March 14, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State (14-1, 4-0) recorded its second consecutive walk-off victory in ACC play with a two-run ninth inning rally to post an 8-7 victory over Georgia Tech (13-2, 3-1) on Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium. Sophomore Ohmed Danesh provided the walk-off hit delivering a two-out, two-run bases loaded single up the middle off Georgia Tech closer Chris Hicks to snap a six-game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets on Mike Martin Field.
“To be honest, what is not going through your mind,” said Danesh on hitting the game-winner on Friday night. “I just kept telling myself to wait for your pitch and go straight to the ball. I wasn’t trying to be the hero and fortunately I got my hit. Facing a great team like that you know you are going to see the best of the best. This was a great competitive game. It was a lot of fun out there tonight.”
Tony Delmonico got things started in the ninth with a two-out single to right center. Hicks (0-2) then issued back-to-back walks to Dennis Guinn and Tommy Oravetz to load the bases for Danesh. After watching ball one, the Orlando, Fla., native took the next pitch up the middle just beyond the out stretched glove of Georgia Tech shortstop Derek Dietrich to score Delmonico and pinch runner Luke Smierciak for the game-winner. Danesh’s walk-off single follows last Sunday’s game-winning hit by Stuart Tapley in the bottom of the ninth to beat Maryland.
“Well, that one was a special win,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Again, I am very proud of how our young men did not give up. There were two outs in the ninth inning and no body on base. You can just start going around to the great at-bat by Dennis Guinn, the base hit by Tony Delmonico, the great at-bat Oravetz had and then of course the base hit by Ohmed Danesh. It was a great win for our young men. I am just very proud to be a Seminole.”
Geoff Parker (1-0) picked up the win for the Seminoles in his first collegiate appearance. The freshman right hander came out of the bullpen in the eighth and gave up just one hit while striking out four Yellow Jacket hitters.
“Geoff Parker had a nice little introduction to Florida State baseball,” added Martin. “He got his first win. It was very encouraging to see him go out there and get his feet wet. He wasn’t sharp but he wasn’t scared. He was not afraid of the situation. He took advantage of the opportunity and I am very excited for him.”
Guinn finished the game 3-for-3 with an RBI and two walks, while Jason Stidham, Delmonico and Danesh each registered a pair of hits in the victory. With his two hit performance, Stidham extended his hit streak to a team best 13 games.
Florida State ran out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first off Georgia Tech starter David Duncan. Tyler Holt and Stidham reached on a walk and a hit-by-pitch, respectively and came around to score on a two-out double to left by Delmonico. Delmonico hit a stinger to left as the ball sailed over the head of Chris House. Guinn followed with an RBI to left to plate Delmonico from second.
The Seminoles would increase their lead to four in the third thanks to a wild pitch by Duncan scoring Stidham from third. FSU loaded the bases on a leadoff single by Stidham and a pair of walks. With Guinn at the plate, Duncan bounced one in the dirt and the ball squirted away into the Yellow Jacket dugout to score Stidham and push the score to 4-0.
Georgia Tech answered with a run in the fourth on a solo home run to left field by Tony Plagman. It was Plagman’s third home run of the season and the first round tripper allowed by Seminole starter Elih Villanueva in 23 innings of work.
The Yellow Jackets scored three more runs over the next two innings to tie the game at four a piece. Georgia Tech used a pair of sacrifice flies to account for two runs in the fifth and used a two out RBI double down the line in left by Jason Haniger to plate Thomas Nichols from first in the sixth.
Florida State quickly grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run shot by Tapley. Danesh, pinch hitting for Ruairi O’Connor to start the sixth, skied a ball to House in left field. But the ball dropped in for a double as House lost the ball in the sky. One batter later, Tapley crushed a 2-2 offering from Kevin Jacobs over the wall in deep left center for a 6-4 Florida State advantage.
Villanueva went back out to the mound in the seventh and started the inning with a strikeout. The next three Jacket hitters reached on an infield single, an error and another single. Villanueva ran into some tough luck with Dietrich at the plate as he got the lefty shortstop swinging on a ball in the dirt for strike number three, but a wild throw by Buster Posey gave Dietrich first base. An RBI single by Brad Feltes ended the evening for Villanueva who left the game with one out and runners at first and third and one run Seminole lead.
Head coach Mike Martin called on senior left hander Trent Jarvis out of the bullpen for his first appearance of the season. The Destin, Fla., native calmly got out the inning with just one pitch as he got Charlie Blackmon to ground into an inning ending double play. Blackmon hit a chopper towards the bag at first. Guinn tagged first for the second out and threw on to Posey to get Dietrich out at the plate.
Villanueva finished the evening going 6.1 innings allowing five runs on six hits. He walked five and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts in earning a no decision.
Jarvis went back out to pitch the eighth and walked the first two batters that he faced. Martin went to the bullpen and called on Parker who would make his first career appearance for the Garnet and Gold. After a wild pitch by Parker put runners at second and third, Haniger tied the game on a sacrifice bunt to first. Patrick Long stepped in and gave the Jackets their first lead of the ballgame with single up the middle to plate Nichols. After Long was thrown out by Posey trying to steal second, Parker would settle down and strike out House to end the inning. He would continue that trend as he struck out the side in the ninth to set up the game-winning heroics by Danesh in the bottom of the inning.
“What an amazing experience,” said Parker on his first outing of the season. “There are no words to explain how that felt, it was just amazing. It was just fun to get out in front of the crowd and do what I did.”
The win also moved head coach Mike Martin within two games of career win number 1,500. In his 29th season, the legendary ball coach has amassed a career record of 1,498-507-4
Florida State will return to the diamond on Saturday, March 15 at 6:00 pm for game two of a three-game set against Georgia Tech. The game will be broadcast live over the internet on ACC Select, while fans can also catch the action on gametracker and over the radio on 100.7 FM with Eric Luallen providing the play-by-play action.