Noles open the postseason with a shutout


AT BAT   AVG     BB K   OUT   H/E
4   402     3 2   2   H
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
JU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 3 1


1 1 1 0 3 0 0 0 X   6 10 1

Florida State began their postseason quest for Omaha on Friday night with a 6-0 shutout in front of 5,440 fans at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida. Matt Lynch (13-3) pitched the complete game for the Noles, FSU's first of the season. At one point in the game, Lynch had retired twenty-one batters in a row, and faced only three over the minimum for the game.

Lynch went the nine innings, giving up only three hits and no walks, while striking out eight Dolphin batters.

The shutout was especially sweet for the Seminoles, who were playing without the services of Stephen Drew, who is expected back in the lineup on Saturday after a bout with the flu. Because of Drew's absence, Bryan Zech played shortstop and Brandon Manasa covered second. Florida State did get some good news, with Matt Sauls back in centerfield for the first time since injuring his elbow against Duke on May 16th.

FSU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Zech lead-off with a double to right, moved to second on a ground ball by Tony McQuade, and scored when Tony Richie doubled to left-center.

The Noles picked up another run in the next inning when Chris Hart singled up the middle, moved to second on a passed ball, to third on a sacrifice bunt by Danny Wardell, and scored on fielder's choice by Matt Sauls when the JU pitcher tried to come home with the ball and threw it away.

Florida State's third run of the game scored when Zech reached on a bunt, moved to second on a single by Richie, and scored on a single to left-center by Jerrod Brown.

After a scoreless fourth inning, FSU put the game away in the sixth when Richie singled and scored on a double down the rightfield line by Blake Balkcom. Brown then hit his fourth homerun of the year to give the Noles a 6-0 lead.

The Seminoles improved to 51-10-1 on the season, and go on to face South Alabama at 3:00 on Saturday. The Jaguars crushed Rutgers 14-1 in earlier action on Friday. The Dolphins fell to 32-29 and face Rutgers in the loser's bracket at 11:00 on Saturday morning.

Section B Online Player of the Game: Matt Lynch (9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, CG)

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