June 2, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No.1-ranked Florida State baseball team extended its winning streak to 25 games with an 13-6 win over South Florida on Sunday afternoon in the championship game of the NCAA Division I Baseball Tallahassee Regional at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles, now 59-12, ripped three home runs, including two by freshman sensation Stephen Drew and one by regional Most Outstanding Player Tony Richie. FSU will go on to play Notre Dame in Super Regional action next weekend. South Florida concluded its season with a 35-29 record.
FSU starting pitcher Marc LaMacchia had his hands full early on as South Florida scored a run in each of the first three innings. In the bottom of the first, leadoff hitter Mike Macaluso reached base and went to second on an error at shortstop by Drew and went on to score on two consecutive ground outs. Myron Leslie was credited with the RBI. In the USF second, the Bulls led off with two straight hits. Mike Barclay hit a two-base shot to deep left center and went to third on a single by Scott Rachlin. With one out, Mike Cunningham reached first on a hit by pitch and the bases were loaded. Macaluso drove in Barclay with a ground out to short. Leslie recorded his second RBI of the afternoon with a blast over the right center fence in the third inning.
Drew made up for his earlier defensive mishap in the fifth as the Seminoles exploded for seven runs to take the lead for good. With Richie Smith on second and one out, Drew ripped a home run over the right field fence to put the Tribe within one, 3-2. The blast sparked the Seminoles. Tony McQuade reached first on an error and went to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Barthelemy and Blair McCaleb followed with walks to load the bases. The situation forced a pitching change for the Bulls and reliever Steve Palinkas entered the game. Palinkas gave up four straight singles and the Seminoles scored five more runs in the inning. Jerrod Brown hit a base hit down the middle to give the Tribe a 4-3 lead while Richie singled to short to again load the bases. Nick Rogers’ single down the left field line scored two more runs while Mike Futrell, who was pinch-hitting for Smith who had led off the inning, drove in Richie with a one-base shot to left center.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 10-3 with a three-run home run in the sixth inning. It was Richie’s turn as his rocket to center field with two out scored McQuade, who had led off the inning with a double, and Brown who reached base on a hit by pitch.
FSU scored a run in each of the final three innings. Drew smashed another home run over the right field fence in the seventh while Futrell’s base hit to left drove in Kevin Richmond in the eighth inning. Drew tripled in the ninth and was sacrificed in by McQuade.
The Bulls also produced in the late innings. Two extra base hits produced two runs in the bottom of the eighth. With two out, Devin Ivany singled and went to third on a double by Barclay. Both Ivany and Barclay scored on a double to right field by Ronnie Handley. USF had the bases loaded with two out in the bottom of the ninth and Chris Cuccia, who walked, scored on a wild pitch by FSU reliever Trent Peterson.
LaMacchia had a solid outing, going seven and two-thirds innings, striking out six and no walks. He improved to 11-1 on the year. The loss was charged to USF starter Jon Uhl who finished the season 9-6.
Drew and Richie combined for eight of FSU’s 15 hits, five runs and six RBIs. Both were named to the All-Regional Team, along with teammates Rogers and McQuade. South Florida was also well-represented with Cuccia, Macaluso, Barclay and Ryan Gloger all receiving All-Regional honors.