May 28, 2005
Jacksonville, FL — Florida State’s run in the ACC Baseball Championship came to an end Saturday as the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets beat FSU (50-18) for the fifth time this season. The 18-2 loss in the seven-inning game was FSU’s worst loss since a 21-5 defeat to Georgia in 1982. With the victory Georgia Tech (41-16) became just the fourth school ever to beat the Seminoles five times in one season. Hunter Jones (4-3) took the loss for FSU as the team stranded 10 base runners and committed four errors behind him.
“All season we have done a good job of making the routine plays and making the tough plays look easy,” said Ryne Malone. “This weekend it seemed a little tougher. We did the best we could out there we just didn’t make some plays. A lot of the mistakes happened with two outs unfortunately.”
“I fell like I threw a rock at the window of a church and got punished for it,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “That was an old fashioned whipping; beat us in every area. It was just one of those days. It started off bad but you have to be able to roll through it and be ready to go. I will be anxious to see what tomorrow holds.”
Georgia Tech pounded out 14 hits and scored the most runs a team has scored on FSU since Clemson scored 18 versus the Seminoles May 3 of last season. Only half the runs the Yellow Jackets scored were earned though due to the four errors.
“That is the best offensive club we have seen this year. No question about it,” said Martin. “I think this shows you the strength of our league. Georgia Tech certainly got it done today.”
The Jackets got off to a good start versus Jones (4-3). Although the junior got ahead of the first two batters 0-2 and 1-2 both got hits. The first was a sharply hit single past the shortstop and the second a towering double over the head of the center fielder. Tech then scored the game’s first run on a ground out to second base that also moved the runner to third. Another hard hit grounder to second base scored a run as Tech went up 2-0.
Shane Robinson tried to start a rally for the Seminoles in the bottom of the first by leading off with a single into right center. Robinson was caught stealing on a bizarre play where Malone swung at a 3-1 pitch and the first team All-American stopped running between the bases maybe thinking Malone fouled the pitch off. Robinson was easily put out on the play. It was a costly mistake as he would have easily swiped the base and most likely come home when Malone followed with a single to right center.
Florida State got into more trouble in the second inning. An error, a walk and a sac put runners on second and third with nobody out. Tech then went up 3-0 as they scored their third consecutive run on a ground out. The Yellow Jacket’s fourth run came home on an infield squib hit down the third base line.
Danny Wardell started the second by drawing a lead-off walk from Tech starter Ryan Turner but a double play wiped the runner off base. It was the second straight inning FSU put the lead-off man aboard only to see him wiped off the bases.
Another two-out error cost FSU has been the case most of the week in Jacksonville. After an errant throw to first where Wardell was pulled off the bag but seemed to tag the runner out anyway, Tech got a hit and a walk to load the bases and eventually went on to score seven runs in an inning that should have been over.
“I thought he was safe,” said Martin. “They took advantage of that. That’s what they do a good job of. Good teams take advantage of mistakes.”
“I knew I tagged him but I didn’t know if the tag beat him because of the angle,” said Wardell. “I tagged him on the back and it is up to the umpire to make the call. I don’t know if the tag was in time or not. He ruled that the runner reached the bag before I tagged him.”
A wild pitch then moved all the runners up a base while scoring the fifth run of the day. Catcher Andy Hawranick then dealt the big blow with a three run homer over the right field wall making it an 8-0 Tech lead. After Jones gave up a single to the next batter, he was lifted in favor of Barret Browning who was scheduled to start game two on Saturday if FSU got that far. Things didn’t get any better though as Browning walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a three-run home run making it an 11-0 Tech lead.
The Seminoles got on the board in the bottom of the third. Robinson drew a two-out walk and then Malone continued his solid tournament by doubling home the run. Turner then went on to walk the next two batters loading the bases up but a strikeout looking ended the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth, Malone led off with a walk and Gibbs Chapman followed suit with a single. A fly out moved the runner to third and a passed ball scored him making the score 11-2. Turner’s sixth walk of the game put runner’s on first and second and then FSU loaded the bases again on a Jack Rye chopper over the mound. New Yellow Jacket pitcher Jared Hyatt (4-3) got the next batter swinging for strike three then another K looking ended an inning with the bases loaded as FSU’s stranded its seventh, eighth and ninth runners of the game.
Tech put the finishing touches on the run-ruled game in the top of the seventh as they scored seven more runs
Next up for Florida State will be the NCAA Regionals. This will be the 28th consecutive year FSU has been to the NCAA Tournament when bids are officially handed out Monday. Seminole fans will be anxiously awaiting Sunday’s announcement concerning the 16 host sites for the NCAA Regionals. The host sites will be unveiled Sunday at 3:40 p.m. The 16 schools chosen to host will be announced on the ESPN2 Bottom Line and on ESPNews. Monday the complete 64-team field will be announced at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN. The selection show was originally scheduled for ESPN2 but has been moved to the flagship network.