DICK HOWSER STADIUM
700 N. Woodward
Tallahassee, FL 32304
500 Chapel Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32304
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY|
Florida State downed the Central Florida Golden Knights 7-3 on Saturday in front of 4,531 fans to advance to Sunday's Regional Championship against upstart South Florida who reached the championship game by eliminating both Stetson and UCF. Blair Varnes (9-3) earned the win despite not having a great outing. Varnes gave up two earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings while striking out a pair of batters. Daniel Hodges earned his twelfth save of the year, pitching the final two innings of the game.
The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when David Mann reached on an error by Ryan Barthelemy, and eventually scored when Clay Timpner grounded into a double-play with the bases loaded.
FSU tied the game up in the bottom of the second when Blair McCaleb reached on an infield single and took second on a throwing error by the Central Florida secondbaseman. McCaleb then advanced to third on a groundout by Jerrod Brown and scored on a Nick Rogers single to right.
UCF took the lead back in the next frame when Mann doubled down the left-field line, and scored on a throwing error by Tony Richie.
The Noles tied it up again in the bottom of the fourth when McCaleb walked, moved to second on a single by Richie, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a fielding error by the UCF firstbaseman.
Florida State finally went ahead in the bottom of the sixth when Richie singled to left-center with 2 outs, and scored on a double to left by Rogers who took third when the leftfielder couldn't find the ball. Richie Smith then singled in Rogers that gave the Seminoles a 4-2 lead.
UCF got one of those runs back in the next inning when Ryan Bear reached on an infield single, and eventually scored when reliever Daniel Davidson hit Timpner with a pitch with the bases loaded. The Seminoles got some breathing room in the bottom of the inning when Stephen Drew reached on an infield single and went to third on a double by Tony McQuade. Barthelemy then reached on an odd fielder's choice when McQuade was caught off the bag. McCaleb then singled to right to score Drew, and Brown drew a walk to load the bases. Rogers then walked to force in Barthelemy and Smith walked to plate Scott Toole who was running for McCaleb to give the Seminoles a 7-3 win.
FSU improved to 58-12 on the season while the Golden Knights fell to 41-21. Florida State will face South Florida at 1:30 on Sunday with Marc LaMacchia (10-1 3.29 ERA) on the mound for the Noles.
Section B Online Player of the Game: Nick Rogers (2-3, 2B, BB, 1 R, 3 RBI, SB)