May 17, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Third-ranked Florida State (46-9, 24-6 ACC) sent its senior class out in style on Saturday night with an 8-1 victory over No. 22 NC State (37-18, 18-11 ACC) in the final regular season game for both teams. The Seminoles scored seven runs in the first two innings and got a solid pitching performance from senior Ryan Strauss to win its eighth conference series of the season. With the win, FSU tied the school record for its best finish in league play at 24-6, a record set just last year.
“That was a great job of baseball,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I am very proud of the way we played the game tonight. This was a good win for our baseball team. That was a very good first season; now we move into a part of the season that we have worked very hard to arrive at.”
All seven runs in the first two innings came on two outs as the Seminoles were able to knock out Wolfpack starting pitcher Alex Sogard (4-2) after just 1.2 innings of work. Tony Delmonico led the offensive attack as he reached base on all four plate appearances Saturday evening. The junior shortstop went 3-for-3 with a hit by pitch and was just a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Delmonico also finished the game with four RBIs.
Freshman Tyler Holt registered a walk and a single in the eighth to extend his streak of reaching base to 55 consecutive games. Buster Posey finished the evening 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI while adding to his home run total with a solo shot in the first. Senior Dennis Guinn was on base three times in his final regular season game posting a hit and two walks. The Haines City, Fla., native also scored twice and registered an RBI. Stuart Tapley, Mike McGee and Stephen Cardullo each collected a hit in the series finale.
In his first start since throwing a complete game against Florida in over a month, Strauss went six innings allowing just one run on four hits. The senior right hander walked two and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts. He did not allow a hit until two outs in the third while the only run by the Wolfpack came on solo shot by Ryan Pond to leadoff the top of the fifth. Strauss improved to 8-0 on the season and 19-3 in his career.
“Ryan Strauss was very impressive,” added Martin. “He was throwing 94; that’s getting it up there early. I am amazed at the progress that he has made over the last two months. He has turned into quite a pitcher. He gave us a big lift at the fact that we were without Geoff Parker and Mike McGee tonight. He went out there and gave us six good innings.”
“It was a lot of fun to go there on senior night,” said Strauss. “I just want to go out there and do what ever it is I have to do to help this team win.”
FSU got off to a good start in the series finale as Posey gave the Seminoles an early 1-0 lead on a two out solo shot to right. It was his team leading 17th home run of the season. Jack Rye and Guinn then issued back-to-back walks off Sogard before coming around to score on a two-run double to left center by Delmonico.
In the second, the Seminoles once again came through in the clutch as all four runs came on two outs. FSU loaded the bases with three consecutive walks as Holt, Jason Stidham and Posey all reached courtesy of a walk. Two batters later, Guinn drove in a run drawing a bases loaded walk off Wolfpack reliever Jake Buchanan. With Delmonico at the plate, Buchanan unleashed a wild pitch to score Stidham. He then cleared the bases with a two-run triple to right center to give Florida State a 7-0 lead.
The two teams exchanged home runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Pond went deep in the fifth for his eighth home run of the season and the only Wolfpack run of the game. In the sixth, Cardullo unloaded on a solo shot to right for his third round tripper of the season.
Bo O’Dell and John Gast saw action out of the bullpen on Saturday as both pitchers kept the Wolfpack off the scoreboard over the final three innings. O’Dell went two innings allowing two hits and striking out two. Gast worked the ninth and was able to work out of a bases loaded jam getting a ground out to second to end the game.
Florida State will next head to Jacksonville, Fla. for the ACC Baseball Tournament. The Seminoles’ first game will be played on Wednesday with their first round opponent to be determined on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.