April 29, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. – Top ranked Florida State (39-6, 17-3) got a career night from sophomore catcher Buster Posey to push the Seminoles to their seventh consecutive ACC series win in as many opportunities with a 13-8 victory over Miami (26-19, 11-12) at Mark Light Field. Posey went 3-for-6 with a single, double and a home run including his first career grand slam. The Leesburg, Ga., native also registered a career-high seven RBI’s as the Seminoles posted the most runs on the Hurricanes home turf since April 14, 2002 when the Garnet and Gold defeated Miami 17-11.
Jason Stidham joined Posey with three hits in game two, while Mark Hallberg and Brandon Reichert each registered two hits a piece. Jack Rye collected his seventh home run of the season in the top of the first as the Seminoles have now hit five home runs through the first two games of the series.
“Tonight was big win for us,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was certainly nice that we got the clutch relief pitching from Brian Chambers and Matt Fairel and the great hitting from Buster Posey and of course our entire ball club. We had some very good at-bats.”
“Buster has just been a tremendous lift to our team with the job he does behind the plate in handling our pitching staff. When you have somebody back there who has a good grasp of the game and is such an outstanding competitor, it’s certainly goes a long way to making you better,” stated Martin.
“I’ve kind of struggled my last couple of outings, but I switched something,” said Chambers. “Coach Shouppe and I worked on getting a little lower and getting some more sink on the ball. I was able to do that tonight by throwing a lot more strikes and the defense simply made a handful of plays behind me tonight which definitely helped out.”
The Seminoles came out of the gates swinging as they scored four runs on three hits off Hurricane starter Enrique Garcia (4-3) in the top of the first. Really the only thing slowly down the Florida State offense at the start of game two was a 42 minute rain delay. Tony Thomas, Jr. led things off as he was hit by the third pitch of the game. With Thomas running on the play, Hallberg found a hole on the right side to advance Thomas to third. Posey gave the Seminoles a 2-0 lead as he recorded his first hit of the series lacing a double to the gap in left center scoring Thomas and Hallberg. Rye stepped in and hit a two-run shot to right for his seventh home run of the season to give the Garnet and Gold an early four-run cushion.
Miami got a run back in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Dennis Raben to make the score 4-1. Blake Tekotte and Roger Tomas registered back-to-back hits to start things off against Seminole starter Ryan Strauss on a double and single, respectively. Tomas hit a ball up the middle and was gloved by Hallberg, but the throw got away from the junior shortstop advancing Tekotte to third. Strauss got some help from Posey as the sophomore catcher threw out Tomas attempting to steal second for the first out of the inning. It was the 11th base stealer that Posey has thrown out in 25 attempts this year. After a Yonder Alonso walk, Raben drove in Tekotte for the Hurricanes first run of the game on a sacrifice fly to center.
A Seminole error in the second once again led to some Hurricane runs to tie the game at four a piece. Mark Sobolewski led things off for Miami hitting a bounding ball towards Hallberg at short, but Hallberg couldn’t field the ball cleanly allowing Sobolewski to reach first. After getting Gus Menendez to strikeout swinging, Richard O’Brien hit his second home run in as many nights to cut the Seminole lead to one. With two outs, Strauss had problems finding the strike zone hitting a batter and walking two to load the bases for Raben. With the Miami first baseman at the plate, Strauss unleashed a wild pitch to score Tekotte and knot things up at four.
FSU struck right back with a run in the third on a two out RBI single by Ohmed Danesh. Travis Anderson got his third hit of the series singling to right and moved to second on a passed ball. Danesh, who got the start in left field in game two, singled to right scoring Anderson to give the Seminoles their second lead of the game.
Miami looked as though they would tack on a few more runs in the third placing runners on first and third with nobody out. Head coach Mike Martin quickly went to bullpen and brought on right handed reliever Brian Chambers to get FSU out of the jam. Chambers immediately got two outs on a 5-4-2 double play. Stidham took a groundball by Menendez and threw on to second for out number one. With Jemile Weeks running on the play, Thomas threw a strike to Posey at the plate to complete the usual double play. Chambers then induced another fielder’s choice groundout to end the inning.
Strauss lasted just two plus innings for his shortest outing of the season. He gave up four runs, one earned, on four hits. He struck out two and tied a season-high with four walks.
Florida State got some breathing room in the top of the sixth thanks to Posey’s first career grand slam. A pair of back-to-back walks ended the evening for Garcia. Alex Koronis came on in relief and issued a walk to Hallberg before giving up a home run to Posey. The Leesburg, Ga., native took the 1-2 offering from Koronis and deposited it over the wall in right center for his second round tripper of the season. It was the first grand slam hit by a Seminole batter since Dennis Guinn connected on his third career slam against North Carolina at the 2006 ACC Tournament in Jacksonville.
Chambers went out for his fourth inning of work in sixth and got the first two outs before giving up consecutive doubles to Tekotte and Tomas. Tomas hit a double to right scoring Tekotte to cut the FSU lead to 9-5. The Seminoles went to the pen for the second time on Saturday evening bringing out Matt Fairel to face Alonso. Fairel would win the lefty-lefty battle getting Alonso to fly out to Danesh in left.
FSU increased its lead to 12-5 in the top of the seventh on a pair of two out RBI singles. The Seminoles loaded the bases for the second time on Saturday night after a single by Stidham, a Gildea hit by pitch and a single by Brandon Reichert. With two outs, Hallberg drove in two with a single through the left side and Posey followed with his seventh RBI of the evening on a single up the middle scoring Reichert.
Posey’s seven RBI night was the first by a Seminole since Eddy Martinez-Esteve collected seven against Jacksonville in a 19-3 FSU victory back on March 17, 2004.
Miami made the score 12-6 on an RBI single by Menendez. Weeks hit a one-out double to left, stole third and scored on Menendez’ base hit to right.
The scoring barrage continued for the Seminoles in the eighth with another run to push the score to 13-6. Stidham connected on his second triple of the season lining a ball down the right field line. The freshman third baseman would score on a walk to Danesh as ball four found its way to the back stop.
Miami added two more in the bottom of the ninth off Fairel on a two-run home run by Sobolewski. But it wasn’t enough as the Seminoles won their first three-game series over the Canes since taking 2-for-3 in Tallahassee in 2003.
“Everyone really came out and swung the bats well,” said Posey. “We got some breaks and our pitchers did a great job of pounding the zone when he got ahead. It was just a good game overall.”
Florida State will return to the diamond on Sunday in the series finale against the Hurricanes at Mark Light Field. First pitch is slated for 12:00 pm and right hander Danny Rosen is expected to make his first career start. Left hander Eric Erickson will take the mound for Miami. The game will be aired live on Sun Sports with Frank Forde and Keith Jones telecasting the game from Coral Gables. Fans can also follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.