March 16, 2001 - by
Seminoles Down NC State 8-7 In 14 Innings
Raleigh, NC – Karl Jernigan led off the top of the 14th inning with a double down the left field line and scored on Chris Cole’s double play ground ball to give No. 18 Florida State (17-5, 4-0 ACC) an 8-7 win over NC State (10-10, 2-2 ACC). The Seminoles were an out away from a 7-4 victory in the bottom of the ninth, but Colt Morton hit a three-run homer off reliever Justin Lord to send the game into extra frames. Nick Whidden pitched the final 3.1 innings for FSU to earn his first victory of the season.

Blair Varnes (3-1) had another impressive start for the Tribe, but did not figure into the decision. Varnes was charged with two unearned runs on just four hits in seven innings of work.

The visiting Seminoles wasted no time in taking the lead at Doak field as the first five batters of the game recorded hits. Bryan Zech led off with a single and scored on John-Ford Griffin’s double to right center. Ryan Barthelemy then knocked in Griffin with a single to center. After a base hit by clean-up batter Mike Futrell, Karl Jernigan put FSU up 3-0 with a single up the middle.

The Tribe added two more in the fourth to make it 5-0. Nick Rogers and Scott Toole started the rally with back-to-back singles. Zech knocked in Rogers with a single and Toole scored on a ground out by Griffin.

Griffin’s third RBI of the game in the top of the sixth pushed the lead to 6-0 when he knocked in Scott Toole with a base hit to center.

The Wolfpack finally scored in the seventh, when Brett Groves’ errant throw to first allowed runners on second and third to score with two outs.

NC State added two more in the eighth when Joe Gaetti hit an RBI-single to left center and Matt Butler doubled in a run in a pinch-hit appearance.

FSU added what looked like an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Groves’ bunt base hit scored Futrell from third.

In the bottom of the ninth, Lord struck out the first two NCSU batters before the Wolfpack started their two-out rally. After Sean Walsh walked and David Hicks singled, Morton followed with the game-tying home run.

Futrell had a career-high five hits while Griffin and Barthelemy added three hits apiece.

The two teams meet again Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised by Sunshine.

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