Varnes tosses first complete game

Florida State's Blair Varnes pitched his first complete game of the season and led the No. 1 seeded Seminoles to a 5-2 win over No. 2 Wake Forest in the final game Friday at the ACC Baseball Championship. "We let Blair finish the ball game because Blair is Blair," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "(Daniel) Hodges was ready, but it was one of those situations where we just wanted to reward a guy that has been in our program so long.

Florida State's Blair Varnes pitched his first complete game of the season and led the No. 1 seeded Seminoles to a 5-2 win over No. 2 Wake Forest in the final game Friday at the ACC Baseball Championship.

Florida State (54-12), the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament, now faces Georgia Tech at 12 noon on Saturday. Wake Forest (44-10-1) will face Clemson at 3:30 p.m. in an elimination game.

Varnes (8-3), who had a perfect game through four innings, gave up only two runs on eight hits. He struck out seven and allowed one walk. Deacon starter Ryan Braun (2-2) took the loss after going 5 1/3 innings and giving up five runs.

Despite Varnes' strong outing, it was Wake Forest who got on the board first.

Jamie D'Antona broke up Varnes perfect game with a single to right center to start the fifth inning. D'Antona advanced to second on a ground out to second by Steve LaFaivre. Following the second out of the inning, Jeff Ruziecki drew a walk to give Wake Forest runners on first and second.

Shortstop Ben Ingold drove a ball down the right field line that was ruled a single after D'Antona scored and Ruziecki was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

Florida State responded quickly with five runs in the top of the sixth.

With one out and Richie Smith on second, Stephen Drew hit a towering shot to right field that barely cleared the fence to give the Seminoles a 2-1 lead.

Tony McQuade followed the home run with a double to left center field and Ryan Barthelemy drove in McQuade with a double down the right field line. Blair McCaleb singled down the right field line to bring in Barthelemy and the evening was over for Braun as Adam Hanson entered the game.

The Seminoles would get one more run in the inning when Tony Richie brought in pinch runner Scott Toole with a sacrifice fly to right center field.

In the bottom half of the sixth, D'Antona drove home Adam Bourassa with a two out single to left field to close the gap to 5-2, but that was as close as the Deacons would get.

The game was the last contest of the tournament that involved undefeated teams and was by far the best played game of the week. Evidence of the quality of play was the amount of time it took for the game to be completed, two hours and 14 minutes, the shortest game of the tournament thus far.

Saturday night's championship game can be seen live on the ACC's regional sports network which consists of Fox Sports Net South, Sunshine and Comcast. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 8 p.m. (ET).

QUOTES

Florida State head coach Mike Martin: "We've got a ball club that enjoys competing. Tonight, there is no doubt that a lot of people made really big contributions. From Stephen Drew to Jerrod Brown to Ryan Barthelemy and Richie Smith, they all had a good ball game. It was a very important win for us. We know that nothing is accomplished yet."

"Well, we've got one more game to win. We could win tomorrow at 12 noon and still not win it because you still have got to win another one. We are anxious to be playing, just excited about the great turnout of Seminoles that we had here tonight, what a great crowd. I hope that everyone will come back tomorrow and root on the Noles."

(On playing in St. Petersburg vs. Tallahassee) "It really didn't seem that much different tonight. I was really amazed at the great turnout that we had. It was loud in this place.

(On pitcher Blair Varnes) "We let Blair finish the ball game because Blair is Blair. (Daniel) Hodges was ready, but it was one of those situations where we just wanted to reward a guy that has been in our program so long. He has got eight days before he pitches again or more, so we just let him enjoy this one. It was a great performance by him. He was 100 going into the last inning, I don't think he pitched more than 115. It wasn't so much that, it's just that we know Blair. Tomorrow we are going with Robby Read. Robby goes the first game and Marc LaMacchia goes the second game."

Wake Forest head coach George Greer: "They got big hits in one inning, and the (Stephen) Drew homerun was a big hit - put them ahead 2-1. They got a couple of doubles, strategically placed, I know you don't try to strategically place, but they were strategically placed anyway."

(On pitcher Ryan Braun) "I thought Ryan just lost it real quick and we could not get anyone warmed up in time. Once we stopped the bleeding, Adam Hansen pitched well the rest of the way."

"Florida State is a good team, to lose 5-2 on basically their home field, I thought our kids played hard, did not commit any errors, ballgame was 2:15 minutes ... can't ask for anything better." <.P "I think you saw two great teams tonight. That's my opinion and I'll let everyone else decide if they think they saw two great teams."

"We've been in this position before and we've


Nole Digest Top Stories