After dropping the opening game of the tournament to Miami on Wednesday, the Seminoles tallied three straight victories to finish the weekend with a 3-1 record. FSU improved to 5-4 all-time in the ACC Championship game, while securing its first conference title in the state of North Carolina.
James Ramsey led all players with four hits in the championship game as the sophomore right fielder finished 4-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored.
The bottom three in the Seminole order drove in seven of the eight runs on Sunday. Jayce Boyd drove in two on a pair of sacrifice flies, while Devon Travis also recorded two RBI on a run scoring double in the second and a sac-fly in the eighth. Rafael Lopez drove in a team-high three runs as the junior catcher went 3-for-4 with three singles and a walk.
Tyler Holt went 2-for-5 with a double and a single in the championship game. Mike McGee unloaded on a solo home run in the eighth, his third of the tournament.
Stephen Cardullo scored three runs as he reached base on four of his five plate appearances. The senior shortstop drew three walks and was hit by a pitch.
FSU's Geoff Parker gave the Noles 4.2 solid innings as the junior right hander made his ninth start of the season. Parker did not factor in the decision as he allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out five and walked a career-high five batters.
Sean Gilmartin (7-7) came out of the bullpen for the first time this year and worked 3.1 shutout innings to pick up the victory. Gilmartin gave up just two hits and no walks, while striking out four. The Moorpark, Calif., native inherited a pair of runners with two outs in the fifth and got a ground out to first for the final out to get out of the inning.
Mike McGee closed the door on the Wolfpack in the ninth. After giving up a walk to the first batter that he faced, McGee retired the next three batters to preserve the victory for the Seminoles.
With the win, Florida State improved to 15-0 on Sundays this year including a 6-0 record on the road.
Parker got off to a bit of a shaky start in the championship game on Sunday issuing a walk to Kyle Wilson to lead off the game. But after a short visit to the mound by head coach Mike Martin, Parker got Dallas Poulk to ground into a double play on the very next pitch. Four pitches later, Parker was out of the inning getting Drew Poulk to fly out to right.
A double by Holt to open the bottom half of the first went to no avail as NC State starter Alex Sogard retired the next three Seminole batters in order to keep the game knotted at zero. Sherman Johnson moved Holt to third on a groundout to second, but Holt would be stranded at third as Sogard got McGee swinging on strikes and Ramsey to fly out to left to end the inning.
NC State grabbed the early lead as Andrew Ciencin led off the top of the second with a solo shot to left. The sophomore third baseman deposited the first pitch from Parker on top of the grassy hill in left for his 10th home run of the season to give the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead.
The Wolfpack continued to threaten in the second putting runners at first and second with two outs, but Parker got out of the jam getting Matt Bergquist to strike out on three pitches.
The lead was short lived as the Seminoles answered with two runs in the bottom of the second to take their first lead of the game at 2-1. Cardullo led off the inning drawing a walk off Sogard and moved to third on a double to left by Stuart Tapley. Boyd tied the game at one sending a sac-fly to right scoring Cardullo with Tapley taking third on the fly out. Travis followed with a double off the base of the wall in center to drive in Tapley to give the Noles the one-run advantage.
Parker retired the side in order in the third on just eight pitches as all eight went for strikes. The junior right hander opened the inning getting Wilson looking on strikes and then the Poulk cousins on a fly out to center and a line out to left.
NC State loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and managed just one run to tie the game at two runs apiece. The Wolfpack opened the fourth with back-to-back singles by Ciencin and Harold Riggins followed by a one-out walk to Pratt Maynard. Tarran Senay plated the tying run on a sac-fly to center. Parker got out of the inning without further damage as he got Bergquist to ground into a fielder's choice.
Sogard worked around a pair of walks in the bottom of the inning as the senior southpaw struck out the side. With Boyd and Lopez aboard at first and second, Sogard got Holt swinging on strikes to keep the game tied at two.
The Wolfpack regained the lead in the fifth on Ciencin's third hit in as many at-bats. Following a walk to Dallas Poulk, Ciencin found the hole through the left side with two outs plating Poulk from second to give NC State a 3-2 lead. After an intentional walk was issued to Riggins, Martin went to the bullpen and brought on Gilmartin.
Making his first relief appearance of the season and first since the 2009 ACC Championship game against Virginia, Gilmartin got the Noles out of the jam as he got Canela to groundout to first for the final out of the inning.
The Seminoles chased Sogard from the game with one out in the fifth after McGee drew a walk and Ramsey singled up the middle to put runners at the corners. Rob Chamra entered and hit Cardullo on his first offering to load the bases. The junior right hander then bounced back getting Tapley swinging on strikes and Boyd to fly out to left to keep the Wolfpack's lead intact at 3-2.
FSU left two more stranded in the sixth after back-to-back singles by Lopez and Holt. NC State once again went to the bullpen and brought on Grant Sasser (3-4). The junior southpaw got Johnson to fly out to center and McGee swinging on strikes for the final two outs of the inning.
The Seminoles recaptured the lead at 4-3 scoring a pair in the seventh. Ramsey led off the inning with a single to center and advanced to second as Cardullo drew his second walk of the game. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Tapley. Boyd stepped in and tied the game with his second sac-fly of the afternoon sending Kyle Wilson to the warning track in center to plate Ramsey for the tying run. Following an intentional walk to Travis, Lopez came through with the go ahead RBI on a two-out single to right off Sasser to bring home Cardullo.
McGee added to the Florida State lead with one swing of the bat in the eighth taking the first pitch of the inning from Sasser out of the park to center for his team leading 14th home run of the season.
The Garnet and Gold added three more runs in the eighth for the winning margin.
A scary moment occurred in the bottom of the eighth on a play at the plate. With the bases loaded and one out, Travis sent a fly ball to right that Ramsey tagged up on and headed for the plate. With the throw by right fielder Drew Poulk up the third base line, Ramsey and Wolfpack catcher Chris Schaeffer collided on the play. Ramsey scored on the play, but all eyes were on Schaeffer as he lay motionless on the field. After several minutes with emergency personal attending to Schaeffer, the Wolfpack catcher was carted off the field and taken to Moses Cone Hospital. It was reported later that Schaeffer suffered a concussion on the play and was awake and talking to medical personnel at the hospital.
With the win, Florida State receives the automatic bid from the Atlantic Coast Conference and will wait to see where they will travel for the NCAA Baseball Regional which begins Friday, June 4. ESPN will announce the 64-team field on Monday, May 31 at 12:30 p.m. EST.
For further updates on the Seminole Baseball team and the NCAA Tournament, stay tuned to www.seminoles.com.