April 24, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sixth-ranked Florida State (30-10, 13-7 ACC) found a great time for its first walk-off victory of the season as the Seminoles erased a five-run deficit to defeat No. 14 Miami (29-10, 15-5 ACC) 8-7 Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. Stuart Tapley came through with the game-winning hit connecting on a two-run double with the bases loaded in the ninth to give FSU the victory and to even the series at a game a piece.
“When you’re four down in the eighth inning and you’re able to come back and win, it is certainly a big move in the right direction for us,” said head coach Mike Martin. “It was an excellent baseball game. We showed poise, we showed patience and I was just very pleased with the way we got it done.”
Down two heading into the ninth, Florida State’s Tyler Holt got things going with a single to center off Miami closer Daniel Miranda (3-2). Stephen Cardullo followed with a walk, while Mike McGee reached on a fielding error at second base by Frankie Ratcliff. With the bases loaded and no where to put Tapley, the junior from Orlando, Fla., took a 0-1 pitch and sent the ball to deep center, over the drawn in outfield, scoring Holt and Cardullo for the game-winner.
“I was trying to reach the outfield with the bases loaded and no outs to get the guys over, get one run in and tie the game up,” said Tapley. “He left a change-up up after I just got done with swinging one in the dirt and was able to reach the outfield, so I hit it where they were not playing.”
The hit was Tapley’s third of the afternoon as he finished game two 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run, two runs scored and a season-high four RBI. Holt picked up a pair of hits, while Cardullo, Sean Gilmartin, Devon Travis and Rafael Lopez were responsible for the other Seminole hits on Saturday.
“Tapley is certainly seeing the ball well,” added Martin. “He saw it very well today. The at-bat that he had before that (game-winner) was just as important to me when he walked. We ended up getting three that inning. He is a guy that is such a good competitor, you want him at the plate every chance you get. When he came up there, I was thinking, well we are right where we need to be.”
The Seminoles began to chip away at the Miami lead in the sixth thanks in large part to an RBI double by Tapley. With Cardullo on at second and McGee at first, Tapley laced a double off the wall in left center scoring Cardullo to cut the Miami lead to 7-3.
The Garnet and Gold inched closer to Canes scoring three more runs in the eighth to get within one at 7-6. Florida State loaded the bases off Eric Whaley, the fifth Hurricane pitcher of the game, as the first three batters to the plate reached on a single up the middle by Cardullo and then back-to-back walks to McGee and Tapley.
Following a Miami pitching change, Gilmartin took the first pitch from Taylor Wulf and went opposite field dropping a double inside the left field foul line to score Cardullo and McGee.
“I was looking fastball and I got it and was able to put a good swing on it,” said Gilmartin.
“Sean has taken BP all year long,” said Martin. “We are not the least bit afraid to put him in there as a first baseman/hitter. He is a hard worker and is that type of guy that can pitch for you one day and come back and play first base the next. We knew that and that was why we used him.”
Wulf bounced back and got Justin Gonzalez looking at a called third strike and then pinch hitter Ohmed Danesh to ground out back to the mound. For the second time in the inning, Miami went to the bullpen and brought on closer Daniel Miranda. With James Ramsey at the plate, Miranda unleashed a wild pitch scoring Tapley for the sixth Seminole run of the afternoon. After a walk to Ramsey, Miranda kept the Hurricane lead intact as he got Parker Brunelle to groundout to short.
Tallahassee native Tye Buckley kept the Noles in the game on Saturday coming out of the bullpen and shutting the Canes down for 2.1 innings. The junior southpaw gave up just one hit to the seven batters that he faced. After getting Chris Pelaez to fly out to right for the first out in the ninth, Buckley gave way to Daniel Bennett (3-1) for the final two outs in the inning.
“I just wanted to come in and keep it close to give our guys a chance,” said Buckley.
Bennett had to work around two hits but he registered a strikeout and a fly out to keep the Noles in striking distance in the bottom half of the ninth inning.
“This was a huge win for us,” added Gilmartin. “We got a quick turn-around for tomorrow as we play at 11 o’clock, so getting this one today was pretty big.”
For the second straight game, Miami went on top first courtesy of a solo home by Ratcliff in the Hurricanes first at-bat of the afternoon. The freshman second baseman lofted a 3-1 pitch from FSU starter Brian Busch off the scoreboard in left for his third home run of the season.
The Noles answered right back with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game one. Holt led off the inning with a single through the right side, and then swiped both second and third before scoring on a sac-fly to left off the bat of McGee.
Miami opened the top of the second with three consecutive hits off Busch including back-to-back RBI doubles by Pelaez and Nick Melendres to put the Hurricanes back on top at 3-1. Melendres got to third with only one out, but Busch recorded a strikeout and a fly out to keep the Hurricane lead at two.
The Hurricanes could not take advantage of a Florida State error in the third to add to their lead. After Busch issued a two out walk to Yasmani Grandal, Harold Martinez lofted a pop fly to short center that Travis could not handle as he back pedaled to make the catch. But the error did not faze Busch as he got Pelaez swinging on strikes for the final out.
Miami loaded the bases in the fourth on a pair of walks and a single to center but Busch once again escaped the inning unscathed getting Scott Lawson to fly out to McGee in left for the third time on Saturday afternoon.
Tapley brought the Seminoles within one of the Hurricane lead with one swing of the bat in the fourth. The Florida State designated hitter connected on his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot to left, to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Hurricanes extended their lead with four runs in the fifth to take a 7-2 advantage. Five straight Miami batters reached to start the inning as a leadoff double by Grandal ended the afternoon for Busch. Tyler Everett entered out of the bullpen and issued a walk and then three consecutive singles. Melendres drove in a pair of runs with a single through the right side, while Miami designated hitter Ryan Perry singled home Pelaez for the third run of the inning. Stephen Perez brought home the fourth Miami run on a fielder’s choice groundout to first.
Miami starter Eric Erickson would only work four innings on Saturday afternoon leaving the game after throwing just 59 pitches. The junior southpaw allowed two runs on three hits as he struck out one in earning a no decision.
The Seminoles escaped a bases loaded jam in the sixth as the Hurricanes put runners on with a pair of walks and a hit down the right field line. But Everett settled down and got Melendres swinging on strikes and Perry to fly out to center to keep the deficit at 7-2.
The win went to the Seminoles despite being out hit by the Canes 13-9. In a role reversal from Friday’s game one, the Hurricanes left 12 men on base compared to just eight left on by the Noles.
“Well, that’s the game of baseball,” added Martin. “We get out hit 13-9, make a couple of errors and they did a good job and we end up winning. It is just the way this game is. Tomorrow is an important game for us. More than anything, it is Miami vs. Florida State.”
The Seminoles return to the diamond for the final game of the series against the Hurricanes on Sunday, April 25 at 11:00 a.m. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles.com All-Access, while fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.