May 20, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – Florida State left the field Saturday night feeling pretty good about their final series of the year. Despite a 15-8 loss to No. 20 NC State (35-19, 16-13) in the series finale, the Seminoles won their most impressive weekend series of the year taking two games from a top 25 team and a squad ranked in the top 20 of the RPI. Fifteenth-ranked Florida State (39-17, 16-13) will now turn its attention to the ACC Tournament set to begin Wednesday in Jacksonville.
“This was not the least bit frustrating,” said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin on the loss in the finale. “We had a good weekend.
“We swung the bat very well tonight but North Carolina State just came out and took the game to us early.”
The Seminoles recorded double digit hits and scored at least seven runs for the third straight game in the series. Shane Robinson led the way going 3-for-4 on the night and Ryne Malone had the biggest hit of the game as he launched a three-run homer. It was the third straight game in which FSU has hit a homerun after going seven straight games without a bomb coming into the series.
Despite the offensive success, FSU just couldn’t keep up with NC State’s offense. The Wolfpack scored early and often putting in seven of nine frames. After a scoreless first, the Pack opened the second with back-to-back base hits off starter Mark Sauls (1-2). A fly ball out put runners on the corners and then a ground out plated the first run of the game. Jonathan Diaz then came back to hurt FSU once again. The shortstop tripled home two runs making it a 3-0 game. It was his sixth hit in eight at bats in the weekend series.
Michael Hyde came in to relieve Sauls in the top of the third but didn’t fare any better than the senior. The junior gave up a single and then a two-out homer to make the score 5-0.
In the bottom of the third FSU tried to answer back with a two-out rally. Robinson recorded his second hit of the game and then Jack Rye doubled to put two runners in scoring position versus Ryan Pond (2-0). A walk to Dennis Guinn loaded the bases but FSU couldn’t cash in.
The NC State bats continued to stay hot in the fourth as the Pack put runners on the corners with one out. A ground out plated the sixth run and then the second NC State homer of the game boosted the lead to 8-0. Still followed with his second HR of the game as the lead grew to 9-0.
Jimmy Marshall opened up the fifth on the hill but the Wolfpack continued to score runs. For the fourth straight inning NC State put a run across as a sacrifice fly added to the lead at 10-0.
In the bottom of the sixth FSU put a couple more runners in scoring position on a single by Guinn and double by Buster Posey. Malone then brought them both in on his 11th HR of the year and the 30th of his career.
Travis Burge gave up a run in the seventh making it an 11-3 game but the Seminoles got it back in the bottom of the frame on a Guinn sacrifice following a Robinson double.
FSU’s fifth pitcher of the night became the fifth to give up runs to the Pack. Caleb Graham entered in the eighth and gave up three more runs and the Wolfpack tacked on another in the ninth off Barret Browning. The 15 runs were the most scored versus FSU since Georgia Tech put up 15 April 21.
Florida State returns to action this Wednesday in Jacksonville at the 2006 ACC Tournament. The game time and opponent will be announced by the ACC office Sunday. Tickets for the tournament can be purchased on line at www.sunsbaseball.com or by calling (904) 358-2846.