March 12, 2004 - by
Danny Wardell’s Three-Run Homer Gives FSU 5-4 Win Over Michigan State

March 12, 2004

Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 19 Florida State (14-5) got a two-out, three-run homer from Danny Wardell in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Michigan State (4-5) by a final score of 5-4 Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium. Kevin Lynch (3-2) picked up the win after recording the final two outs of the ninth inning. Michigan State starter Bryan Gale (0-1) went the distance, allowing five runs on 10 hits in 8.2 innings.

With FSU down 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Aaron Cheesman singled and Brandon Manasa took his place at first as a pinch runner. After two Seminole batters were retired, Shane Robinson ripped a single through the left side on a 0-2 pitch to put runners on first and second. Wardell then took a 1-1 pitch deep over the wall in left to give Florida State a 5-4 victory.

The Spartans scored two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. The first four batters singled, including Scott Koerber’s RBI-single. David Miller’s groundout with the bases loaded scored Travis Gulick from third for the early 2-0 lead.

FSU cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the home half of the first. Zech led off with a single and moved to second on a balk by Spartan starter Bryan Gale. Gibbs Chapman’s double down the right line plated Zech for the Seminoles’ first run.

Gulick led off the third inning with his first home run of the season over the wall in left to push Michigan State’s lead to 3-1.

In the top of the sixth, MSU made it 4-1 on a RBI-single from James Moreno.

FSU got that run back in the bottom half of the sixth as Eddy Martinez-Esteve’s RBI-double down left line scored Chapman from second to make the score 4-2. Chapman hit his second double of the game earlier in the inning.

Chapman paced the Seminoles offensively, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Bryan Zech (2-for-4) and Cheesman (2-for-4) also had multi-hit games for the Tribe. Cheesman extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

Seminole starting pitcher Hunter Jones (1-1) worked six innings and gave up four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

FSU shortstop Stephen Drew missed the game with a hip injury and will not play over the weekend.

Florida State and Michigan State will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Senior right-hander Eddie Cannon (4-1, 2.41 ERA) will take the mound for the Seminoles.

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