April 22, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State (27-12) escaped with an 11-10 extra inning victory over upset-minded UNC Asheville (7-33) Wednesday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles recorded their sixth walk-off victory of the season as Tommy Oravetz belted a solo home run over the fence in right center to carry Florida State to the win in 11 innings.
“That was a game in which we really showed what we are about,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I can’t say enough about this ball club. That was their (UNC Asheville’s) number one pitcher that was on the mound at the end. They were doing everything they could possibly do to win. Of course, they have had a tough year so far. I am just so proud of our guys; coming back and tying the ball game on Rafael’s base hit and then Tommy Oravetz coming through there in the 11th. It was obviously a great team win for us.”
The Seminoles came within one out of falling to the Bulldogs in 10 innings but Rafael Lopez singled home pinch runner D’Vontrey Richardson for the game-trying run to force more baseball. With two outs in the 10th, pinch hitter Mike Meschke kept the Seminoles alive as he unloaded on a two-out, ground rule double to dead centerfield. Richardson entered the game as a pinch runner for Meschke and scored one batter later as Lopez singled up the middle off Ryan Dull (3-8) to tie the game at 10-10. In the top of the 10th, the Bulldogs brought home the go-ahead run on an RBI double to deep center off the bat of Justin Schumer.
Geoff Parker (4-1) was flawless in his inning of work as he struck out the side in the top of the 11th. Riding the momentum into the bottom half of the inning, Oravetz took a 3-2 pitch from Dull over the fence in right center for his second home run of the season and first career walk-off hit. The senior from Tallahassee, Fla., who got the start at second base on Wednesday, finished the game 2-for-5 with three runs and an RBI.
“I was just worried about getting on base,” said Oravetz. “We only needed one run and I was the leadoff batter. I really wasn’t expecting that one, but it was nice to get it.”
The win was the sixth in a row for Florida State and 12th straight over UNC Asheville. The Seminoles pushed their all-time record to 21-1 against the Bulldogs.
UNC Asheville wasted little time grabbing the lead on Wednesday as Reed Kreiser connected on a two-run shot off FSU starter Austin Wood in the top of the first. The Bulldog designated hitter went off the scoreboard in left for his team leading sixth home run of the season. Jordan Lurie came around to score after reaching on a single to left.
Florida State answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the first without recording a hit. The Seminoles took advantage of three walks by Asheville starter Grier Harrington as Tyler Holt and McGee crossed the plate to tie the game at two runs apiece. Holt scored on a wild pitch, while McGee came home on a sac-fly to right by Tapley.
The Bulldogs plated a run in the second to retake the lead at 3-2. Danny Baatz led off the inning with a ground rule double down the line in right and scored two batters later on a Catlin Carter sac-fly to right.
FSU surged in front with three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3 lead courtesy of a three-run home run by McGee. The Seminoles strung together three straight hits to start the inning. Holt and Oravetz posted back-to-back singles, while McGee brought them all home clearing the fence in right for his team leading 12th round tripper of the year.
The Seminoles widen their lead in the fourth scoring four runs all on two outs. McGee drove in his fourth run of the game drawing a bases loaded walk. Ohmed Danesh scored on the play after beginning the inning with a bunt single. Stidham followed with a bases clearing double to the gap in left center giving the Garnet and Gold a 9-3 lead.
UNC Asheville drew within on of the Florida State lead with five runs in the top of the fifth as all five runs came on two outs. After giving up a leadoff single to Kevin Weidenbacher, Wood induced a groundball double play to short off the bat of Lurie. The freshman right hander then lost his control after that play issuing three straight walks to load the bases. Wood looked as though he would get out of the inning unscathed but a fielding error at third kept the inning alive for the Bulldogs.
The play would result in a pitching change as Bo O’Dell came on in relief. The senior right hander hit the first batter that he faced to drive in the second Bulldog run of the inning. Catlin Carter followed and ripped a double to right center just off the glove of the diving Holt. Three runs scored on the play cutting the Seminole lead to 9-8.
The Bulldogs once again took advantage of a Seminole fielding error scoring a run in the sixth to tie the game at nine. Weidenbacher started the inning reaching on a fielding error in left. After a sacrifice bunt moved him to second, Weidenbacher scored two batters later on an RBI single through the left side off the bat of Schumer. Asheville was on the verge of taking the lead for the second time on Wednesday as Beau Zinman sent a one out single to left. But James Ramsey thought otherwise throwing out Kreiser at the plate to keep the game tied at nine.
Mark Peterson entered in the seventh and worked 2.2 shutout innings. The Ft. Pierce, Fla., native worked around the third Seminole error in the seventh as he got Lurie to fly out to left with runners at the corners to end the inning. Peterson retired the side in the eighth as he struck out a pair. He began the ninth and faced four batters as he walked two while recording two outs before giving way to Jimmy Marshall. Marshall ended the inning with just one pitch as he got Weidenbacher to ground out to third.
Marshall threw 1.1 innings in relief as he allowed one run on one hit. The senior right hander finished the game with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. With 98 career appearances, Marshall moves within two of becoming just the seventh player in Florida State history to make 100 appearances on the mound in a Seminole uniform.
Wednesday’s game marked just the second time this year that both teams would play extra baseball. Florida State moved to 1-1 in extra innings, while UNC Asheville fell to 0-2.
Florida State welcomes Wake Forest to Tallahassee for a three-game conference series beginning Friday, April 24. First pitch for games one and two are set for 6:00 p.m., while Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday’s game will air live on Sun Sports, while Saturday’s game will broadcast over the internet on ACC Select. Fans can listen to the action locally on 1270 the Team (Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and over the internet on www.seminoles.com. Live stats will also be available via gametracker.