DICK HOWSER STADIUM
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY|
Florida State took the first step in their quest for a second consecutive ACC Tournament championship, with a 13-0 rout over the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday afternoon from a soggy Salem, VA. The Nole offense pounded out thirteen runs on fourteen hits, their ninth game in a row with double-digit runs, while Matt Lynch and Eddie Cannon combined to blank Duke.
Lynch (12-3) pitched eight innings, and gave up only six hits while walking two and striking out seven batters. Cannon closed out the game in the ninth with a three-up and three-down inning. The FSU defense played their part, turning two double plays, and did not commit an error in the ballgame.
FSU wasted no time getting the bats going in the bottom fo the first inning, when Stephen Drew led off with a single up the middle. After McQuade walked, Tony Richie flew out to move Drew up to third base. Jerrod Brown then reached on a fielding error by the Duke secondbaseman which allowed Drew to score and McQuade to advance to second. Blake Balkcom then reached on an error by teh Blue Devil firstbaseman to bring home McQuade and moved Brown to third. A sacrifice fly by Chris Hart brought home Brown and gave the Noles a 3-0 lead.
Three innings later, the Seminoles doubled their score in the fourth frame. Bryan Zech singled to left, moved to second when Aaron Cheesman was hit by a pitch, and scored on a single to left field by Danny Wardell. Drew moved Cheesman to third with a deep fly to right, before McQuade doubled in both Cheesman and Wardell to make it 6-0.
Florida State picked up two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Zech reached on an infield single, and scored when Wardell hit his third homerun of the year, a towering blast, that gave FSU an 8-0 lead.
In the next ining, Hart singled to left, moved to second on a balk, and scored on a Cheesman double to right-centerfield.
FSU kept the heat on the in the eighth when McQuade tripled and scored when Richie reached on an error by the centerfielder. Brown then doubled in a pinch-running Kevin Richmond to score FSU's eleventh run of the game. Balkcom then homered to finish the scoring barrage at 13-0.
The Noles improved to 48-8-1 on the season while Duke fell to 17-35. FSU plays North Carolina on Friday, with the gmae time still to be determined. The game will most likely fall in the 4:00-5:00 range, depending on the rain tonight and tomorrow. Duke falls into the loser's bracket and will face Clemson, who lost 10-2 to UNC, on Friday morning.
Section B Online Player of the Game: Matt Lynch (8.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K)