Florida State's tourney run ends

Five games in four days proved a little too insurmountable for sixth-seeded Florida State at the ACC Tournament in Jacksonville. The Seminoles (42-19) let an early lead slip away and a ninth inning rally fell short in an 8-7 loss to No. 25 North Carolina State Saturday. The Wolfpack (38-20) move to the championship game where they will face the either Clemson or Georgia Tech on Sunday.

FSU fought hard after coming within 11 outs of leaving the tournament without a win for the first time in program history. But a walk-off victory Thursday provided enough fuel for two more wins, including one Saturday afternoon over N.C. State. Despite the loss, the Seminoles appear to be in good standing to host an NCAA regional next weekend.

"I am just very pleased with our baseball team," FSU head coach Mike Martin said. "We came (to the ACC tournament) a little shaky so to speak. We knew we needed to play well to position ourselves for a regional host, and I think we played pretty well. I will be anxious to see if the (NCAA selection) committee sees it the way I do."

Missed opportunities and defensive miscues cost Florida State in the back-and-forth battle. Both teams combined to use 10 pitchers, 7 of which allowed runs.

Travis Anderson's RBI single made it 3-3 in the third, and the Seminoles used Buster Posey's sacrifice fly sandwiched around three wild pitches to gain a 5-3 advantage in the fourth. One of the three errant deliveries from Wolfpack reliever Chris Engle scored Danny Diaz in the inning.

Yet FSU right fielder Jack Rye let a routine single get through his legs for a two-base error in the fifth. Jonathan Diaz advanced to third on the play and came home on leadoff hitter Matt Camp's triple. One batter later, Camp scored on Ramon Corona's RBI single to tie the game.

After loading the bases with none out, the go-ahead run scored for the Wolfpack on a double play. The top two hitters for N.C. State went 7-for-9 with five runs and three RBI.

Florida State tied the game at 6 in the bottom of the inning on Diaz's RBI single, but the Wolfpack regained the lead again off pitcher Travis Burge (1-1) in the sixth. With the bases loaded, Corona pushed a short liner over the pitcher's mound in the infield. Four Seminole players converged on the ball but could not make a play. Umpires discussed the possibility of the infield fly rule but determined it was not a pop fly.

North Carolina State added an RBI single in the seventh to open an 8-6 lead. FSU got a run back in the ninth on Shane Robinson's RBI single, but Rye lined out to third baseman Matt Mangini to end the game.

"We came out here, and there was one thing on our mind and that is ‘just fight like heck,'" Diaz said. "We gave 100 percent every pitch."

Despite going 2-for-5 with an RBI and run scored, Robinson failed to produce in his other at-bats. The All-American left five runners on base, grounding out with two men on in the fifth and hitting into a bases-loaded inning-ending double play in the seventh. Robinson did steal two bases, giving him 99 for his career which set a new school record.

FSU took a 2-1 lead in the second on Dennis Guinn's second home run of the tournament and Diaz's sacrifice fly. N.C. State took the lead back with two runs in the third.

Rye, Buster Posey, and Ryne Malone, the 2-3-4 hitters for Florida State were 1-for-11 with one RBI and one run.


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