The Seminoles out-hit the Buccaneers 14-8 and scored in five of the eight innings they came to bat to earn the mid-week victory before welcoming the Miami Hurricanes for a three-game series this weekend in one of the top rivalries in all of college baseball.
Hunter Scantling gained the win in relief of Tyler Everett and improved his record to 2-2. Scantling entered in the second after Everett pitched a 1-2-3 first inning after his father, Jimmy Everett who is battling ALS himself, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Scantling pitched five innings, allowed two runs and struck out a career-high seven batters in his second longest outing of the season.
Seminole head coach Mike Martin was driven to tears by the pre-game salute to Jimmy Everett.
"It's the most emotional experience I've had since I've been at Florida State," the 31st year head coach said following the game. "I can honestly say that there are a lot of things that you don't understand (about the disease) and that's certainly one of them.
Martin was also moved by the one inning pitching performance of Tyler Everett.
"I thought about that; about how he would respond," said Martin. "He went out there and pitched like Tyler Everett. Like his daddy being the outstanding coach that he is expected him to do. He went out there and pitched extremely well and got us in the dugout. He set the tone."
Offensively, the Seminoles were led by designated hitter Stuart Tapley who had three hits and three RBI and right fielder James Ramsey who also had three hits and three RBI.
"It was a game that we had some big hits and we had some timely hitting," said Seminole head coach Mike Martin. "
Tapley got the Seminoles on the scoreboard with his fifth home run of the season with two outs in the first inning to give Florida State a 2-0 lead. Mike McGee, who singled up the middle to reach base, scored ahead of Tapley on the home run.
"Tapley's home run certainly was big," said Martin. "It certainly was nice to have Tapley start us off that way."
Florida State pushed two runs across in both the second and fourth inning to increase its lead to 6-1.
In the second inning Ramsey plated two runs with a single to right to score third baseman Sherman Johnson and second baseman Devin Travis. Johnson had reached base on a single while Travis slammed a double into right center field. Travis scored a team-high three runs in the win.
The Seminoles scored two runs after loading the bases as the first three Seminoles that came to the plate in the inning all singled in the fourth inning. McGee earned an RBI as he was hit in the helmet by a pitch (to score catcher Rafael Lopez) and Tapley earned his third RBI on the night on a fielders' choice ground out (which scored centerfielder Tyler Holt).
Florida State chased Buccaneer starter Stew Brase (2-3) in the in the bottom of the fifth as it loaded the bases with one out. Travis reached on an infield single and Ramsey and Lopez both earned walks to load the bases. Travis scored on a passed ball by catcher Nick Chinners to make the score 7-1 and Holt gained his first RBI of the night on an infield groundout that scored Lopez.
After five full innings the Seminoles led 8-1.
Charleston Southern touched Scantling for its second run of the game on leftfielder Tom Burkett's fifth home run of the season to lead off the top of the sixth inning and make the score 8-2.
The Seminoles pushed two more runs across the plate in the sixth to increase their lead to 10-2. Johnson skewered his 10th double of the season into right center to score Tapley who led off the inning with a single and Travis earned his first RBI of the night on a sacrifice fly to left to score first baseman Jayce Boyd.
The Buccaneers closed the gap to 10-4 on a pinch-hit two-run home run by Derek Smith. His shot to left scored Bentley Christmas who had reached base on a walk. Smith's home run came off of Seminole relief pitcher Tye Buckley.
Florida State closed out the scoring with two runs in the eighth. The Seminoles benefited in their last at-bat on run scoring doubles by both Ramsay (to score Travis) and by Lopez (to score Ramsay).
The Seminole baseball team in conjunction with the Florida State Department of Athletics and ALS Association Florida Chapter hosted the game on ALS Awareness night. The disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Jimmy Everett is battling the disease.
In honor of this special event, the Seminole players and coaches wore special red jerseys. Fans still have a chance to bid on this authentic gear as the jerseys which are being auctioned off for one week on Seminoles.com. The auction began Wednesday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. and runs through Wednesday, April 28 at 3:00 p.m.
Martin looked ahead to a big weekend series against Miami after an emotional night against Charleston Southern.
"There's no question it's the biggest weekend of the season for us. No doubt this is the biggest weekend of the regular season. There will be a lot of excitement and it will be interesting to see how we play. It's certainly right up there with the biggest rivalries. When you say Florida State and Miami obviously you are looking at two schools that might be 500 miles apart but it's pretty tough to beat this baseball rivalry. There won't be a seat available."