March 24, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Sixth-ranked Florida State (16-4) overcame some early defensive miscues to double-up Stetson (9-13) 14-7 Wednesday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles won their fifth in a row over the Hatters and ninth straight during regular season action.
“It was a disappointing start for us, a disappointing defensive night, but yet we persevered and that’s what this game is about,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We hung in there and had a good ending so to speak when we get 5-3-2-3 in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. That is certainly huge. We had some good at-bats and it was a good win for us.”
Junior catcher Parker Brunelle had a career night as the Snellville, Ga., native set career-highs with four hits and two doubles, while tying career-highs for at-bats (5), runs scored (2) and RBI (3). Parker’s four-hit performance is the first by a Seminole this year.
“Parker really took the bull by the horns, what a great night he had,” said Martin. “Probably his biggest night as a Seminole and like I have told everybody when Parker Brunelle is catching I have no problems what so ever. He is an outstanding catcher.”
“It was a good night and a great win coming off a couple nail bitters in North Carolina,” said Brunelle. “I was happy to be able to help the team tonight. The first double I felt pretty good on, but I didn’t get enough air under it. The second one (double) I knew it wasn’t out of the park because we have that screen out there and it knocks just about anything down. I really just tried to simplify things tonight; take good swings at good pitches and it paid off for me.”
Tyler Everett pitched a season-high 4.1 innings in relief to run his record to 2-0 on the year. The junior right hander allowed just one unearned run on two hits as he walked one and struck out two. Everett retired the final five batters that he faced before leaving the game with one out in the seventh.
“Tyler Everett was the story,” added Martin. “To come in when he did and hold them was key for our victory tonight. He pitched extremely well and was very deserving of the win tonight.”
“In the beginning I struggled, but toward the end I was able to locate my pitches,” said Everett.
Despite committing a season-high four errors on Wednesday night, the Seminoles closed out the game scoring 13 runs over the final four innings. The go-ahead hit came off the bat of pinch hitter Sean Gilmartin in the fifth. With the bases loaded and the Noles trailing by one, Gilmartin unloaded on a bases clearing triple to put Florida State on top for good.
Florida State took advantage of a first inning error by the Hatters to grab an early 1-0 lead. Stephen Cardullo reached safely on a throwing error by Stetson second baseman Robert Crews and took second on his team leading sixth stolen base of the season. Following a walk to Ramsey, Johnson drove in Cardullo on a two-out RBI single through the right side to plate the first run of the game.
Stetson jumped out in front with three runs in the third to take a 3-1 lead. FSU starter Robert Benincasa gave up a leadoff infield single to James Rasmussen and then could not find the strike zone as he walked the next two batters. The second walk would end the evening for Benincasa as the freshman right hander gave way to Tyler Everett. Everett issued a walk to Mark Jones with the bases loaded to bring home the Hatters first run of the game. A fielder’s choice groundout off the bat Spencer Theisen gave Stetson a 2-1 lead, while the third run scored on an errant throw by Everett on a failed pickoff attempt at first. Everett’s throw short hopped Jayce Boyd as the ball trickled away from the freshman first baseman allowing Jeff Simpson to score from third.
The fourth Seminole error of the game led to another Hatter run as Stetson took a 4-1 lead after four and a half innings of play. Theisen gave the Hatters a three-run advantage as he singled through the left side scoring Kyle Maulbetsch.
Five walks and a pinch hit bases clearing triple from Sean Gilmartin in the fifth put the Seminoles on top for good Wednesday night as FSU recaptured the lead scoring five runs to take a 6-4 lead. With Stetson starter Kurt Schluter out of the game after loading the bases with one out, Ramsey and Johnson both drove in a run on consecutive walks off reliever Ian Thompson (0-1). Following another Hatter pitching change, Gilmartin broke the game open taking the first offering from Nick Bohne to wall in left center for his first career triple and a three-RBI at-bat.
“That hit by Gilmartin was the lid opener so to speak,” said Martin.
FSU added three more runs in the sixth to increase its lead to 9-4. McGee drilled an RBI double to straight away center plating Tyler Holt, who led off the inning with a single to left. With McGee on at second and Ramsey at first after drawing his third walk of the game, the Seminoles successfully converted a hit and run as Justin Gonzalez dropped a bloop single to short center scoring McGee. Ramsey also scored on the play courtesy of a fielding error in center by Theisen.
Both Seminole runs in the seventh scored on a pair of wild pitches by Stetson’s Justin Dechert. Stuart Tapley drew a walk to start the bottom half of the seventh and was relieved on the base paths by pinch runner Robby Stahl. Brunelle followed with his third hit of the evening, a double off the fence in right. Stahl and Brunelle scored to give FSU an 11-4 lead.
Stetson cut into the Seminole lead with three runs in the eighth off reliever Scott Sitz. The freshman right hander got in trouble early as he gave up a double to right to Theisen, a walk to catcher Nick Rickles and an RBI double to Ryan Lashley. The next two runs scored on consecutive groundouts. The three runs were the first allowed by Sitz in five appearances on the mound this year.
Brunelle gave the Seminoles their winning margin as he cleared the bases with his second double of the evening taking Tucker Donahue off the fence in right center in the eighth.
Andrew Durden pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the victory on Wednesday night.
The Seminoles return to league play this weekend as Florida State welcomes Maryland to Tallahassee for a three-game series beginning Friday, March 26. First pitch for games one and two are both slated for 6:00 p.m., on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium and will be broadcast live on FS Florida. Sunday’s first pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. Fans can listen in locally on 1270 the Team, 94.3 FM (Friday), 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and on the web at Seminoles.com.