May 31, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State recovered from a 6-0 deficit and scored seven runs in its final two at bats to defeat Stetson, 11-7, on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Division I Baseball Tallahassee Regional at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles, now 57-12, will face UCF at 3 p.m. on Saturday, while the Hatters, now 42-18, will play South Florida in an elimination game at 11 a.m.
Stetson led 6-0 after three innings but was held to two runs over the last six innings by Florida State starter Matt Lynch and reliever Daniel Hodges. Lynch and Hodges held the Hatters to two runs and two hits in the final six innings after they battered the Seminoles for six runs on six hits in the first three innings.
Stetson broke ahead first on a run-scoring single with one out by first baseman Bryan Zenchyck in the top of the first. Zenchyk’s single to the right centerfield gap plated catcher Chris Westervelt who had the first hit of the game. Zenchyk’s single was sandwiched between two walks to load the bases. Brian Snyder scored on a fielder’s choice to give the Hatters a 2-0 lead. Seminole starter Matt Lynch struck out right fielder Ian Church looking to end the game.
Westervelt led off the Stetson third with a double over the head of Seminole left fielder Tony McQuade. A walk to Snyder and a single to right center by Zenchyk loaded the bases. Westervelt scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Chris Cole to put Stetson up 3-0. Ian Church, the Hatters’ rightfielder, then doubled home Snyder for a 5-0 lead. Left fielder Joe Kurelic singled through the left side to score both Church and Zenchyk. Kurelic advanced to second on an error by McQuade. Hatter shortstop Rusty Beale reached on an error by Florida State second baseman Bryan Zech. Kurelic tried to add to the lead but was thrown out at home by Seminole right fielder Mike Futrell. Stetson led 6-0 after its third at bat.
Centerfielder Nick Rogers got the Seminoles on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth with a double to right center with two outs to score McQuade and third baseman Ryan Barthelemy. McQuade and Barthelemy had led off the inning with back to back singles. Rogers and catcher Tony Richie then scored on a single to right by Futrell and the Seminoles were within two, at 6-4 after four complete innings.
Lynch settled down after the third and held the Hatters hitless until the eighth. He struck three batters in the seventh,, including Cole for the third out, with runners on second and third. Hatter pitcher Roger Lincoln was equally as impressive. After allowing four runs in the fourth, Lincoln held the Seminoles scoreless in the fifth and sixth while allowing only two hits.
Florida State shortstop Stephen Drew opened the Seminole half of the seventh with a line drive double to the right field corner. McQuade then doubled off the fence in left to put runners on second and third. Barthelemy then singled to left to score Drew and bring the Seminoles to within one at 6-5. Lincoln gave way to relief pitcher Andy Wilson, who moved from second base to the mound after McQuade’s double. Wilson forced designated hitter Blair McCaleb to pop to first on his first pitch for the initial out of the inning. First baseman Jerrod Brown tied the game at six on an infield single which scored McQuade. Barthelemy scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice by Richie. Wilson struck out Rogers to end the inning with the Seminoles up, 7-6.
Left-hander Daniel Hodges replaced Lynch to begin the eighth inning. Lynch pitched seven complete innings while allowing six runs (all earned), striking out seven and walking four. Lynch set down 12 of the last 15 batters he faced including 11 straight at one point.
Stetson tied the game in the eighth. Kurelic walked with two outs and scored on a double to the right centerfield gap by pinch hitter Lee Bagley. Hodges struck out pinch hitter Josh Laws to end the inning.
Florida State continued its torrid hitting to open the bottom of the eighth. Zech led off the inning with a single to right and scored on a double to right center by Drew. Drew took third as the Hatters made a play at home on Zech. Drew scored Florida State’s ninth run as Brown was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Seminoles added two more insurance runs on a single to left by Richie to score McQuade and Scott Toole who was pinch running for McCaleb. The inning ended with the Seminoles ahead 11-7.
In the top of the ninth, Westervelt led off with his 17th home run of the season to make the score 11-8. The final three Stetson batters went down in order to end the game.