Razor Sharp

Lefty Matt Lynch registered the Seminoles' first complete game of the season with Friday's win over visiting North Carolina State. Lynch also was on the receiving end of a practical joke during a television interview following the game. "He was just trying to get me back from yesterday (Thursday) because I got him pretty good," Lynch said of teammate Daniel Hodges.

As Florida State pitcher Matt Lynch and coach Jamey Shouppe shared the television microphone Friday night following the Seminoles' 9-3 victory over North Carolina State, Lynch noticed a strange sight from the corner of his eye. His teammates were slowly filtering from the locker room and standing on the dugout steps.

Lynch knew Daniel Hodges had to be lurking around somewhere with a hand full of shaving cream. As the interview ended, Hodges pounced on Lynch from behind. However, it was far from a clean hit as most of the shaving cream ended up on the side of Lynch's face, his hat and jersey, as well as on the top of Shouppe's head.

During Thursday's practice, Lynch gave an unsuspecting Hodges a shaving cream facial.

"I just saw everybody just standing over there on the steps," Lynch said. "He was just trying to get me back from yesterday (Thursday) because I got him pretty good (during practice). He told me he was going to get me back and he wanted to do it on live TV. The whole time, when they were saying I had to do the interview, I was like, 'He's going to get me today.' I saw everybody lined up but I just didn't know where he was coming from. I got him better. He got more of my jersey and my hat than my face."

Of course, Lynch had every reason to be smile about his complete-game effort against the Wolfpack. Lynch surrendered eight hits and three earned runs to register the Seminoles' first complete game of the year and first since Trent Peterson went the distance against Wake Forest in last year's ACC Tournament May 19. Robby Read had gone a season-high 7.2 innings in a no-decision against South Alabama April 16.

For a few nervous seconds, however, it didn't appear that Lynch, who raised his record to 9-1 and matched his win total from last year, would finish. He wiggled out of an eight-inning jam and surrendered a ninth-inning run on two hits. Ironically, Lynch's younger brother, Kevin, was ready in the bullpen if needed.

"I knew he (Kevin Lynch) would have done his job, but I wanted to finish that game myself so we wouldn't have to use anybody in the bullpen," Lynch said. "I felt good. I kept my pitch count down (115), which enabled me to go later in the game. I thought after the leadoff double (in the ninth) they might pull me but I was able to finish it."

FSU coach Mike Martin who missed the entire week of practice following surgery on his right rotator cuff Monday, admitted his initial inclination was to lift Lynch following Matt Butler's double to right-center field to open the ninth inning. However, a smiling Martin blamed his weakness on shoulder discomfort.

"Yeah, Lyncher wanted to finish it up and, in our weakness, we left him out there to pitch the ninth inning and we were very pleased that he got the chance to get the first complete game of the year," Martin said. "I think that says a lot of our bullpen. But I am very, very proud he was able to do it but I wouldn't be surprised if that's the last one of the year. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if that's not the last one of the year and, if I had to do it over again, I would have gone and gotten him.

"But since I don't have a good arm, I guess I went with him because he has a good arm. But I am very proud of him. I really am. I am very proud of our entire ballclub. That was a good, solid baseball game that we played."

FSU (39-12, 7-6 ACC) won its fifth consecutive game, 10th in its last 11 and raised its home record to 25-4. The fifth-place Seminoles also inched closer to fourth-place Georgia Tech (34-8, 8-7 ACC) in the ACC standings as the Yellow Jackets fell to Virginia Friday. FSU also played errorless ball for the 14th time this season after doing so just 11 times last season.

As pleased as Martin was with the win, he also was eager to get home. While Lynch wiped the shaving cream from his uniform, Martin, whose arm remains in a sling, was searching for the nearest ice bag.

"I am looking for air conditioning and a recliner. I am not in the greatest feeling right now, but I will take this win," Martin said.

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