'Noles Roll

On paper it looked like a mismatch - Bethune-Cookman at Florida State, MEAC Champions versus ACC Champions, a .500 team pitted against a perennial baseball power. In actuality, Bethune played themselves out of contention, falling to the host Seminoles 10-3 in front of 4,061 at Dick Howser Stadium Friday night.

Florida State survived round one in Friday's regional at Dick Howser Stadium as the Seminoles upended Bethune-Cookman 10-3.

The stakes are much higher today as FSU tangles with Central Florida.

Bethune-Cookman pitchers, meanwhile, lost battle after battle with the strike zone against FSU, walking 14 on the night and ten during one three-inning stretch.

"If you get a few borderline calls sometimes things can get rolling from there," said Bethune coach Mervyl Melendez, whose staff also issued six wild pitches. "But that never happened for us. We were never able to get things going."

In the third, the Seminoles batted around with the benefit of just one hit. Eddy Martinez-Esteve's sacrifice fly gave FSU a 3-0 lead after a balk and a wild pitch by BCC starter Mumba Rivera plated the game's first two runs.

The theme was mirrored in the next two frames when the Seminoles scored four more runs on two hits.

"We struggled with command," Melendez said. "You can't defend against walks."

FSU capitalized on ability rather than charity in when Dennis Anderson and Bryan Zech connected for back-to-back homers in the sixth.

Overshadowed was a praiseworthy outing by FSU starter Eddie Cannon (9-6). Hit or miss for much of the season, Cannon was near faultless despite spending nearly half an hour in the dugout on a few occasions while the 'Noles were at bat. Cannon needed just 101 pitches to pick up his first career complete game and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts.

"It's a great feeling since I couldn't get it done last time out," said Cannon, who retired 19 of the first 21 batters he faced. "I like scoring runs but I don't like waiting around to get back out there."

Cannon's contribution reaches beyond Friday.

"He's set us up very nice," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "He got the job done and we'll have a rested bullpen going into the weekend."

Florida State (43-20) will face Central Florida today at 3 p.m. The Wildcats (27-27) drop to the loser's bracket and will take on No. 2 seed Oklahoma State in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Ace Rhett James (9-2) is the scheduled starter for FSU.

Juan Figuroa's two-run homer fueled a three-run seventh for Bethune. Carlos Garcia also scored on a triple to right coupled with Bryan Zech's throwing error on the ensuing relay.

Rivera (7-7) picked up the loss for the Wildcats.

FSU, meanwhile, expects to have its hands full against UCF.

Interestingly, the Seminoles don't schedule UCF in the regular-season, which is a sore topic with the Knights. But these teams have a way of colliding in an NCAA regional.

They last met in the 2002 regional, won 7-3 by the Seminoles. But in 2000, UCF pushed the Seminoles near elimination after winning the Saturday game. Florida State came back to beat the Knights twice the following day to advance into the Super Regional. ‘‘I'm very impressed with that club," Martin said.

‘‘Mike Fox (UCF winning pitcher against Oklahoma State) was dominating. That's a very good baseball team. I mean, they've got more wins (45) than anybody in this regional, and I can see why. They're very talented.''

Rhett James will get the ball today as Florida State's starter. He'll face UCF's Kyle Bono, a sophomore sporting a team-low 1.79 earned run average.

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