April 25, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 12 Florida State (27-16, 6-6 ACC) couldn’t avoid the sweep after losing to Georgia Tech (25-17, 7-5 ACC) by a final score of 7-6 in front of 2,607 fans at Dick Howser Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Seminoles put together a strong rally with four runs in the eighth inning behind Gibbs Chapman’s three-run homer, but fell short after stranding a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth. Rhett James (4-2) lost for just the second time this season while allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits in 3.2 innings of work. James struck out two and tied a career-high with four walks. The sweep marks the first time FSU has been swept at home in an ACC series since joining the conference in 1992.
Georgia Tech scored first with a run in the top of the first inning. Eric Patterson drew a lead off walk, moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt, advanced to third on a groundout by Tyler Greene and scored on a sacrifice fly from Steven Blackwood.
FSU answered with a run in the home half of the first to tie the game at one apiece. Stephen Drew was walked and advanced to third when Eddy Martinez-Esteve’s grounder was misplayed by Patterson. With runners on the corners and two outs, Drew and Martinez-Esteve successfully executed the double steal for the Seminoles first run of the game.
The Yellow Jackets regained the lead with four runs in the fourth to go ahead 5-1. Micah Owings’ put GT up 3-1 with his 13th home run of the season, a two-run homer to right. With the bases loaded, Whit Robbins’ sacrifice fly to right plated Boggs from third and moved Clifton Remole to third. Remole would score the final run of the inning on Mike Trapani’s RBI-single to center.
The Seminoles cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth on Bryan Zech’s RBI-single. Drew walked, moved to second on Martinez-Esteve’s single and advanced to third as Chapman reached on a fielder’s choice. Zech’s single up the middle then scored Drew from third.
After Georgia Tech pushed its lead to five at 7-2, FSU climbed to within one with four runs on four hits in the eighth. Drew was hit by pitch and moved to second as Martinez-Esteve’s single chopped high over the head of third baseman Mike Trapani. Chapman started the late rally as he crushed his third home run of the season, a three-run shot over the fence in right center, to bring the Seminoles to within two at 7-5. Aaron Cheesman singled to center with one out and advanced to third on a Ryne Malone single to right. Brant Peacher’s pinch hit sacrifice fly plated Cheesman from third in what proved to be the final score of 7-6.
Freshman Brian Schultz held the Yellow Jackets scoreless in the ninth inning after coming in with runners on the corners and no outs. Schultz struckout Blackwood, walked Owings to load the bases and struckout Boggs before forcing Remole into a fielder’s choice groundout to end the inning.
The game was halted for 26 minutes in the top of the ninth as there was a substitution rule discrepancy.
Brian Burks (3-5) earned the win for Tech as he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in 7.0 innings pitched. Burks walked three and struck out six.
Martinez-Esteve (2-for-5), Cheesman (2-for-4) and Malone (2-for-4) led the Seminoles offensively, while Chapman had three RBI on his home run in the eighth inning.
Florida State will travel to Clemson next weekend with game times set for Saturday at 7:00, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and Monday at 4:00 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.