Feb. 21, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After exploding for 21 runs in game one, Florida State (3-0) held on for a 3-2 victory over Hofstra (0-3) in game two to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. Sophomore Mike McGee’s solo home run in the bottom of the sixth was the difference as the Seminoles hung on for the one-run victory over the Pride.
“It’s always good to start off 3-0” said McGee. “This game was a lot of fun. It gives you a good feel of how competitive this game can be and how you can never relax regardless of who you are playing. A 3-2 game can really help a lot. It gives the players a good feel for what’s its like to be in a close game.”
Freshman Sean Gilmartin (1-0) threw six innings to pick up the win in his first collegiate start. The Moorpark, Calif., native gave up just one run on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
“When I was out there, I really didn’t feel anything, it was more adrenaline than anything else” explained Gilmartin. “It was pretty exciting. I was able to put the ball where I wanted it so that was good.”
After cruising through the first three innings, Gilmartin found himself in a jam in the fourth as the first three Pride batters reached on a pair of singles and a walk. But the freshman southpaw showed great poise posting consecutive strikeouts to Matt Wynn and Dion Pouncil before getting Elliot Hagburg to fly out to center to keep the game knotted at zero.
Hofstra struck first in the fifth as Mark Stuckless drew a one out walk and moved to third on a double down the right field line by second baseman Tom Legregni. Stuckless scored one batter later on a groundout by Matt Prokopowicz to give the Pride a 1-0 lead.
The lead was short lived as the Seminoles came roaring back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-1 advantage. Stephen Cardullo got things started as he led off the inning with single to left, the second of two hits on the evening. After moving up 90 feet on a groundout to second by Ohmed Danesh, Cardullo would come around to score on a base hit to left by designated hitter Mike Meschke. With two outs, Tyler Holt would give FSU its first lead of the game lacing a double down the left field line scoring Meschke easily from third.
Gilmartin got in trouble in the sixth putting runners on first and third with only one out but was able to induce an inning ending double play off the bat of Hagburg to maintain the one-run Florida State lead.
McGee added to the Seminole lead in the sixth taking a 2-0 offering from Pride starter Rob Kumbatovic (0-1) over the wall in left for his first home run of the season and seventh of his career.
“I was really glad to get that home run,” added McGee. “It’s just one of those things…when am I going to get my first home run. I’m really glad to get that one out of the way, now I don’t have to think about it any more. I got it out of the way and now I can focus on hitting.”
Hofstra would cut into the lead in the top of the seventh scoring an unearned run off sophomore reliever Tyler Everett. After getting the first two outs of the inning, Everett allowed an infield single to Legregni followed by back-to-back walks leading to a Seminole pitching change. With freshman Brian Busch in the game, Legregni scored on a passed ball by Rafael Lopez. Busch would close the door on the Pride fighting back to get Nick Panzarella swinging on strikes to end the threat.
With a one-run lead heading into the ninth, the Seminoles turned the ball over to senior Jimmy Marshall. Marshall gave up a single to the very first batter that he faced as Stuckless drove a 1-1 offering back up the middle. Stuckless then moved into scoring position a batter later on a sacrifice bunt by Legregni. On a ball in the dirt with Prokopowicz at the plate, catcher Rafael Lopez made a nice block, pounced on the ball and threw a dart to Stuart Tapley to get Stuckless trying to steal third for the second out of the inning. Marshall took care of the rest getting Prokopowicz looking on strikes to record his first save of the season.
Kumbatovic pitched well for the Pride throwing eight innings allowing three runs on nine hits. He struck out four and walked none on 100 pitches.
Florida State will return to the field against Hofstra on Sunday for the fourth and final game of the series. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m., while fans can listen to all the action live on 100.7 FM with Eric Luallen providing all the play-by-play action. Gametracker will also be available for Sunday’s contest at www.seminoles.com.