April 4, 2003
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 2 Florida State (29-5, 7-3 ACC) put an end to Kyle Sleeth’s 26-game winning streak as the Seminoles defeated No. 14 Wake Forest (20-8, 6-3 ACC) by a final score of 7-5 in front of 4,516 at Dick Howser Stadium. Sleeth (6-1) had won 26 consecutive decisions, tying the NCAA record, before losing Friday night. FSU left-hander Trent Peterson (6-0) stole the show, allowing three runs on six hits over eight innings. Peterson, who struck out seven and walked only one in the win, retired the final 10 Demon Deacon batters he faced and 16 of the last 17.
The Seminoles got out of the gates quickly with three runs in the bottom of the first. Stephen Drew led off the inning with a single through the right side and advanced to second when Wake Forest’s third baseman Jamie D’Antona mishandled Eddy Martinez-Esteve’s grounder. Tony McQuade followed with a single to deep left center to load the bases for Tony Richie’s two-run double to left center. Jerrod Brown grounded out to second to score McQuade to make it 3-0.
FSU added another run in the second as Drew doubled to right and scored on Martinez-Esteve’s single to left center.
Wake Forest cut the Seminole lead to one on D’Antona’s three-run homer to left center in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Ryan Hubbard singled and Ryan Johnson walked before D’Antona belted his 10th homer of the season.
Florida State put two more runs up in the bottom of the third inning. Richie singled and Brown walked to put runners on first and second. Chris Hart moved the runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Richie scored on Derrick Smith’s grounder to second base and Blake Balkcom’s single through the left side scored Brown to increase FSU’s lead to 6-3.
The Seminoles scored a single run in the eighth to make it 7-3. Balkcom singled to center and advanced to second on a bunt single by Matt Sauls. Martinez-Esteve would later walk to load the bases and McQuade followed with a bases loaded walk to bring home Balkcom.
Drew (2-for-4), Martinez-Esteve (2-for-4), Richie (2-for-5) and Balkcom (2-for-3) paced a Seminole offense that hit Kyle Sleeth for a season-high 11 hits.
Sleeth worked all eight innings for the Deacons and took the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned). He also walked six and struck out eight. The loss for Sleeth ended his streak of 26 consecutive wins, which tied Scott Nielsen of BYU (78, 82-83) for an NCAA record.
Florida State and Wake Forest continue the three-game series Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. The game will be televised live on Sunshine. FSU LHP Matt Lynch (6-2, 3.74 ERA) is scheduled to face WFU LHP Tim Morley (2-1, 4.45 ERA). The final game of the series on Sunday will begin at 12:30 p.m.