April 7, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – What a difference a day makes. After being held to just one run on five hits on Tuesday night at the Baseball Ground in Jacksonville, seventh-ranked Florida State (22-7) bounced back to garner a 9-2 victory over North Florida (17-15) Wednesday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The win gave the Seminoles the regular season series over the Ospreys as FSU took 2-from-3 from UNF this year with both wins coming at home.
Freshman Scott Sitz (2-0) was the story Wednesday night putting together six strong innings in his first collegiate start. The right hander from Jacksonville Beach, Fla., scattered just two hits and did not give up a run marking his longest outing as a Seminole. Sitz did not allow a runner passed second base and finished the game retiring the last seven batters that he faced.
“Well that was an outstanding outing by Sitz,” said head coach Mike Martin. “I was very impressed. I believe that’s his first start this year and to get out there and shut them down for 6.0 innings was quite an accomplishment. Very pleased with the way our bullpen pitched and it was a well-played baseball game on our part. They needed this ball game and I am just very proud of the approach our guys took.
“These young men are great competitors and nobody was happy with the way things went last night. I was just very, very pleased with the enthusiasm and energy.”
“I was really locating my fastball well, keeping my curveball down, I only threw about four or five change-ups and kept them down too,” said Sitz. “I just hit all my spots.
“It’s really what I wanted to do the whole time. After last night, I really wanted to win and I know the team did. They wanted to bounce back after that loss and we just went out there and gave it 100 percent.”
Offensively, the Seminoles were paced by Jayce Boyd who finished the evening 3-for-3 with a home run and a pair of singles. The freshman first baseman reached base on all four plate appearance Wednesday night drawing a walk in his first at-bat in the second. Boyd posted a career-high four RBI, while his three hits and two runs tied a career-high.
“Jayce Boyd’s first at bat, when he walked, is the one I will remember as much as any of the others,” added Martin. “Yeah, he hit a homerun and had two base hits up the middle, I haven’t forgotten those either. But, at the same time, it’s his new approach that Martin, Jr. has been working with him on. We have got to have production out of the bottom of our line-up and we got it tonight out of him and of course Devon and Justin Gonzalez.”
Tyler Holt and Stephen Cardullo each registered a pair of hits, while Parker Brunelle and Sherman Johnson both drove in two runs each. For Brunelle, who got the start behind the plate on Wednesday, he now has driven in nine run in his last five games.
It didn’t take long for the Seminoles to eclipse their run total from Tuesday night erupting for three runs in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded and one out, Brunelle went opposite field for a two-run single driving in Cardullo and Devon Travis, who reached on a walk and single, respectively. UNF starting pitcher Kyle Westwood (0-2) then issued back-to-back walks to Holt and Johnson as Johnson’s came with the bases loaded plating Boyd for the third run of the inning.
The Noles added two more in the third on a two-run single back up the middle by Boyd. Stuart Tapley reached on a throwing error by Osprey shortstop Sam Perry to start the inning and moved to second on an infield single by Cardullo. Travis advanced the runners 90 feet on a well executed sacrifice bunt. Boyd then followed with his first hit of the night lacing a 2-2 offering from Clayton Schulz back up the middle to give FSU a 5-0 advantage.
Cardullo pushed the Seminole lead to 6-0 with a two-out RBI single in the fourth. Mike McGee scored on the play as he led off the inning with a single through the left side.
FSU increased its margin to 9-0 in the seventh courtesy of a two-run home run by Boyd and an RBI single from Johnson. Pinch hitter Justin Gonzalez drew a four pitch walk and on the very next pitch Boyd took Schulz out of the park to right for his second home run of the season. Two batters later Holt laced a two-out double to the gap in left center and scored a batter later on Johnson’s base hit to left center.
North Florida finally got on the board in the eighth scoring two runs off Seminole reliever Andrew Durden. The Ospreys’ Michael Smith started the two out rally as he reached after being hit by a pitch. T.J. Gavlik then singled to left and the runners moved to second and third after a fielding error in left by Robby Stahl. Preston Hale followed with a towering double to center that Holt lost sight of in the dark sky. Both Smith and Gavlik scored on the play to make the score 9-2.
Both Daniel Bennett and Robby Scott faced the minimum in their inning of work. Bennett struck out one, while Scott struck out the first two batters that he faced before getting T.J. Thompson to groundout to second for the final out of the game.
Florida State hits the road for the first of two back-to-back weekend trips to North Carolina. The Seminoles will head to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 9. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. Fans can listen in locally on 1270 the Team, 94.3 FM (Friday), 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and on the web at Seminoles.com.
Injury Update: Junior Stuart Tapley was diagnosed with a left knee sprain and lower leg injury after trying to avoid a tag at first base on a groundball hit to short in the fourth. Tapley will be re-evaluated Thursday morning by team doctors at the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic.