April 18, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. – Florida State (24-12, 11-7 ACC) needed just one swing of the bat Saturday night to record a 4-2 victory over NC State (19-20, 7-13 ACC) on Doak Field inside Dail Park. An eighth inning grand slam off the bat of Stuart Tapley was all the Seminoles needed to record their fourth straight victory over the Wolfpack.
“I am very excited about what I am seeing,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I know that there is still a lot of baseball left to be played, but to win a ball game on the road, when you’re behind in the seventh inning is certainly big.”
After leaving a pair of runners on in three straight innings, Tapley made certain no one would remain on base in the eighth connecting on his second career grand slam to give Florida State the lead for good. The sophomore third baseman deposited a hanging curveball on a 1-1 pitch from Wolfpack reliever Jake Buchanan (2-5) over the wall in left for his 11th round tripper of the season. The Seminoles loaded the bases as Tyler Holt and Mike McGee drew a walk and Jason Stidham singled to right center.
“In my first at-bat (against Buchanan), he started me with a bunch of fastballs and I got a double,” said Tapley. “I figured after that hit I wouldn’t see any more fastballs, so in the back of my mind, I was thinking off speed. He started me off with a curveball right over the plate and then threw me a slider off the plate. Then the next pitch, he left the curveball up a bit, right down the middle, outer third and I put a good swing on it.
“We are all up there just trying to do our part and pull our weight. This wouldn’t have been possible if the other guys ahead of me didn’t have good at-bats to get on base. You have to give credit to them before you give credit to me.”
Tapley and Stephen Cardullo finished with two hits a piece as the Seminoles out hit the Wolfpack 9-5. Tapley put together a nice evening going 2-for-3 with a double and the big home run, which was his second in as many games. He also walked in the fifth.
Brian Busch (2-2) pitched seven solid innings to pick up the victory Saturday night. The freshman southpaw allowed just two runs on five hits as he walked two and struck out five in reaching the 100 pitch plateau for the second consecutive start.
“Down two, I was just hoping to keep us in the game for our offense to tie it up,” added Busch. “I just tried going right after them. In the beginning, I was trying to pin point a little too much and that got me in trouble with getting behind the hitters and giving up walks.”
After getting out of a bases loaded situation in the fourth with back-to-back strikeouts, Busch faced the minimum over the next three innings before giving way to the bullpen in the eighth.
Russell Wilson registered the last Wolfpack hit of the evening in the fifth as he singled through the right side off Busch. Wilson would record the final out in the inning as was picked off at first by Busch.
“That was a very important win for us,” said Martin. “It’s always tough when you get a pitching performance like we got (from Busch) and you’re sitting over there saying, `gosh is this going to be for not.’ This young man has pitched well all year. He certainly had some outings in which he deserved better than he got. It was good that it worked out the way it did.”
Geoff Parker and Jimmy Marshall pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively. After issuing a walk to Devon Cartwright to begin the eighth, Parker retired the next three batters to maintain FSU’s two-run lead. In the ninth, Marshall pitched around a one out walk to record his sixth save of the season. The senior right hander closed out the game with a strikeout as he got Chris Schaeffer looking at a called third strike. Marshall is a perfect 6-for-6 in save opportunities in 2009.
NC State cracked the scoreboard first on Saturday night with a run in the third to take an early 1-0 lead. Schaeffer drew a one out walk from Busch and scored on a sac-fly to center by Cartwright. Schaeffer moved into scoring position advancing to third on a double down the line in left by Wade Moore.
The Wolfpack pushed their lead to 2-0 with a run in the fourth. Back-to-back one out singles by Pratt Maynard and Andrew Ciencin put runners on base but an errant throw by Cardullo at short led to the second NC State run of the game. The damage could have been worse for the Seminoles as the Wolfpack loaded the bases off Busch on a hit by pitch and a walk. But the freshman southpaw was able to get out of the inning striking out Schaeffer and Moore to end the threat.
Florida State’s first scoring opportunity came in the fifth as Tapley and Jack Posey drew consecutive one out walks. Tommy Oravetz moved the runners 90 feet as he grounded out to first. NC State starter John Lambert kept the two-run lead intact as the junior southpaw got pinch hitter D’Vontrey Richardson looking on a called third strike to close out the inning.
The Seminoles left two more runners on for the second straight inning as Lambert got Stidham to groundout to second to keep FSU off the scoreboard. Florida State made some noise with two outs as Cardullo reached on an infield single to third and McGee followed with a walk.
Lambert would leave after six scoreless innings holding the Seminole offense to just four hits. It marked a season-high in innings pitched for the Wolfpack starter as he finished the game with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Buchanan entered in the seventh for the Pack and gave up a single to Tapley and a walk to Posey to the first two batters that he faced. After a quick visit to the mound by the Wolfpack coaching staff, the sophomore right hander recorded a strikeout, a grounder back to the mound and then snared a line drive off the bat of Rafael Lopez to end the inning.
Florida State and NC State return to the diamond for the final game of a three game set on Sunday, April 19 with first pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Sunday’s game will air live on ACC Select. Fans can listen to the action locally on 100.7 FM and over the internet on www.seminoles.com. Live stats will also be available via gametracker.