Feb. 24, 2002
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The pitching and hitting came together at the same time for the Jacksonville baseball team as it pounded top-ranked Florida State, 13-4, Sunday afternoon before a standing room only crowd at Alexander Brest Field.
Junior pitcher Ryan Courson (North Ft. Myers, Fla.) was spotted a 13-0 lead and then mowed down the Seminoles (12-4), holding them scoreless through seven innings before running into trouble in the eighth. Courson threw 113 pitches in 7 1/3 innings, allowing only four hits, two unearned runs, walking one and striking out six. A couple of streaks came to an end as the Dolphins snapped a 20-game losing streak to the Seminoles, and the JU pitchers combined to end FSU third baseman Ryan Barthelemy’s nation-best 33-game hitting streak with an 0-for-4 performance.
Senior second baseman B.J. Weed (Maybrook, N.Y) led the Dolphins’ 16-hit attack as he went 3-for-5, including his first home run of the season and had three RBI. Senior designated hitter Josh Johnson (Jacksonville, Fla.) went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Senior leftfielder Chad Oliva (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) slammed a double in the gap in rightcenter and a triple of the top of the wall in right to extend his streak to 17 games in which he has reached base safely. Every JU starter had at least one hit in the game.
The Dolphins (5-5) broke through a scoreless tie with two runs in the bottom of the third. After shortstop Robby Cichra (Denton, Texas) reached on a dropped fly ball by FSU leftfielder Michael Futrell and advanced to third on a balk by Seminole starter Blair Varnes, Weed slapped a single to center field and later scored on Phil Nover’s single to right field. JU then broke the game wide open by putting up five runs in the fifth when the first three hitters reached safely and FSU helped the cause by making two errors. The Dolphins capped their scoring in the seventh, scoring six runs, highlighted by Weed’s two-run homer off the light pole in leftfield to take a 13-0 lead.
FSU scored its only runs of the game in the eighth when centerfielder Nick Rogers, who had three of the Seminoles’ five hits, blasted a grand slam off Jason Ryals (Gainesville, Fla.), who relieved Courson and finished the eighth. Bryan Williams (Winter Park, Fla.), who started the game at third base, came on to pitch a perfect ninth, striking out one.
Varnes threw four innings for FSU and allowed seven hits, five runs, three unearned and struck out three. JU did the most damage off of Justin Miller, who allowed six runs, three earned on four hits in only one inning of work.
The last time JU beat FSU was a 3-0 victory at Alexander Brest Field on April 20, 1994. The Dolphins return to action when they visit cross-town rival North Florida Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Harmon Stadium.
R H E Florida State 000 000 040 - 4 5 5 Jacksonville 002 050 60x - 13 16 1
JU: Courson, Ryals (8), Williams (9) and Menendez. FSU: Varnes, Davidson (5), Hodges (5), Miller (7), Whidden (8) and Richie, Cheesman (7). E - FSU: Barthelemy, Futrell, Toole 2, Probst, JU: Alford. DP - FSU 1. LOB - FSU 3, JU 8. 2B - FSU: Rogers, JU: Oliva. HR - FSU: Rogers, JU: Weed (1). HBP - by Miller (Menendez). CS - Rogers. WP - Courson (2-2). LP - Varnes (0-2). WP - Varnes, Miller. BK - Barnes, Miller. Time - 2:41. Attn. - 2,389.