April 10, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 25 Florida State (20-10, 8-6 ACC) scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to cap a dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind victory over second-ranked North Carolina (26-8, 9-6 ACC) Friday night under the lights on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. Rafael Lopez broke a 2-2 tie with one out in the ninth sending a sac-fly to center, deep enough to score D’Vontrey Richardson from third for the game-winning run.
Trailing by one entering the bottom of the ninth, Florida State put together a one out rally against North Carolina starting pitcher Alex White. After allowing just one run on two hits through eight innings, the Seminoles were finally able to get to White in the ninth registering three straight singles. Mike McGee started the rally lacing a sharp single to center. He moved to third a batter later on a single to right off the bat of designated hitter Tommy Oravetz. After Oravetz was lifted for pinch runner D’Vontrey Richardson, Richardson moved into scoring position on a passed ball. James Ramsey then stepped in as a pinch hitter and brought home McGee for the game-tying run as he beat out an infield chopper to second.
The hit by Ramsey closed the book on White, who left Friday night’s game after throwing 132 pitches. Colin Bates came out of the bullpen and on the first pitch, Lopez sent a deep fly ball to center scoring Richardson for the game-winner.
“This was a good, good win against a very good ball club,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We got a quality start from Sean; we played good baseball and had a problem that we were able to overcome. It was just a very, very good win. It was one heck of a ball game, no question about it; a well played college baseball game.”
The sac-fly marked the third walk-off situation for the Seminoles in 2009. The last one came on a three-run home run by McGee in the bottom of the ninth against Clemson to break a 4-4 tie.
In following a familiar theme when these two teams face-off, Friday night’s win by FSU marked the ninth one-run victory for the Seminoles over the Tar Heels dating back to the 2003 season. Nineteen of the 24 games played since 2003 have been decided by four runs or less including 12 games decided by one run.
FSU’s Sean Gilmartin was just as impressive on Friday night as the freshman southpaw worked 6.2 innings in earning the no decision. Gilmartin gave up two runs, none earned, on three hits as he walked four and struck out six.
Geoff Parker (3-1) picked up the win in relief throwing 2.1 scoreless innings. The sophomore from Dade City, Fla., did not give up a hit as he walked two and struck out a pair.
White suffered the loss, his first of the season, as he dropped to 5-1 in eight starts. The junior right hander was charged with three runs, two earned, on five hits. He walked four and tied a season-high with nine strikeouts in 8.1 innings of work.
“We saw tonight a No. 1 draft choice and one of the best college pitchers in the country,” said Martin. “There is no question that Alex White is in that category. He is legit.”
North Carolina threatened in the top of the second as the first two Tar Heels batters reached on a walk and a single to center by Levi Michael and Kyle Seager, respectively. Gilmartin was able to escape the inning without any damage as he registered three consecutive ground ball outs to second to keep the score knotted at zero.
In the third, the Tar Heels once again put runners on base but could not push across a run as Gilmartin got Michael looking on strikes for the final out of the inning.
Tyler Holt drew his second walk in as many at-bats in the bottom of the third as the Gainesville, Fla., native walked on five pitches. He advanced to second on a wild pitch by Warren and scored as Stephen Cardullo laced an RBI double down the line in left for his seventh double of the season. The hit also extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
The Seminoles missed a golden opportunity to add to their lead in the sixth. Stuart Tapley started the inning with a walk and moved to second on the second wild pitch of the game by Warren. Jason Stidham then successfully executed a sacrifice bunt to advance Tapley to third with only one out. But Warren would keep the Seminole lead at one as he got McGee swinging on strikes and then Oravetz to fly out to left field to end the inning.
In the seventh, UNC capitalized on a fielding error by first baseman Jack Posey to grab its first lead of the game. With runners at second and third and two outs, Garrett Gore sent a groundball to short. The throw by Cardullo went off the glove of Posey allowing both runners to score giving the Tar Heels a 2-1 lead.
The inning started as Ryan Graepel led off with a walk and moved to third on a base hit just inside the bag at first off the bat of Mike Cavasinni. With runners on at the corners, Gilmartin got Greg Holt and Ben Bunting swinging on strikes. The freshman southpaw’s night would come to a close following the at-bat by Gore as Parker came out and got Dustin Ackley to fly out to Holt in center for the final out of the inning.
Florida State and North Carolina will face-off in the middle game of the three-game series on Saturday, April 11 with first pitch scheduled for 4:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Regional Sports Network as fans are encouraged to check their local listing for the broadcast channel. 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.