DICK HOWSER STADIUM
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY|
Despite falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning on Sunday, Florida State rallied back with a six-run seventh inning to down Virginia Military Institute 10-3 in front of 1452 fans in the final game of the series in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mark Sauls (1-0) got his first career win throwing 4.0 innings of relief of Trent Peterson. Sauls shut out the Keydets, and limited them to only one hit while striking out three batters.
VMI jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first when Matt Smith led off the game by reaching on an error by Eddie Martinez-Esteve, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error by Tony Richie, and scored on a single to center by Brandon Massenburg. Back to back singles by Kelly Sweppenheiser and Justin Briggs brought home Massenburg before Peterson struck out the next two batters. A single by Elliot Erbe brought home Briggs to give the Keydets a 3-0 lead.
FSU finally got on the board in the fourth inning when Jerrod Brown led off with a walk, advanced to third on a double by Blake Balkcom, and scored on a balk to cut the lead to 3-1. The Seminoles tied it up in the bottom of the sixth when Stephen Drew doubled to left to score Chris Hart who had walked and Bryan Zech who reached on a fielder's choice.
The Noles exploded for six runs in the next inning when Martinez-Esteve led off with a single followed by another single by Richie. Brown then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move both runners over before Derrick Smith walked to load the bases with one out. Balkcom gave FSU the lead with a single to left that scored Martinez-Esteve and Richie. After Hart struck out for the second out of the inning, Zech singled in Balkcom and advanced to third when a throw from rightfield ended up in the VMI dugout which also allowed Smith to score. Drew then nailed a triple to center that scored the fifth run of the inning. A single by McQuade that scored Drew put the exclamation point on the rally that gave FSU a 9-3 lead.
Florida State picked up another run in the eighth inning when Daniel Wardell crushed a triple off the wall in center, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Richmond.
FSU improved to 3-0 on the season while the Keydets fell to 0-3. The Seminoles have the week off before traveling to California for a three-game series with the Stanford Cardinal next weekend.
Section B Online Player of the Game: Mark Sauls (4.0 ip, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K)