DICK HOWSER STADIUM
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY|
Heading into the ninth inning, the #1 ranked Seminoles were losing 7-6 to the Maryland Terrapins. Fifteen batters, nine hits, and eleven runs later, FSU had a 17-7 lead. Florida State's magic number to clinch the regular season ACC is now down to just two games. Any combination of FSU wins or Georgia Tech losses that equal two will clinch the number one seed in the ACC Tournament. The Noles wrap up next week with three games against Duke while Tech hosts the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Daniel Hodges (5-0) picked up the win in relief after a decent start by Daniel Davidson, and a rocky performance by Kevin Lynch who gave up four unearned runs on four hits, thanks to an error by Stephen Drew in the seventh inning.
FSU started the scoring off in the second inning when Jerrod Brown drew a walk, and scored when Blake Balkcom hit a two-run homerun to right-center.
The Noles picked up another run in the next frame when Drew singled to right, moved to third on a single by Tony McQuade, and scored when Tony Richie reached on an error by the Terrapin secondbaseman.
Florida State extended their lead in the top of the fourth inning when Bryan Zech led off with his first homerun of the year. Brandon Manasa then singled to right, moved to third on a single by Matt Sauls, and scored when Drew hit into a double play to give the Seminoles a 5-0 lead.
Maryland began their comeback in the bottom of that inning when Davidson walked in a run with the bases loaded. The second run of the inning scored on a groundout which cut FSU's lead to 5-2.
The Terps chipped away at the Nole lead with another run in the sixth inning when designated hitter Will Frazier singled up the middle, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on leftfielder Brian Jarosinksi's single up the middle that made it a two-run ballgame, before Lynch came in and got the final two outs of the inning.
Maryland rallied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning when rightfielder Anthony Buffone singled with two-outs. Firstbaseman Ray Gemmill then singled before Frazier reach on Drew's error to load the bases. Centerfielder Justin Maxwell then cleared the bases with a triple down the right field line. Jarosinski then made it 7-5 with a single up the middle that scored Maxwell.
FSU cut that lead to 7-6 in the eighth inning when Brown walked and moved to second when Eddy Martinez-Esteve hit a pinch-hit single up the middle with two outs. Zech then signled through the left side to bring home Brown.
Down to their last three outs, Sauls tied the game for the Noles with a solo homerun to lead off the ninth for Florida State. Drew followed that up with a double, and McQuade walked before Richie reached on an infield single that loaded the bases with no outs. Brown then came through with the bases juiced again, with a single to left field that scored both Drew and McQuade. Balkcom then singled to load the bases once again for FSU. Aaron Cheesman brought Richie home and moved all of the runners up with a single through the left side. Zech then flew out to left for only the first out of the inning. Chris Hart drew a walk to force in Brown before Sauls cleared the bases with a triple to right-center. Drew's second double of the inning brought home Sauls, before McQuade walked, and Richie doubled to left to score both runners and gave Florida State a 17-7 lead.
With the win, FSU improved to 44-8-1 on the season, and 16-5 in conference play. Maryland fell to 19-32 and 6-17 in the ACC. FSU returns home for a couple days of rest before leaving on Wednesday for a Thursday through Saturday, three-game series with the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, NC.
Section B Online Player of the Game: Matt Sauls (3-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 3B, HR)