of the game. The five errors were the most since recording five in a loss to Savannah State on April 30, 2006. After the first two Tiger batters reached on back-to-back singles in the ninth off reliever Bo O’Dell, the right hander from Kissimmee, Fla., looked to get his first out of the inning but a errant throw by Stuart Tapley at third but runners at second and third with nobody out. Marshall entered the game and got a fly out by Ryan Jenkins for the first out of the inning. But after a Justin Hargett single to right cut the lead to one, Marshall registered back-to-back strikeouts to collect his first collegiate save.
“Jimmy was a guy we didn’t want to use today, but yet that was where we were in the game,” stated head coach Mike Martin. “Bo O’Dell was only taken out to change momentum. Bo did a very good job. It’s a shame; if we make a play (there in the ninth) then everything is different. Bo O’Dell pitched very well. I also felt Jimmy Marshall came in and showed a lot of poise to get the final three outs in the ballgame.”
“I just came in, wanted to throw strikes and get them to swing the bat,” added Marshall. “When you get into a situation like that you can’t walk people. You got to throw strikes and go right after people and that is what I tried to do today.”
Fairel (2-0) worked a career-high seven innings as he allowed just two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits. He walked three and struck out three as he threw a career-high 107 pitches. The lefty from Winter Haven, Fla., settled down after a hiccup in the fourth retiring the next eight Auburn batters before Matt Hall reached on a fielding error in the seventh.
“I felt like I really settled in and my pitches started working after the fourth inning,” stated Fairel. “It’s always easy to pitch with a lead as opposed to being behind. You just got to come in, throw strikes and get them to make outs.”
Auburn got on the board first in game two with an unearned run in the bottom of the first. The Tigers placed runners on second and third with only one out as Luke Greinke, Thursday night’s starting pitcher, reached base on a fielding error and moved to third on a ground rule double by Mike Bianucci. Hunter Morris would give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead as he brought Greinke home on an RBI groundout to second. Joseph Sanders extended the inning by drawing a two-out walk but was thrown out by Fairel as he was caught trying to steal second base.
Florida State answered right back in the top of the second with a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead. For the second straight inning, the Seminoles put runners at first and third and this time were successful in pushing runners across the plate. Tapley collected his fourth hit of the series as he hit a come backer right up the middle off the leg of Auburn starter Cory Luckie. Then a sharp hit ball off the bat of Ruairi O’Connor was muffed by Hargett at second moving Tapley to third setting up an RBI opportunity for designated hitter Jack Posey. Posey smacked a double off the wall in left field to bring home Tapley and tie the game at one. The hit and RBI were Jack Posey’s first of his collegiate career. On the very next pitch, Holt hit a single to center to score O’Connor but Posey, trying to score from second, was thrown out at the plate.
The Seminoles added two more runs in the top of the third on an RBI single by Mike McGee and a bases loaded walk by Jack Posey. Buster Posey led off the inning reaching on a fielding error by the Tiger third baseman and moved to second on a single to left by Dennis Guinn. Both runners would then move up a base on a wild pitch by Luckie. McGee singled home the third Seminole run of the afternoon lacing a hit through the left side of the infield to score Buster Posey. The hit for McGee was his first of the series. Following a walk to Tapley, Jack Posey registered his second RBI of the afternoon drawing a two-out bases loaded walk to score Guinn and push the Seminole lead to 4-1.
A pair of sacrifice flies in the top of the fourth accounted for both Florida State runs to widen the Seminole lead to 6-1. Stidham led off the fourth with a bloop single to left ending the day for Luckie. Scott Shurman came out of the Tiger bullpen and gave up a double to Buster Posey. With runners at second and third, shortstop Tony Delmonico hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Stidham. Two batters later, following a Guinn single, McGee hit a fly ball to deep center to drive in Buster Posey. The single by Guinn in the fourth was his fifth hit of the series.
Luckie (1-1) lasted just three plus innings as he allowed five runs, two earned, on seven hits. He walked three and struck out two on 74 total pitches.
Auburn broke through with a run in the fourth on back-to-back two-out doubles by Sanders and Kevin Patterson. Patterson hit a double off the tall wall in left to plate Sanders and cut the Seminole lead to 6-2. After a walk to Hall, Fairel escaped further damage by getting Jenkins to fly out to Holt in centerfield.
Bo O’Dell came out of the Seminole bullpen and worked a scoreless eighth. After recording the first out on a grounder to short, O’Dell allowed the next two batters to reach as he hit Ben Jones on the foot with a breaking ball before giving up a single to right by pinch hitter Trent Mummey. With the Tigers threatening to score, the junior right hander closed the door forcing a pair of fly outs to end the inning.
Auburn added three more runs in the ninth before Marshall came into the game to record the final three outs to keep the Seminoles undefeated on the year.
The Garnet and Gold will return home to face Auburn for two more games beginning Saturday, March 1. Game time for Saturday is slated for 2:00 pm EST. Gametracker will be available for the game, while Eric Luallen will broadcast the game live over the radio on 100.7 FM. The game will also be shown live on Sun Sports with Gene Deckerhoff and Tom Block bringing you all the play-by-play action.