DICK HOWSER STADIUM
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY|
Florida State (50-10-1) snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on Sunday afternoon in a 10-7 loss to Georgia Tech (43-16) that saw the normally sure-gloved Stephen Drew made a crucial error that permitted the normally sure-armed Daniel Hodges to give up six runs in the ninth inning. Florida State will now take the long bus-ride back to Tallahassee to rest up and prepare for the NCAA Regionals that will be hosted at Dick Howser Stadium next weekend.
Other NCAA Regional hosts announced were: Arizona State, Auburn, Cal State Fullerton, Georgia Tech, Long Beach State, Louisiana State, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina State (in Wilson), Rice, Southern Mississippi, Stanford, Texas, and Texas A&M.
Glen Simon started the game and four innings, giving up two runs on four hits before being pulled in the fifth for Hunter Jones. Jones threw three innings, allowing one earned run on three hits before giving way to Kevin Lynch in the eight. Lynch threw a perfect inning before giving way to Hodges who had the disastrous ninth.
FSU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Drew walked, moved to second on a balk, to third on a passed ball, and scored on a ground out by Jerrod Brown
Three innings later, Brown singled through the right side, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Chris Hart to give the Noles a 2-0 lead. Danny Wardell then singled to left-center before Zech walked to load the bases. Kevin Richmond then reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Hart to score, and Drew reached safely on an error to allow Wardell to score that made it a 4-0 ballgame.
Tech fired back in the top of the fifth when ACC Rookie of the Year, thirdbaseman Micah Owings doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch by Simon. A double to left-center by shortstop Tyler Greene brought home Owings, and chased Simon from the game. After Greene stole third, secondbaseman Eric Patterson brought him home with a ground out to cut the Nole lead in half.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Hart led off with a single to right, and Wardell was hit by a pitch to put two on with no out. Bryan Zech then sacrifice bunted the runners over before Kevin Richmond grounded out back to the pitcher to allow Hart to score. Drew than homered to right to give FSU a 7-2 cushion.
The Yellow Jackets got two of those runs back in the next inning when Greene walked and Patterson singled before leftfielder Matt Murton's double brought home Greene, and an error on Tony McQuade allowed Patterson to to score.
After a scoreless eighth, the Seminoles completely fell apart in the top of the ninth inning. Greene and Patterson both singled before centerfielder Steven Blackwood walked to load the bases with only one out. Murton then hit a ball to Drew at short, who tried to throw the ball to Zech covering the bag, but the throw never got there, allowing Greene to score, and Murton to reach safely. After firstbaseman Clifton Remole brought home Patterson with a ground ball, catcher Mike Nickeas doubled down the left field line to bring give Tech an 8-7 lead. Rightfielder Jeremy Slayden then tripled home Nickeas, and Owings hit a single to score Slayden to give the Jackets a 10-7 lead.
The Noles went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
The NCAA Regional field will be announced live on ESPN at 12:30 on Monday afternoon, FSU is expected to have the #1 national seed.
Section B Online Player of the Game: Chris Hart (2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI)