TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Senior Ryan Strauss pitched six innings of scoreless relief and seniors Buster Posey and Jack Rye hit long home runs to lead Florida State to an 11-4 victory over Wichita State and into the College World Series for the first time since 2000. The Seminoles won the best two-out-of-three games series by a 2-1 margin after losing the first game. The Seminoles outscored the Shockers 25-8 in their two victories after losing the first game 10-7.
It marks the 19th trip to the CWS for Florida State and the 13th under head coach Mike Martin. It marks the third time the Seminoles have advanced to the CWS out of the Super Regional format which was instituted in 1999.
The Seminoles scored six runs in their first at bat in the top of the first inning. A three-run home run by Rye scored shortstop Jason Stidham and Posey to make the score 3-0. After three consecutive walks to first basman Dennis Guinn, left fielder Mike McGee and designated hitter Stephen Cardullo, the bases were cleared for the second time in the inning on a three-run double to left center field by second baseman Tommy Oravetz to make the score 6-0.
The double by Oravetz chased out Wichita State starter Anthony Capra (9-1) with two outs and six runs across the plate. It was the shortest outing of Capra's career as a starter. Capra was replaced by Tim Kelley who recorded the final out of the inning as he got Stidham to fly out to left.
Wichita State got two runs back in the second inning on a two-run home run by centerfielder Andy Dirks. Shocker left fielder Kenny Williams, who singled one batter earlier, scored ahead of Dirks on the blast to straight-away centerfield.
The Shockers closed the gap to two as they added two runs in the third inning to make the score 6-4. After two quick outs shortstop Dusty Coleman reached on a walk and second baseman Josh Workman reached base as he was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Josh Weber, the Wichita State catcher, hit a line drive single to right field to score both Coleman and Workman.
Seminole starter Geoff Parker was replaced after three complete innings as he allowed four runs (all earned) while striking out four and walking two. The four earned runs allowed tied his season high. He was replaced by Strauss who retired the first six batters he faced in his first two innings pitched. In six innings of relief he faced one batter over the minimum as he walked one batter (who was erased on a stolen base attempt) and allowed one hit as he retired the final seven batters of the game. The win improved his record to 10-1 on the season.
Florida State extended its lead to 9-4 on a two-run home run by Posey in the seventh inning. The home run was his career-high 26th of the season and moved him into a tie for first nationally. Posey's 26 home runs are tied for the seventh best single season total in school history.
The Seminoles scored one run each in the eighth and ninth innings. Ohmed Danesh, Florida State's designated hitter, slammed a double to drive home third baseman Stuart Tapley in the eighth and Guinn added an RBI single in the ninth.
The Seminoles will face Stanford in the first round of the CWS on Saturday at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
NoleDigest Top Story of 2008 #7
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