May 18, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – The 15th-ranked FSU baseball team needed a game like this. While still jockeying for position in the ACC Tournament and NCAA seeding, FSU needed Thursday night’s win for more than that. For just the second time in the last seven ACC series Florida State (38-16, 15-12) won the opening game of a weekend set and the Seminoles did it in dramatic fashion. Florida State staged its latest come back of the season rallying from a 10-8 deficit in the eighth inning and then got a walk-off bases loaded single from Dennis Guinn to down No. 20 NC State (34-18, 15-12) in 10 innings.
“I am obviously very relieved,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. “That was a big win for our baseball team. That was a big, big win. This was a win this program sorely needed.”
“The way things have been going it feels good to turn it around,” said Thursday night’s hero Guinn. “Especially in an extra inning game and in walk-off fashion like that. It takes a lot of pressure off of us and lets you relax a little bit.”
Florida State collected its most hits (17) since a 20-hit outburst versus Miami April 15 in picking up its second extra inning win of the season. Jack Rye tied a career high with four hits and he also drove in three runs. Shane Robinson went 3-for-6 with three RBIs and FSU hit three homers in a game for the first time since March 28.
“We definitely needed this win and we got,” said Rye. “Our momentum is finally moving forward.”
Ace closer Luke Tucker (1-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings striking out four to pick up the first win of his FSU career but the entire bullpen was stellar once again. The pen allowed just three earned runs in 7 2/3 innings while fanning seven Wolfpack batters.
“Luke pitched well and (Matt) DiBlasi pitched well,” said Martin. “I guess we pitched six guys but I am just very pleased with the poise everyone showed.”
FSU starter Bryan Henry got into a little bit of a jam in the first inning. A single and hit batter put two on with just one away. Henry walked the next batter to load the bases before getting the second out on his second K of the inning. The junior ended the threat when he fanned his third batter of the inning.
For the first time in seven games FSU went yard in the bottom of the first. Rye hit his 10th homer of the season off NC State starter Gib Hobson making it a 1-0 game.
The Pack answered back in the second. Back-to-back one out singles put a couple runners on. Henry’s second walk loaded the bases once again and this time NC State took advantage as Ramon Corona singled up the middle to tie the game at 1-1. A sac fly made it a 2-1 game.
The game went back and forth once again in the bottom of the second as FSU put two runners on with just one away. After Hobson got the second out on a K, Robinson delivered an RBI single to tie the game up. Rye then came up big again as the junior continued his torrid hitting by ripping a two-run double down the right field line.
Buster Posey led off the third with a double down the left field line. Ryne Malone followed with a bunt base hit. Hobson got the first out on a ball driven through the right side that hit Malone while he was advancing to second base. Ryan Strauss made it a 5-2 FSU lead on a ground out, his 19th RBI of the season.
For the third time in the game NC State loaded the bases in the fourth inning. Three straight one out singles put the Pack in business and then a fourth plated two runs cutting FSU’s lead to 5-4. The fifth straight base hit tied the game up and then Henry plunked the next batter to load the bases up again. That brought Brent Marsh into the game and he got the second out on a sac fly that put the Wolfpack back in front 6-5.
North Carolina State picked up their 11th and 12th hits in the fifth. An errant throw allowed the Pack to tack another run onto their lead making it 7-5.
Ryne Malone got FSU within a run on the Seminoles second homer of the game. The junior sent his 10th of the season out over the lowest part of the fence in right center.
Florida State stormed back into the lead thanks to Robinson. The junior blasted his fifth homer of the year, a two-run shot, putting FSU back in the lead at 8-7. It was the fifth lead change in the game.
A single and a double put NC State runners on second and third. A sac fly then brought in the tying run as the game went to the bottom of the seventh all tied at 8-8.
Reliever Barret Browning opened the eighth by issuing back-to-back walks. A base hit loaded the bags for the fifth time in the game. Brian Chambers relieved Browning and got the first out on a fielder’s choice but the run did come home once again putting the Pack in front. A double down the right field line gave NC State another run but the Seminoles were able to throw the trailing runner out at the plate to end the inning.
The Seminoles were beneficiaries of back-to-back walks to open the bottom of the eighth. After Tony Thomas, Jr. sacrificed both runners into scoring position, an error on a ground ball nit by Tommy Oravetz to first brought in both runners tying the game at 10-10.
“We were thinking positive thoughts when we fell two runs behind in the eighth inning,” said Martin. “We ended up getting a big break when Tommy Oravetz hit the ball. Tommy was a big part of this game. He put the ball in play for us. He would have driven in one run fortunately for us the ball took a little bit of a bad hop, kicked off the guy and Mike (Martin, Jr.) did a great job of bringing Ryan Strauss in.”
A leadoff walk and a sac bunt put the potential lead run in scoring position for the Pack in the top of the ninth. That brought Tucker into the game. The ace closer fanned the first batter he faced before issuing an intentional walk. The junior ended the threat though on his second K.
The Seminoles tried to stage a two out rally in the bottom of the ninth. A two out walk to Josh Spivey and a flared single to center by Ryan Strauss put the winning run 90 feet away but FSU was unable to plate the winner as the game went into extra innings. It was the fourth extra inning affair for the Seminoles in their last six games.
Back-up catcher Kyle Maxie opened the 10th with a single through the left side. Robinson followed with his third hit of the night as Maxie moved into scoring position. Rye loaded the bases up with a single to right once again putting the winning run 90 feet from home. That’s when Guinn came through with the biggest hit of his young career.
“I just tried to find a pitch I could drive and that was the first pitch he threw me,” said Rye of his key hit in the 10th. “I just wanted to help this team any way I can. It didn’t matter that Maxie didn’t score on my hit because I knew the guy behind me would do it. Dennis (Guinn) came through for us.”
Florida State and NC State continue their three game series Friday at 7:00 p.m. The series finale Saturday will be shown live on SUN Sports and it will be senior day at the park. Game Tracker will be available for every game this season along with a live radio broadcasts available on WFLA locally and free on the Internet at seminoles.com.