March 5, 2003
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 1 Florida State (16-1) scored seven runs in the fifth inning en route to a 14-5 victory over Siena (0-10) Wednesday afternoon at Dick Howser Stadium. Sophomore shortstop Stephen Drew went 3-for-5 with a double and four RBI to lead the Seminoles offensively. Florida State has now won 13 games in a row. Junior right fielder Blake Balkcom returned to the starting lineup for the first time since February 2nd and also went 3-for-5 on the day.
Sophomore Kevin Lynch (2-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Mark Sauls, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings and striking out three. Sauls worked 4.2 innings, allowing five runs (one earned) on three hits. All five of Siena’s runs came in the top of the fifth.
“We played solid baseball with great pitching today,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was a much more satisfying win than yesterday. Mark Sauls was very impressive for four innings, but struggled some in the fifth. A lot of times that’s what you’ll see with a young pitcher.”
FSU got on the board first with three runs in the third inning. Tony McQuade singled, stole second and moved to third on a balk to get things going. After Tony Richie drew a walk, Jerrod Brown plated McQuade with a base hit to left. Chris Hart moved Richie and Brown over on a sacrifice bunt and Eddy Martinez-Esteve followed with an RBI-single. A double steal then allowed Brown to score and make it 3-0.
In the fourth, the Seminoles added three more to make it 6-0. Matt Sauls was hit by a pitch and stole second, later scoring on a Drew single to center. After Drew stole second, Richie came through with an RBI-double. Richie moved to third on a groundout and later scored on a passed ball.
The Saints cut FSU’s lead to one with five runs in the fifth. Matt Mueller singled and Tony Cipolla reached on a fielder’s choice error that almost certainly would have been a double play if handled by Hart at second base. Mueller advanced to third on the play and Cipolla stole second to put runners on second and third. A groundout scored Mueller and a double by Brian Schmotzer made it 6-2. After another RBI-groundout, Kevin Roberts launched a two-out, two run homer to right to close the Seminole lead to one.
Florida State erased any doubt with seven runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Drew ripped a double to right center that cleared the bases. Two Seminoles scored on wild pitches and Chris Hart hit a two-run home run, his second of the year, to left center to complete the seven-run fifth.
FSU added a run in the sixth to make the final 14-5 on an RBI-single to left by Matt Sauls.
Siena RHP Ryan Bitter (0-4) took the loss, surrendering six runs (five earned) on seven hits over four innings. Bitter walked three and struck out two.
The series with Siena concludes Thursday at Dick Howser Stadium with FSU RHP Glen Simon (0-0) scheduled to face Siena LHP John Lannan (0-0) at 3:30 p.m.