Feb. 28, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 2 Florida State (6-0) registered its second series sweep in as many weeks with a 14-4 victory over Hofstra (0-6) in game three Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The win kept the Seminoles undefeated all-time against the Pride as the Garnet and Gold have now won all 10 games in the series.
Freshman Justin Gonzalez paced the Seminole offense in the series finale going 3-for-4 with a double, four runs scored and four RBI. As a team, Florida State tied a season-high with 14 runs while pounding out a season-high 17 hits. Stephen Cardullo and Rafael Lopez also contributed with three hits a piece in the win.
“I have said all along that this kid can play,” said head coach Mike Martin on the play of Justin Gonzalez on Sunday. “This young man is making great strides and I look forward to watching his progression the rest of the season.”
Stuart Tapley went 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBI and a run scored. The junior designated hitter reached base on all five plate appearances on Sunday.
“It feels great right now,” said Gonzalez. “We are playing great baseball – defense, pitching – all around we are playing well. I just want to continue contributing to the team. I just want to keep playing hard, that’s all they ask of me and that’s all I can do.”
On the mound, Tyler Everett (1-0) picked up his first career victory working three scoreless innings in relief. The junior right hander allowed just one hit and issued one walk while striking out two.
“Tyler assured us he would be available,” added Martin. “He is a guy that I thought pitched well and I was happy to see him get the win.”
“My mind set coming into the game today was to keep them to no more than one run,” said Everett. “I was just happy to go out there, get the job done and get our team back in the dugout.”
Freshman Robert Benincasa worked 2.0 plus innings in his first collegiate start. The right hander from Tampa, Fla., allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits as he walked three and struck out three. Benincasa gave up two runs in the first and looked to settle down in the second as he worked around an infield single getting a pair of groundouts and a strike out. But the in the third, the freshman gave up a lead off single to Ethan Paquette and a walk before giving way to Everett out of the bullpen.
“I was very pleased with Robert Benincasa today,” added Martin. “That was a guy getting his first start.”
Hofstra wasted little time to take its first lead of the series with two runs in the first. John Kenny led off the game with an infield single to short and later scored from third as Paquette drew a bases loaded walk. Elliot Hagburg would give the Pride a 2-0 advantage on a single to right scoring Matt Prokopowicz.
The lead was short lived as the Seminoles answered with two runs in the bottom of the first to tie the game at two runs a piece. Tyler Hot and James Ramsey got the ball rolling with a walk and single, respectively. The two registered a double steal and advanced one more base as the throw from Hofstra catcher Matt Hancock sailed into left field. Cardullo brought home Ramsey for the tying run on a single to right.
The Seminoles used a five-run third to take the lead for good in game three. Cardullo led off the inning with a double, while back-to-back walks to Mike McGee and Tapley loaded the bases for Sherman Johnson. Johnson went opposite field on a 3-2 pitch to plate Cardullo from third for the go ahead run. The RBI for Johnson was his 10th of the series.
Two batters later, Gonzalez cleared the bases with a double down the left field line giving FSU a 6-2 lead. Lopez would pick up his second hit in as many at-bats driving in Gonzalez with an RBI single to left.
Ramsey upped the Seminole lead to 8-2 in the fifth driving in Gonzalez, who drew a one out walk.
Four more runs in the seventh gave FSU a 12-2 lead. With Gonzalez and Lopez on at third and second with no one out, Holt drove in his first run of the game on a sac-fly to left. Cardullo brought home Lopez on an RBI single to center followed by Tapley’s two-run double off the wall in right center.
FSU rounded out the scoring in the eighth scoring two more times. Sean Gilmartin picked up his first hit of the season doubling to the gap in left center to lead off the eighth. He would score one batter later as Gonzalez registered his fourth RBI of the afternoon on a single back up the middle. A single by Parker Brunelle moved Gonzalez to third and Robby Stahl would drive him in sending a sac-fly to left for his first RBI as a Seminole.
Freshmen Corben Madden and David Trexler saw their first collegiate action on the mound on Sunday, while Tye Buckley got the Garnet and Gold out of a jam in the eighth as the Tallahassee native made his first appearance in a Seminole uniform.
“It was also interesting to see the poise of Buckley out there, who came into today’s game in a very tough situation,” said Martin. “It was Buckley, Madden and Trexler, three guys that had not pitched at Florida State, and I thought they did a fine job in their first outing.”
Madden went one inning and gave up a run on one hit and a walk while recording a strike out. Trexler lasted one-third of an inning as he faced four batters in the eighth. The freshman right hander gave up a run on one hit and walked two before giving way to Buckley. The junior college right hander left runners stranded at second and third recording a strike out and a ground out to end the inning.
The Seminoles return to the diamond on Tuesday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m., as Florida State takes on Florida in the first of four meetings this year. Game one between these intra-state rivals will take place down in Tampa on Steinbrenner Field in the `Florida Four’ Tournament. The game will be televised live on CSS, while fans can listen in locally on 1270 the Team and 94.3 FM and on the web on Seminoles.com. Junior right hander Geoff Parker will get the start on Tuesday against the Gators.