April 30, 2008
DeLand, Fla. – Third-ranked Florida State (37-7) completed the season sweep of Stetson (19-28) with a 6-3 come-from-behind victory Wednesday night on Melching Field at Conrad Park. The Seminoles, who were held to just one run through the first eight innings, broke through with five runs in the top of the ninth to win their 11th straight game over the Hatters.
Mike McGee tied the game at three in the ninth with a two run shot over the right field wall for his fourth home run of the season. Tyler Holt scored all the way from second for the go ahead run with two outs as Travis Stortz kicked away a chopper off the bat of Jack Rye. Dennis Guinn capped off a four hit night as he hit a two-run double to left to give the Seminoles a three-run advantage.
“That was a big win for us,” said head coach Mike Martin. “They basically dominated us for eight innings and to come back like we did and score five runs is a big, big win for us.”
After falling behind in the count on Stetson closer Robbie Elsemiller (2-4), McGee fouled off a couple pitches before taking a 1-2 pitch opposite field for the home run. Tommy Oravetz, who scored on the play, started the ninth inning rally with a single up the middle.
“He (Elsemiller) was tough to see, I really couldn’t see the ball off of him,” said McGee. “I fouled off the first couple. He left one out over the plate and I guess I hit it good.”
Two batters later in the ninth, Holt was awarded first base as he was hit on the shoulder and took second on his 12th stolen base of the season. After a strikeout to Stephen Cardullo, Buster Posey was walked intentionally putting runners at first and second with two outs. Stetson went to the bullpen and brought on left hander Travis Stortz to face Jack Rye. Rye hit a chopper up the first base line which was kicked into foul ground by Stortz allowing Holt to score all the way from first. Following the second pitching change of the inning, Guinn stepped in and laced a double to left scoring Posey and Rye for a 6-3 lead.
“Mike McGee, what a big hit that was in the ninth,” added Martin. “And of course Tyler using his speed to steal second and come in and score on a ball that was hit 80 feet. It was certainly an emotional win for us and one that we needed.”
Guinn, a native of Haines City, Fla. and playing in front of the hometown crowd, went 4-for-5 on the evening with a double and three singles. He drove in three of the six runs while also posting 13 putouts. The four hits tied a career-high.
Oravetz finished the game with a pair of hits, while Posey went 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
Ryan Strauss pitched the final two innings to pick up the victory and run his record to 6-0 on the year. Strauss kept the Hatters scoreless scattering just one hit over the eighth and ninth inning. He struck out one and didn’t issue a walk in the win.
“We struggled but were able to catch fire at the end,” said Holt. “Mike McGee came up big for us, which was basically the spark we needed to get going. We also got some clutch pitching to help us to this victory tonight.”
Stetson registered the first scoring chance for either team in game two as the Hatters loaded the bases with two outs in the third. The home team collected their first hit of the game on a double down the left field line by Jacob deGrom while sandwiching the hit with a pair of walks. FSU starter Bo O’Dell got out of the inning unscathed as the junior right hander induced an inning ending double play off the bat of Casey Frawley.
Andy Mauldin got the start for Stetson and worked the first three innings before giving way to the Hatter bullpen. In his second start this year against the Seminoles, the junior right hander kept FSU off the scoreboard allowing just one hit that on single to right by Oravetz.
The Hatters broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth on a three-run home run by Brian Pruitt. Pruitt took a 1-1 offering from O’Dell and connected on his first home run of the season over the wall in left center to give Stetson its first lead against the Seminoles in any of the four games played this year. Jeremy Cruz and Justin Bass each recorded a single before the home run from Pruitt.
O’Dell earned the no decision on Wednesday night allowing three runs on four hits in five innings of work. He struck out four and walked a career-high three batters.
Florida State got on the scoreboard in the sixth to cut the deficit to 3-1. The Seminole recorded three straight singles including an RBI base hit to center by Guinn to score Buster Posey. Posey started the one out rally with a bloop single to right and moved to third on Rye’s single to left center. One batter later, Guinn drove in Posey for the first Seminole run of the game.
The Seminoles put runners at first and second with two outs in the eighth but couldn’t push a run across the plate to keep the score at 3-1. Stephen Cardullo drew a leadoff walk off Jake Hitchcock to start the eighth. After two Stetson pitching changes, Elsemiller gave up a two out single to Guinn. One pitch later, the Hatters would get out of the inning as Elsemiller got Tony Delmonico to groundout to short to maintain the two-run Stetson advantage.
Florida State will hit the road for the final time in the 2008 regular season as the Seminoles travel to take on the Clemson Tigers for a three-game set beginning Saturday, May 3. First pitch for game one is slated for 7:00 p.m. Fans can watch the action on TV as all three games will be broadcasted live on FSN Saturday and CSS on Sunday (7:00 pm) and Monday (4:00 pm). Gametracker will also be available for the contest. The games can be heard live over the radio on 100.7 FM on Saturday and Sunday and then 1270 the Team on Monday with Tom Block providing all the play-by-play action.