May 15, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It what was supposed to be a seven inning game turned in to a nine inning affair as game two of a doubleheader featuring Florida State and Grambling State was decided by an Ohmed Danesh two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. The Seminoles (39-14) extended their home winning streak to 14 games with the 9-7 victory over the Tigers (14-34) Friday night on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
“I take my hat off to Grambling with the way they fought, but I take my hat off to Florida State with the way they got it done,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We were out here all day long. It was a real credit the way these guys persevered; I am very proud of them. Grambling out hit us, we made four errors, I would say we persevered.”
The Seminoles, who led by as many as four runs in game two, saw their lead slip away as the Tigers scored runs in four consecutive innings to draw within one of the lead at 6-5.
Florida State added a run in the sixth to increase the lead to 7-5. James Ramsey reached on an infield single and scored a batter later as Jason Stidham laced a single to right. Stidham got in a run down between first and second allowing Ramsey to score on the play.
The Tigers forced extra baseball after scoring a pair of runs in the seventh off Jimmy Marshall. With the bases loaded and one out, Martin went to the bullpen and brought on Geoff Parker. After issuing a walk to O.J. Simmons which plated the game tying run, Parker got Arthur Mazierski to ground into an inning ending double play.
In the ninth, the Seminoles got the leadoff batter on as Stuart Tapley laced a single through the left side. But the sophomore third baseman was thrown out trying to steal second. Tommy Oravetz reached after getting hit on the arm by Tiger reliever Jamal Breaux (0-7), representing the game-winning run. D’Vontrey Richardson entered the game for Oravetz as a pinch runner at first and scored on the very next play as Danesh went opposite field on the first pitch from Breaux. The home run was his fifth of the season and first career walk-off home run. Danesh now has two career walk-off hits at Florida State.
“I’ve been working so hard with the coaches on not trying to pull the ball so much,” said Danesh. “I’m trying to hit the ball where the pitches are being thrown. I was able to get that pitch and I didn’t pull it. When I hit it, I did not think it was gone. I think I ran like a three flat down the first base line, I was trucking it. It was a great accomplishment.”
Florida State has recorded seven walk-off victories in 2009 and with Danesh’s home run Friday night, he now becomes the sixth different Seminole to come through with the late inning heroics. It is the most walk-off victories recorded in school history dating back to 1997.
“A lot of big things happened for us, certainly the outstanding pitching of Geoff Parker. Don’t forget about Ohmed Danesh, another way dinger that was huge. Of course Stephen had a big night too with three RBI,” said Martin.
Geoff Parker worked 2.2 scoreless innings as he allowed just one hit to earn the win. He walked three and struck out two to move to 6-1 on the year.
“Great job on Geoff Parker’s part of coming in during a tough situation and getting his team back in the dugout (in the top of the seventh),” said Martin.
After falling behind by two runs in the second, Florida State answered right back scoring six in the bottom half of the inning. Mike Meschke tied the game with a two-run double to the gap in right center. Stephen Cardullo then gave the Seminoles their first lead of the game blasting a three-run shot off the scoreboard in left for his 10th home run of the season. Tommy Oravetz, who walked and scored to start the inning, drove in the sixth run of the game on an RBI single to right center.
Meschke finished the game 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI, while Cardullo and Stidham also finished with two hits apiece. Danesh also walked three times in the win.
Hunter Scantling, making his third start of the season, worked three plus innings allowing three runs, four earned, on six hits in earning the no decision.
“They played a heck of a game,” added Danesh. “We were just trying to do all we could to get that run. I was able to get that pitch and hit it good. It was a good win.”
Florida State also received some good news Friday night as the Seminoles earned the No. 1 overall seed in the ACC Tournament which begins Wednesday, May 20 in Durham, N.C. FSU earned the spot thanks to Duke’s 6-4 victory over Georgia Tech.
Florida State will face Grambling State on Saturday, May 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the final game of the regular season. The Seminoles will honor its graduating class before the start of the game with pre-game festivities scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. The game will air live over the internet on ACC Select, while 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.