DICK HOWSER STADIUM
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY|
The best rivalry in college baseball just got better, as the Noles took a close one 4-2 over the Miami Hurricanes to win their fourth straight game at Mark Light Stadium in Coral Gables on Friday night.
Matt Sauls robbed right fielder Brian Barton of a game-tying double with two outs in the bottom fo the ninth inning with a running catch on a ball hit to the gap in left-center field to end the game.
Lefty Trent Peterson (7-1) got the win with 7.2 strong innings.
The Noles jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning inning when Eddy Martinez-Esteve announced his homecoming in a big way with a towering solo homerun over the scoreboard off of Hurricane starter J.D. Cockroft.
In the third inning, the Hurricanes doubled up Florida State's score with a couple of runs off of Peterson. Designated hitter Alex Blanco reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a throwing error by Chris Hart, and centerfielder Danny Figueroa walked before shortstop Ryan Braun doubled down the leftfield line to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
Cockcroft showed a little rust from the delay, and gave up a solo homerun to Tony McQuade in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2.
The Seminoles took the lead in the top of the eighth inning when Jerrod Brown was hit by a pitch and scored from first on a double to left field by Blake Balkcom. After Chris Hart bunted Balkcom to third, Bryan Zech brought him home with a sacrifice fly to rightfield, and gave FSU a 4-2 lead.
Peterson retired the first two batters in the bottom of the inning before surrendering an infield single to secondbaseman Adam Ricks with two outs. Rhett James was called on to pitch and got Braun, Miami's leading hitter, by strikeout to end the threat.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hodges gave up back to back singles to firstbaseman Jim Burt and catcher Erick San Pedro before a sacrifice bunt by leftfielder Joey Hooft moved the runners over. Hodges got thirdbaseman Gabby Sanchez to pop up for the second out, before Sauls ended the game with a running catch of a sure game-tying double by Barton.
Florida State improved to 35-6 on the season while Miami fell to 28-7. FSU and UM play again on Saturday at 7:00 with Matt Lynch (8-2 3.53) on the hill for the Seminoles against Vince Bongiovanni (5-2 3.04) for the Hurricanes.
Section B Online Player of the Game: Trent Peterson (7.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K)