May 20, 2004
Winston-Salem, NC – No. 22 Florida State (35-19, 14-8 ACC) held off Wake Forest (17-30), 4-18 ACC) by a final score of 11-10 Thursday afternoon at Gene Hooks Stadium. Stephen Drew became the first Seminole to hit for the cycle since Chris Smith accomplished the feat against St. Joseph’s on March 7, 2000. Leading 9-0 midway through the eighth inning, the Demon Deacons scored five to cut FSU’s lead to 9-5. FSU added what looked like a meaningless pair of runs in the top of the ninth, but they would end up being the difference as Wake scored five in the bottom of the ninth for the 11-10 final.
“I’ve felt really good at the plate the last couple games,” said Drew. “I’m just trying to take advantage of every at bat and get good pitches to hit. Hitting for the cycle is not something I was trying to accomplish, it just happened to work out that I hit a ball into the gap for the triple in may last at bat. The most important thing was getting the win. We know that each game from here through the ACC Tournament is important in terms of setting us up for the postseason.”
The Seminoles started the scoring with two runs in the top of the second. Aaron Cheesman doubled down the right field line and came home on Ryne Malone’s single. After Malone stole second, Matt Sauls ripped a base hit up the middle to pick up the RBI.
Two more runs in the fifth extended the lead to 5-0. Drew doubled to center and Martinez-Esteve reached on an infield single. Drew scored on a single by Cheesman and Martinez-Esteve crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Malone.
Drew’s 13th home run of the season, a solo blast to right, put the Seminoles up 6-0 in the seventh.
The Seminoles made it 9-0 in the top of the eighth on a two-run triple by Drew and an RBI-double by Martinez-Esteve. The triple completed the cycle for Drew. After a strikeout in the first, Drew singled to right, doubled to center, homered to right and then tripled to right center.
Wake’s rally began in the bottom half of the eighth on a two-run single by Matt Antonelli. With two outs, Steve LeFaivre launched a three-run home run to right to chase FSU starter Rhett James.
Florida State scored two in the ninth to push the lead to 11-5. Cheesman doubled and Malone singled to put runners on first and third. Cheesman scored on a single by Sauls and Malone scored on a groundout by Shane Robinson.
Tyler Chambliss took the hill for FSU in the ninth. After Robinson made an impressive diving catch in center, Miller homered to make it 11-6. Chambliss then loaded the bases, thanks in part to two Seminole errors, and gave way to Kevin Lynch, who had moved to left field after recording the final out in the eighth inning. Lynch struck out the first batter he faced and things got interesting when LeFaivre hit a grand slam to cut the lead to one. After a walk, Lynch got a fly ball to end the game.
James improved to 8-2 with the win. The senior allowed five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and one walk. James did not allow a run in his first seven innings of work. Despite giving up the home run, Lynch picked up his fifth save of the year.
Cheesman and Drew led the Seminoles offensively with four hits apiece. Martinez-Esteve was 3-for-5 while Malone and Sauls were both 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The series continues on Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Hooks Stadium. Wake Forest’s Kyle Young will oppose FSU’s Eddie Cannon. The Seminoles will leave directly from Winston-Salem, N.C. for the ACC Tournament in Salem, Va., May 25-30.