May 19, 2005
The victory moved FSU within a half game of second place following Miami’s loss to Clemson. The Tigers remained tied for third in the ACC with the Seminoles as the three teams are separated by just a half a game in the race for second in the final conference standings.
Danny Wardell opened the scoring in the second inning with his eighth home run of the season. The senior sent a 3-2 offering from NC State starter Gib Hobson (6-2, 3-2) over the wall in left field. Jack Rye followed with another FSU homer, this one over the right field wall. The Seminoles hadn’t hit back-to-back homers all year and have now done it in two straight games after Shane Robinson and Ryne Malone went yard in consecutive at bats versus Jacksonville Tuesday.
Aaron Cheesman extended his season best hit streak to 12 games as he led off the fourth with a double to the gap in right. It was one of two hits for the senior in the game. The Seminoles couldn’t get the run in though as Cheesman was thrown out at third trying to tag up on a fly ball to left center.
The Wolfpack tried to stage a two-out rally in the sixth. Henry issued his third walk of the game and his sixth in the last two games. Coming into his last two starts Henry had issued just eight walks all season with only two coming in ACC play. Henry got out of the jam though on a foul out.
Wardell opened the seventh with a walk and then a one out single by Josh Spivey put runners on first and second. It was just the fourth hit of the night for the Seminoles. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position as FSU looked for a little breathing room. A fly out to shallow right field gave Hobson the second out of the inning and then he ended the threat on a fly ball that traveled close to 370 feet to the warning track in right center.
The Pack started the seventh with an extra base hit as Jake Muyco double to right center. An error on a sac bunt put NC State in business with runners on the corners. Matt Devine laid down the bunt and seemed to knock the ball from Wardell’s glove at first but was ruled safe and Henry was charged with the throwing error. A Jonathan Diaz single broke up the shutout making it a 2-1 game. The Seminoles recorded the first out by cutting down the runner at third on an attempted sac bunt and then Kevin Lynch into the game and put out the fire once again. The senior struck out the first batter he faced on three straight pitches. He then fanned the final batter of the inning.
Robinson, who was 0-for-3 coming into the eighth, led off the inning with a shot over the wall in left field. It was his second homer in the last three games and the third time this season he has led off an inning with a home run. Malone followed with a shot into the gap in left field. That ended the night for reliever Adam McLaurin who gave up the two hits on just two pitches. FSU extended its lead thanks to another Wolfpack error. Gibbs Chapman set down an attempted sac. The pitcher threw the ball away at third allowing Malone to come home and getting Chapman to second. Cheesman then singled through the right side putting runners on the corners as NC State still searched for that first out of the inning. Wardell then smoked a shot down the left field line driving in the fifth run of the game but the senior got hung up trying to stretch it into a double and was put out on the play.
The Seminoles continued to pile it on in the ninth with a two-out rally. Robinson walked and Malone singled setting the stage for Chapman. The senior hit FSU’s fourth homer of the game as he sent a shot over the right field wall. It was the first time this season that FSU went yard four times in one game. It was Chapman’s team-leading 10th homer of the year and it gave the St. Cloud, FL native 62 RBIs on the season.
Florida State will continue its series at No. 22 NC State (37-15) Friday at 7:00 p.m. The series is one of three key ACC series between the top six teams in the conference this weekend that will determine final seeding for the ACC Tournament. Florida State can still finish as high as second or as low as sixth. Game Tracker will be available for all this year’s games along with Steve Melewski’s live radio broadcast available on WFLA locally and on the Internet at seminoles.com.