May 14, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 26 Florida State (32-19, 11-8 ACC) used three four-run innings to drop Duke (23-25, 7-12 ACC) by a final score of 14-1 in front of 3,406 fans at Dick Howser Stadium on Friday night. Aaron Cheesman tied a career high with four RBI in the first three innings and Rhett James (7-2) had another strong performance to earn the win for the Seminoles. James worked seven innings allowed just one run on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk. The Blue Devils’ run in the six ended a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings pitched by James. FSU also stole a season-high 10 bases in the win.
FSU got on the board first with two runs in the home half of the first inning. Bryan Zech drew a leadoff walk and stole second while Eddy Martinez-Esteve was also walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Both runners moved up a base on the successful double steal before Aaron Cheesman ripped a two-run single into center field that gave Florida State a 2-0 lead.
The Seminoles pushed their lead to 6-0 with four more runs in the third. After Stephen Drew walked and stole second, Martinez-Esteve drew his second straight walk to put runners on first second. As they did in the first inning, both runners advanced on a double steal before Cheesman’s two-RBI single to left center plated both Drew and Martinez-Esteve. Cheesman moved up two bases after Gibbs Chapman’s groundout and Matt Sauls’ single to left. Cheesman scored as he and Sauls pulled off Florida State’s third double steal of the game. Sauls later scored the fourth run of the inning on a passed ball by Duke catcher Brian Hernandez.
Florida State’s margin grew to 10-0 in the fifth. Sauls had an RBI-single and Ryne Malone belted his ninth home run of the season, a three-run shot over the fence in right center, to cap off the four run inning.
The Blue Devils scored their only run in the sixth inning. Adam Murray singled and moved to third following Tim Layden’s single and as Mike Miello reached on a fielder’s choice. Hernandez’s sacrifice fly to right would score Murray for Duke’s only run score 10-1.
FSU added four more runs in the eighth behind Danny Wardell’s three-run double which made the final score of 14-1.
Drew (2-for-4), Cheesman (3-for-4) and Sauls (2-for-2) led FSU offensively, while Zech (2), Drew (2), Martinez-Esteve (2), Cheesman (2), Sauls and Malone all had stolen bases on the night.
Blue Devil starter Tim Layden (5-4) suffered the loss after giving up 10 runs (nine earned) on seven hits with six walks and two strikeouts in four innings of work.
Florida State and Duke will continue the three-game ACC series on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Dick Howser Stadium. Seminole left-hander Brian Schultz (5-1, 4.08 ERA) will face Blue Devil right-hander Greg Burke (5-5, 3.36 ERA).