Noles Take ACC Opener

FSU's Stephen Drew capped a herioc rally with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Duke is up next for The Tribe

Stephen Drew singled home the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Florida State to a 6-5 victory over NC State in the final game of the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament. Drew's two-out single off of Wolfpack reliever Joey Devine chased Shane Robinson home with the winning run.

Devine (0-3) replaced starter Michael Rogers to start the ninth inning, but allowed two runs on three hits while recording just two outs. Florida State releiver Tyler Chambliss threw just six pitches to pick up the win and improve to 3-1.

Florida State, which improved to 38-19, advanced to a second-round game winners-bracket game against Duke, which shocked second-seeded Virginia, 6-5. NC State, which fell to 34-21 with the loss, will face Virginia on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in an elimination game. Vern Sterry (9-2, 1.99) will face Virginia ace Andrew Dobies (6-2, 3.24).

The Seminoles scored a run in the bottom of the second, their first off Rogers since March 22, 2003, in Kinston. Aaron Cheesman led off and lined a double down the left-field line. Matt Sauls laid down a sacrifice to move Cheesman to third, and Gibbs Chapman singled to left to give FSU a 1-0 lead after two.

NC State tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth. Ryan Johnson led off and reached on a throwing error by shortstop Stephen Drew, and David Hicks singled to right. Mike Jensen popped up on the infield for the first out of the inning and Lee Mezistrano flied out to center field, but Eric Taylor lined a single to center to drive in Johnson with the tying run.

Florida State did some major damage in the bottom of the fifth. Chapman led off with a triple into the gap in left-center field, and Shane Robinson smashed a ground ball off of Taylor at third base that went into foul territory for an RBI infield double. Dennis Anderson bunted into a double play, but Rogers hit Bryan Zech with a pitch, and Stephen Drew got an opposite-field fly ball into the near-gale-force wind blowing out to left field for a two-run homer that gave the Seminoles a 4-1 lead.

T

he wind blew out for both teams. James finally ran out of gas in the top of the sixth, and the Wolfpack and the wind made him pay. Mike Jensen led off with a single up the middle, and Mezistrano and Taylor walked to load the bases. Dustin Knight hit a fly ball to deep center field, and the wind picked it up and carried it way over the fence in center for a grand-slam homer, Kinght's second grand slam of the season and the Wolfpack's fourth. That gave NC State a 5-4 lead.

Sauls started off the bottom of the ninth with a double to left field. He immediately went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Shane Robinson hit a triple to left. Devine walked pinch-hitter Derrick Smith to bring up Drew, who lined the 1-2 pitch up the middle for the game-winning hit.


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