April 27, 2008

Around the Bases


CBI Live
No. 2 FSU pounds out 19 hits in 13-5 win
at No. 3 UNC


By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


CARY, N.C. – How would they respond?


That was the question concerning second-ranked Florida State after surrendering 11 runs in the bottom of the eighth in an 11-4 loss at No. 3 North Carolina on Friday.


They responded in a big way. The Seminoles (19-4, 35-6) got solid starting pitching and pounded out 19 hits in a 13-5 win over the Tar Heels (17-5, 37-8) Saturday evening in front of a season-high crowd of 4,133 at Cary’s USA Baseball National Training Complex to even their ACC series at one game apiece.


“This group is a bunch of competitors,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “They will fight you for 27 outs. This was a big win for us. Now we’ve got a chance to go home with a smile on our face. That’s our goal.”


Senior first baseman Dennis Guinn led the offense for the Seminoles, going 4 for 5 with three doubles, two runs and three RBI.


“Compared to last night, it was a big night for us hitters and pitchers, too.” Guinn said. “We were seeing the ball. We hit it to all fields tonight, that was the big key. When the runners got on base, we scored them. That gave us the momentum at the beginning of the game.”


The Seminoles had a two-out rally in the first as Buster Posey singled to right, moved to second on a walk to Jack Rye and scored on a double to right by Guinn.  Rye was gunned down at the plate, giving FSU a 1-0 lead.


The Tar Heels threatened in the second as Tim Federowicz hit a one-out double and Mark Fleury walked on four pitches. Tyler Holt made a running catch in deep left center on a drive by Seth Williams and was able to double-up Fleury at first, who was well beyond second when the ball was caught.


FSU added five in the third. Holt hit a leadoff homer, his third. Jason Stidham had a base hit to left, moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a groundout by Posey. A single by Rye and a double by Guinn chased starter Adam Warren. Reliever Colin Bates fanned Tony Delmonico for the second out, but dropped the ball while on the rubber prior to his first pitch to Tommy Oravetz. A balk was called, bringing in Rye from third. Oravetz followed with a single to left, scoring Guinn. With Oravetz on the move, Mike McGee hit a grounder to short. Instead of being able to take the short way to second, the throw to first pulled the first baseman off the bag. Stephen Cardullo had an RBI single to left to push the lead to 6-0.


UNC finally broke through in the bottom of the third as Garrett Gore had an infield single to short, moved to second on a base hit by Ackley, advanced to third on a double play and scored on a single by Tim Fedroff.


FSU put three more on the board in the sixth, keyed by an RBI single by Stidham and a run-scoring double by Guinn.


Kyle Seager tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Seth Williams in the sixth to make it 9-2. The first three Tar Heels reached and scored in the seventh as UNC narrowed the gap to 9-5. FSU put it away with four in the eighth, capped by a two-run single by McGee.


Ackley finished with three hits for the Tar Heels.


Freshman right-hander Geoff Parker (4-1) earned the win for the Seminoles, going 5.1 innings with seven hits, two earned runs, three walks and one strikeout.


When asked about the mood of the team prior to the game, Guinn said “We were just the same as any other day. We knew what we had to do. We knew when we got off that bus that we had to step on this field and prove a point. And we did. 19 hits in any game against anybody, especially somebody like North Carolina, that’s huge for us.”


Martin saw his veterans step up.


“I think the leadership really surfaced,” Martin said. “When you’ve got Posey, Guinn, Rye, those three guys have been in the program. Two of them are seniors. They’ve been around the program for a long time and they know how difficult it is to win on the road. And now you’re playing a team that played for the national championship the last two years and they’re good. It was a challenge, believe me. We never took anything for granted.”


Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.


Notes – There was a 34-minute delay for lighting in the area. Play was halted at 8:07 p.m. in the top of the seventh and resumed at 8:41 p.m.