June 9, 2013
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Managing Editor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State’s 2013 season met its end Sunday with an 11-6 loss to Indiana in the second game of the Tallahassee Super Regional.
A win at Dick Howser Stadium would have set up a decisive Monday matchup between the two schools in which FSU (47-17) could have potentially earned a 22nd trip to the College World Series. Instead, the Hoosiers (48-14), who are in the midst of the best season in program history, are headed to Omaha for the first time.
Indiana is the first Big Ten Conference team to reach the College World Series since 1984.
“The first thing I want to do is congratulate Indiana University for coming in here and getting it done, plain and simple,” FSU coach Mike Martin said. “It was a great display of baseball. They did everything that they needed to do to be successful and I tip my hat to them.”
In his final appearance in Tallahassee, Scott Sitz took the loss for the Seminoles. Sitz (10-2) tossed 4 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, which was the most he had given up all year. Relievers Jameis Winston, Robby Coles and Gage Smith combined to allow three earned runs.
Not helping the pitchers was FSU’s struggle to make the most of scoring opportunities over the past two days. In two Super Regional contests, the Seminoles stranded a combined 22 base runners while Indiana left just 10 on base all weekend.
“It’s funny how you sit over there and say, `somebody, somebody pick us up,'” Martin said. “You have to credit them for making pitches when they needed to make them. There again, it’s just part of the game. It makes it interesting every night.”
For Indiana, Will Coursen-Carr pitched a dominating four innings in relief and earned the win. Travis Sam led the way offensively with four RBIs in a game that was a season high for runs allowed by the ‘Noles.
FSU opened the top of the first inning by quickly putting runners on second and third with just one out asStephen McGee stepped into the batter’s box. But FSU couldn’t strike early as both McGee and Brizuela flied out to shallow right field to end the inning and leave two runners stranded.
While the ‘Noles couldn’t capitalize on their own first-inning scoring opportunity, the Hoosiers did. Will Nolden opened with a walk and then advanced to third on Kyle Schwarber’s single. One batter later, Travis’ sacrifice fly plated Holden and then Scott Donley ripped a one-out double down the right line that scored Schwarber. Basil then followed suit with his own double that scored Donley and Casey Smith smacked an RBI single to put Indiana up 4-0 early.
But it didn’t the Seminoles long to cut Indiana’s advantage in half.
In the top of the second, Seth Miller reached base on an error and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sansone then walked two batters later and Miller took third base on another errant throw by the pitcher. Delph’s RBI bunt then scored Miller and Stewart’s infield chopper also brought home a run to move the scoreboard to 4-2 in favor of Indiana.
Indiana added a fifth run in the bottom of the third on a Donley home run to right field but once again FSU had an answer — this time in the top of the fifth. After Brizuela’s RBI double sent Stewart home and movedMarcus Davis to third, John Nogowski drew a walk and Knief registered a sacrifice fly to center to cut the ‘Noles deficit to 5-4. With the bases loaded, Smit was then by the pitch to push the tying run across the plate.
The tie wouldn’t last long, though. In the bottom half of the inning, Travis launched a two-run home run over the scoreboard to end Sitz day. WInston then came on in relief and retired the next two batters to end the inning with a 7-5 Indiana lead.
The Hoosiers would later add a run in the seventh when Travis earned an RBI on a fielder’s choice. Indiana then pushed three more insurance runs across in the bottom of the eighth to secure the 11-5 score.
In the bottom of the ninth, FSU put on its rally caps with the help of a rowdy, still-in-it home crowd and loaded the bases with one out before Brizuela trotted home when Smit got hit by a pitch. But trailing 11-6, Delph struck out and Stewart hit a hard liner to left field that ended the game.
“It’s very frustrating to go up there working every at bat, every pitch,” Stewart said, “and we just couldn’t come up with the key hit when we needed it.”