March 23, 2001
Tallahassee, Fla. – Despite being out-hit 10-4, No. 15 Florida State (21-6, 6-1 ACC) picked up a 3-0 victory over conference foe North Carolina (16-9, 0-4 ACC) in front of 2,562 fans at Dick Howser Stadium. Seminole right-hander Blair Varnes (4-1) scattered nine hits in eight innings of work, striking out three and walking two. Varnes has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts – a span of 15 innings.
The Seminoles broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs. Tony Richie led off with a walk and Bryan Zech doubled to left center to put runners on second and third. After a John-Ford Griffin reached on a base on balls, Ryan Barthelemy knocked in run number one with a sacrifice fly to left. After Zech took third on a wild pitch, pinch-hitter Nick Rogers got the RBI with another sacrifice fly.
The Tribe added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with the third sacrifice fly of the night. Barthelemy walked and moved up two bases on two wild pitches before scoring on Karl Jernigan’s fly ball to center.
One of FSU’s better defensive performances helped the Seminoles record their third shutout of the season. Richie was flawless behind the plate, throwing out all three Tar Heels that attempted to steal a base. Jeff Probst made a key play at third base in the top of the fourth inning to help stop a UNC rally. With runners at first and second, Probst took a ground ball deep on the line at third and made a perfect throw across the infield to get the second out of the inning. Varnes then induced an inning-ending groundout with runners in scoring position.
Justin Lord came in and finished off the Tar Heels in the ninth for his fourth save of the season.
UNC right-hander Dennis Robinson took the loss, allowing two earned runs on four hits in four innings.
FSU has now won 18 of its last 19 games. Griffin’s hitting streak was snapped at eight games.
The two teams meet again Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with Sunshine again carrying the game live. FSU freshman RHP Marc LaMacchia (4-0, 2.48 ERA) is scheduled to face UNC freshman LHP Daniel Moore (2-1, 4.08 ERA). The series concludes Sunday at 1:00 p.m.