Florida State (31-4, 10-2) rallied from a 4-0 deficit to capture its fourth consecutive ACC series of the season downing NC State (24-10, 9-6) 6-5 on Sunday afternoon. The Seminoles trailed by four after five innings but took the lead with a five-run sixth thanks in large part to a two-run homer by Dennis Guinn and a bases clearing double by Brandon Reichert. Reichert's hit with one out in the sixth gave the Seminoles the lead for good.
"That was a good series," said head coach Mike Martin. "It took everything that we could muster to win those two ball games. A credit to them because we have an experience ball club."
Casey Whitmer (1-0) pitched 1.1 innings in relief to earn his first victory of the season, while Danny Rosen set down all five batters he faced, including three on strikeouts, for his fourth save of the season.
"Casey Whitmer and Danny Rosen did an outstanding job," stated Martin. "I was very pleased with the way they pitched. Casey came in and kept us in the ball game and of course Danny closed it up."
Reichert finished the game with three hits in four at-bats including that game changing three-RBI double in the fifth. The senior first baseman capped off a great weekend as he hit .583 (7-for-12) with a home run, three doubles and seven RBI's against the Wolfpack.
"No question that Guinn and Reichert had some big hits," said Martin. "Dennis' home run kind of ignited our offense and Brandon, for the second game this weekend, got the go ahead run. It was a good job of hitting by Reichert. He didn't waste anytime; he got his pitch early and took advantage of it."
Both teams had their chances to push across some early runs, but didn't capitalize as the Seminoles and Wolfpack combined to leave nine runners on base through the first three innings.
NC State was first to strike in the fourth on a pair of home runs to take a 4-0 lead. Designated hitter Mike Roskopf started things off with a solo shot over the left field wall for his second dinger of the series. Three batters later and runners on first and second with one out, second baseman Drew Martin connected on his first round tripper of the season to give the Wolfpack a four-run advantage. The two home runs off Seminole starter Ryan Strauss were the first two given up by the junior right hander all season.
Strauss' afternoon came to a close three more batters later marking his shortest outing as a starter this season. He lasted just 3.2 innings giving up four runs on seven hits. Strauss walked a season-high four batters, while striking out two.
Whitmer came out of the pen and got Ryan Pond to hit into a fielder's choice groundout to end the inning.
Florida State finally got on the board in the top of the sixth on a two-run homer off the bat of Guinn. Buster Posey led off the inning with a walk and after a fly out to right by Jack Rye, Guinn blasted his third home run of the season over the wall in left to cut the Wolfpack lead to 4-2. Jason Stidham then drew a one-out walk ending the afternoon for NC State starter Jimmy Gillheeney.
Gillheeney kept the Seminoles scoreless through the first five innings, the longest period without scoring a run in a ball game for Florida State all year. The freshman left hander lasted 5.1 innings giving up three runs on five hits.
The Wolfpack bullpen then gave up back-to-back walks in the sixth to load the bases for Reichert. Reichert took the first pitch he saw from reliever Joey Cutler and hit it down the line in right for a stand-up, bases clearing double. The hit gave the Seminoles their first lead of the game at 5-4.
"The hit felt good," said Reichert. "It seems like it's someone different that's coming through in the clutch every game. I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time, and got the right pitch in the right situation."
FSU added a run in the eighth to make the score 6-4. With two outs, Reichert registered his third consecutive hit lacing a single through the left side of the infield. Thomas would drive in Reichert with his first a hit of the afternoon, a double to the wall in left.
"Our team is one of the toughest teams I have ever played with," explained Reichert. "We did a good job of chipping way today to get our selves in a position to take the lead and eventually win."
The Seminole run in the eighth was huge as NC State got a run back in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI double by pinch hitter Vince Gutierrez. Dallas Poulk drew a one-out walk off FSU reliever Brian Chambers and came around to score on the double by Gutierrez to make the score 6-5.
Rosen entered the game in the eighth and got the final two outs via a strike out and a ground out. The junior right hander went back out on the mound for the bottom of the ninth and closed out the game to earn his fourth save of the season. Rosen got the Wolfpack in order in the ninth striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Chambers pitched effectively out of the bullpen working 2.1 innings giving up a run on two hits. He walked two and struck out one.
"Winning on the road is one of the biggest things that you can do, especially in this league," stated Reichert. "Playing a tough team like NC State, we knew how tough they were going to be coming in here and they proved us right because those last two games were both down to the wire."
Florida State will return home after a seven game road swing to face Jacksonville on Tuesday, April 10 at 6:00 pm. The Seminoles will throw right hander Bo O'Dell, who will be making his fourth start of the season. Fans can follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.
Seminoles rally past Wolfpack 6-5
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