Noles Sweep Minnesota

Sixth-ranked Florida State rallied for the second time in as many days and held off a ninth inning comeback to defeat Minnesota 8-6 Sunday. The win marked the third sweep of the season for the Seminoles (10-1), who won their 19th consecutive game at Dick Howser Stadium.

The Golden Gophers (0-3) had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth when Andy Hunter came to the plate. Hunter, a perfect 3-for-3 on the day, was robbed of a potential game-tying hit when reliever Matt DiBlasi knocked down the hard grounder and threw to first. The senior earned his first save of the season.

"A huge play," head coach Mike Martin said of the final out. "We were very fortunate to win today, but we got it done and that's a credit to our young men."

Fortunate, because the Seminoles stranded 14 runners and three times left the bases loaded, giving FSU only an 8-4 lead heading into the ninth. Luke Tucker, who had not seen in action in more than a week, entered the inning looking for his second save. However, the Niceville native gave up an RBI single and a second run scored on a passed ball, narrowing the margin to two runs.

Like Saturday's starter Michael Hyde, Barret Browning (2-0) had a rough start but settled down to earn the win. The senior allowed three runs to Minnesota in the second but struck out Dan Lyons with runners on the corners to end the threat. He lasted five innings without further damage.

"You get in a little jam and strike that last guy out, you get some confidence going," Browning said. "I found a groove after that."

FSU responded with four runs of its own in the bottom half of the second. Run-scoring singles from Buster Posey, Josh Spivey, and Shane Robinson added to Tony Thomas' sacrifice fly and gave the Seminoles a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.

Florida State outscored Minnesota 25-10 in the series despite the teams recording 27 hits each. Six Gopher errors and 22 walks allowed the Seminoles to gain the advantage. Shane Robinson had two hits Sunday, ending an 0-for-8 slump. The reigning Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year has never gone hitless in a three-game series.

Next up for FSU is a mid-week game against Florida in Gainesville. The teams will meet for the first time since last year's Super Regional which the Gators won. Tyler Chambliss (3-0, 0.95 ERA) will start for the Seminoles Tuesday.


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