Second-ranked Florida State (42-9, 20-4) earned its first three-game road sweep of the season as the Seminoles held on for a 3-2 victory over Maryland (25-27, 7-20) on Sunday afternoon at Shipley Field on the campus of the University of Maryland. FSU starter Danny Rosen struck out a career-high 12 batters in 7.1 innings as the junior right hander picked up his first win for the Seminoles as a starter.
Rosen faced just two batters over the minimum through the first seven innings as he gave up just two hits while striking out 11. He struck out three batters in the first and third innings and set down the final two batters in the seventh on strikes. He started the eighth striking out Will Greenberg as he set the season-high for strikeouts in a ball game by a Seminole pitcher passing Bryan Henry, who struck out 11 against Tennessee back on opening day.
The Miami, Fla. native finished the game allowing just two runs on four hits. He did not walk a single batter through 7.1 innings as he moved to 2-1 on the year.
Tony Thomas, Jr and Mark Hallberg led all batters in the series finale with two hits each, while Hallberg and Jack Rye both extended their respective hit streaks to 15 straight.
The win gave Florida State its best start in school history through 49 games as the Seminoles moved their record to 42-9 on the year. The win also was No. 20 in ACC play marking the third time in school history that the Garnet and Gold reached the 20-win plateau in a single season. FSU went 22-2 in 1999 and then 20-4 in 2001.
Game three had an unusual feel at the beginning as both starting pitchers came into Sunday's game leading their respective team in saves. Florida State's Rosen and Maryland's Brett Cecil entered the game tied for third in the ACC with eight saves a piece.
Florida State spoiled a golden opportunity to score the first run of the game in the top of the third as the Seminoles loaded the bases with two outs on Cecil. The junior southpaw got out of the inning unscathed as he induced a groundout to first by Rye to end the threat.
Travis Anderson opened the Seminole fourth with a double down the line in left for his third double on the weekend. After Jason Stidham was hit by a pitch, Cecil once again got out of the inning with a pair of pop ups and a ground out to third.
Thomas manufactured the Seminoles first run of the game on some head's up base running in the top of the fifth. Thomas executed a bunt single down the third base line to lead off the inning. Hallberg followed with a sacrifice bunt to the exact spot towards third advancing Thomas to second. With nobody covering the bag at third, Thomas raced around second and induced a wild throw at third by Terrapin first baseman Gerry Spessard to score on the play giving the Seminoles a 1-0 lead.
The Seminoles added another run in the top of seven on a two out RBI single by Hallberg. D'Vontrey Richardson started the inning with a single to right center and moved to second on Brandon Reichert's sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Hallberg took the second pitch from Cecil and found a hole through the right side of the infield. Richardson raced around third and slid safely in front of the throw to the plate by Maryland right fielder Brandon Mise to give the Seminoles a two-run cushion.
FSU increased its lead to 3-0 thanks to a Terrapin fielding error. With one out and Buster Posey on second after a lead off walk, Maryland went to the bullpen and brought on Brad Taylor. Tommy Oravetz stepped in for his first plate appearance of the afternoon and sent a bouncer to third which went right under the glove of Mike Murphy. The ball trickled into short left allowing enough time for Posey to cross the plate without a throw.
Cecil's day came to a close after registering career-high's in innings pitched and strikeouts. The junior from Dunkirk, Md., went 7.1 innings allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits. He struck out six and walked two in suffering the loss.
Maryland finally broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth off Rosen. The junior right hander struck out the first batter of the inning before giving up back-to-back singles. Florida State went to the bullpen and brought on Brian Chambers. After getting a groundout to third for the second out of the inning, Dan Benick was able to sneak a single off the glove of a diving Thomas at second to plate Steve Braun and Joe Palumbo to cut the FSU lead to 3-2. Benick tried to get into scoring position as he attempted to steal second, but the Seminoles were ready for it with a pitch out. Posey threw on to Thomas to nail Benick at second for the final out of the inning.
Luke Tucker pitched the ninth and set down the Terrapins in order to register his first save of the season. Tucker recorded the Seminoles' 13th strikeout on the afternoon getting Spessard swinging as FSU held on for its first three-game road sweep of the season.
Florida State will return home for its final three-game series of the regular season as they welcome the Clemson Tigers to Mike Martin Field beginning Friday, May 11. Game one will start at 7:00 pm, while Saturday's game will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports Net at 1:00 pm as the ACC Game of the Week. Sunday is senior day at the ballpark with first pitch slated for 1:00 pm. Fans can also follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.
Rosen leads FSU to victory with 12 Ks
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