May 16, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium featured a classic pitchers dual as third-ranked Florida State (45-9, 23-6 ACC) edged No. 22 NC State (37-17, 19-9 ACC) 1-0 to even the series at a game a piece. The lone run came in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to deep center off the bat of Jack Rye to score Buster Posey. Three Seminole pitchers combined to blank the Wolfpack for the fifth time in the series and for the first time since 1998.
Elih Villanueva once again turned in another sensational performance on the mound as he worked seven plus shutout innings in earning the no decision. The Miami, Fla., native yielded just three hits on the evening while striking out six. He worked around four walks and two hit by pitches and was able to work out of two bases loaded jams in the first and seventh innings.
“I’ve been in a lot of ballgames in this ballpark and there haven’t been many 1-0 ballgames,” explained head coach Mike Martin. “I tell you right now North Carolina State pitched extremely well. That was just a beautifully pitched ball game by them. And certainly Elih Villanueva, Jimmy Marshall and Buster Posey pitched great for us. This was a big win.”
Villanueva started the eighth and issued a leadoff walk to Jeremy Synan ending the night for the junior right hander. Jimmy Marshall (5-2) came on out of the bullpen for his second appearance of the series and kept the game scoreless after facing four batters. Marcus Jones successfully executed a sacrifice bunt to move Synan to second for the first out of the inning. Marshall then walked Ryan Pond intentionally putting runners at first and second to set up a potential inning ending double play. But the junior right hander would get pinch hitter Nick Stanley on groundout to first and then followed with a strike out of Wolfpack catcher Chris Schaeffer on a high fastball to end the threat.
“I’m getting real comfortable again,” added Villanueva. “I’m just trying to get back into the groove of things. My main goal towards the end of the game is to not walk too many people and just try and stay in the game as long as I can to give my team a chance. We showed that we have a good bullpen and anytime you can turn it over to them in the eighth and ninth is pretty exciting.”
The Seminole countered with the only run in the bottom of the eighth as Posey led off the inning with a triple off the fence in right field. The Leesburg, Ga., native took a 3-0 offering from Wolfpack reliever Drew Taylor (3-3) and hit a towering shot that carried off the fence in right for his fourth triple of the season. One batter later, Rye hit a shot to deep center giving Posey plenty of time to score from third.
“In that situation you have to be more on the aggressive side than not,” explained Posey. “But at the same time you really have to narrow your focus down to a certain height and spot on the plate. I got a pretty good pitch to hit and really barreled it up. I popped it up a little bit but it carried enough for me and was fortunate with the outcome.”
Posey then went to the hill and pitched the ninth setting the Wolfpack down in order to pick up his sixth save in as many chances. The junior right hander got pinch hitter Devon Cartwright looking on strikes for our number one. He then got Dallas Poulk to groundout to second and closed out the game with a strikeout of Pat Ferguson to give the Seminoles the victory.
Florida State concluded the evening with six hits as half of those came off the bat of Posey, who finished the game 3-for-4 with a triple and a pair of singles. Jason Stidham recorded the first Seminole hit of the ball game with a single to center in the first. Ohmed Danesh registered a base hit to left in the second and Tommy Oravetz collected the other hit on a perfect bunt single down the third base line to lead off the sixth.
NC State’s Clayton Shunick was just as impressive on the mound as the junior right hander blanked the Seminoles over six innings. He gave up five hits and two walks but struck out 10 batters reaching double-digit strikeouts for the third time this year. Four Wolfpack pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts in game two, the most tallied in a single-game by the Seminoles this year.
The last 1-0 victory for the Seminoles came on April 25, 2003 as Florida State shutout Miami in Tallahassee. That year the Garnet and Gold went 4-1-1 against the Hurricanes.
Florida State and NC State will return to the diamond for the final game of the series and the final game of the regular season for both teams on Saturday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. Saturday is Senior Day at the ballpark as the Seminoles will honor five senior classman before the start of the game beginning at around 6:45 pm. FSU will honor Dennis Guinn, Trent Jarvis, Jack Rye, Ryan Strauss and student manager Jonathan Guffy. Fans can watch the game live on Sun Sports while gametracker will be available for the contest. The game can also be heard live over the radio on 100.7 FM with Eric Luallen providing all the play-by-play action.