May 1, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Fourth-ranked Florida State (32-11) scored seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings and survived a bases loaded scare in the top of the ninth to hang on for an 8-5 victory over Le Moyne (25-24) in game two Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
Mike McGee and Jayce Boyd drove in seven of the eight runs, while Tyler Holt, Stephen Cardullo and McGee finished the game with two hits a piece and were responsible for six of the seven hits posted by the Seminoles on Saturday.
McGee gave the Seminoles their first lead of the game with one swing of the bat in the seventh. With Florida State trailing 4-1 and the bases loaded, the junior from Port St. Lucie, Fla., took a 1-1 curveball from Le Moyne starter Mark Kuzma out of the park to left unloading on his second career grand slam and team leading 10th home run of the season. Leading up to the big hit by McGee, Rafael Lopez drew a walk followed by back-to-back singles by Holt and Cardullo.
“We kept our poise; we got ourselves in the ball game with a good inning and then when Michael hit the ball out,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Then we had heartbreak and then we had to gather ourselves again and come back in the next inning and get it done.”
“I was just happy; I knew I got it, that one just felt good because it had been a struggle all day long,” said McGee. “It was one of those days where everything is kind of rough and to finally get one and be in a good situation is a great feeling.”
“There was no question that we were waiting for something good to happen,” said Martin. “When that good thing happened, we started having better at-bats.”
The Dolphins answered the call with a run in the eighth to tie the game at 5-5. With McGee now on the mound, Brett Botsford reached on a one out single back up the middle. After a groundout to third move Botsford to third, the sophomore right fielder scored on a passed ball. The tie ball game marked the first blown save by McGee in eight opportunities this year.
Florida State regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth scoring three runs on two outs. Ohmed Danesh drew a walk with the bases loaded, while Boyd provided the Seminoles with some breathing room registering a two-run single through the right side.
“Ohmed came through with a great at-bat to earn the walk and then Boyd’s two-run single was huge,” added McGee.
Le Moyne would not go quietly as the Dolphins loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth off McGee. But the Seminole closer would prevail getting Botsford to fly out to Holt in center for the final out of the game.
McGee earned the win in relief as he moved to 4-0 on the year. The junior right hander worked 2.0 innings allowing an unearned run on two hits as he walked three and struck out two.
Brian Busch tied a season-high 6.0 innings on Saturday, his longest outing as a starter this year, as he allowed four runs, two earned, on four hits. The sophomore southpaw did not issue a walk, while tying a career-high with eight strikeouts. Busch earned that eighth strikeout with one out in the fifth.
“Busch pitched great,” added Martin. “Unbelievably the ball hadn’t carried out to right all day and their guys hit a ball out. We could have felt sorry for ourselves, but our guys didn’t do that, they continued to fight and thought they could win.”
For the second straight game, Le Moyne struck first scoring a run in the second to take an early 1-0 lead. Chris Edmondson led off the inning with a double down the left field line. He then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Stinson and scored on another sacrifice bunt, this time off the bat of Sean Paino.
Florida State tied the game in the third on a sac-fly by Boyd. Kuzma issued back-to-back walks to Cardullo and McGee to start the inning. Cardullo then moved to third as Stuart Tapley just missed on a three-run shot as the Seminole designated hitter hammered a shot to the warning track in center. On the very next pitch, Boyd lofted a fly ball to right scoring Cardullo for the first Seminole run of the game to even the score at one.
Holt led off the fifth inning with an infield single and got all the way around to third on a pair of stolen bases. But the junior centerfielder would be stranded at third as Kuzma got Cardullo to ground to short with the infield drawn in. The Dolphin southpaw then got McGee to pop up to second for the second out before ending the inning with Tapley looking at a called third strike.
Le Moyne took advantage of the first Seminole error of the game in the sixth to recapture the lead at 2-1. Ryan Mahoney reached on catcher’s interference to lead off the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch by Busch. He scored two batters later on an RBI single to left by Zach Wiley. Wiley would be thrown out on the play as he tried to stretch the single into a double. After a single by Brett Botsford, Busch got out of the inning getting Matt Marra to ground out to short.
The Dolphins extended their lead to 4-1 after seven. Edmondson started the inning with a solo home run to right taking a 1-2 pitch from Busch out of the park for his 11th home run of the season and second of the series. After hitting Stinson with a pitch, Martin called on Daniel Bennett ending the afternoon for Busch after six plus innings. A sac-bunt by Paino moved Stinson to second and the freshman first baseman would come around to score two batters later on a fielding error by Sherman Johnson at third. Mahoney hit a chopper to the left side that Johnson could not handle leading to a run and a three-run Le Moyne advantage.
Le Moyne’s Luke Nellis (2-5) picked up the loss in relief for the Dolphins as he worked an inning and was charged with all three runs in the eighth.
The Seminoles return to the diamond for the final game of the series against the Dolphins on Sunday, May 2 at 12:00 p.m. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles.com All-Access, while fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.