Cardinal Baseball Drops Series Finale 7-6

The Seminoles bounced back from two difficult losses the last two days to defeat the Stanford Cardinal, 7-6 Sunday afternoon. Freshman pitcher Mark Jecmen rebounded with a solid outing, but the defense and the bullpen were unable to hold a 4-1 lead.

This time it was the Seminoles turn to come back.  Down 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Florida State scored six unanswered runs over the next four innings and then held on for a 7-6 victory.  FSU rightfielder Mike Futrell had a huge game blasting three solo home runs to lead the Seminoles offense.  Most of the offense for the Cardinal this afternoon came from Chris O'Riordan (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Jason Cooper (2-for-4, 3 RBI).

Stanford jumped on the board early with two scores in the top of the first inning.  O'Riordan and Sam Fuld led off the game with consecutive base hits and then both came across to score on a single off the bat of Cooper. Florida State cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning on a Tony Richie RBI single off Stanford starter Mark Jecmen (4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO).  But unlike last Sunday, Jecmen settled down and showed signs why he could be a very special pitcher here on the Farm.  He cruised through the second, third, and fourth innings retiring 9 of the 10 batters he faced.  The Cardinal hitters meanwhile added to the lead as they put across single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.  Donny Lucy drove home one of the runs with a groundout while Stanford's fourth run of the afternoon came home on a double from Cooper scoring Ryan Garko.

The Seminoles had their big inning in the bottom of the fifth putting across four runs to take a 5-4 lead.  Futrell hit his first home run of the game with one out to make the score 4-2.  The following hitter, Bryan Zech, then struck out but reached first base when Garko dropped the ball.  That little opening was all Florida State needed as they went on to get three more hits in the inning, knocking Jecmen out of the game and taking the lead for good.   FSU added an insurance run in the sixth inning on Futrell's second homer of the game.  This coming after first baseman Donny Lucy dropped a routine pop-up in foul territory to prolong the at-bat.  Futrell then hit his final homer of the afternoon in the eighth inning, extending the lead to 7-4.

Stanford would not quit though as they mounted a rally in the top of the ninth.  Scott Dragicevich led off the inning by reaching on an error and after Andy Topham struck out,O'Riordan belted his first home run of the season, a blast to right center, cutting the Seminole lead to 7-6.  Sam Fuld then stepped up and singled bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.  But Ryan Garko flied out and then Fuld was thrown out trying to steal second with Jason Cooper in the batters box ending the game.

Game Notes :
* Blair Varnes, FSU's #1 starter, made a relief appearance today.  Varnes, who was knocked out of the game in the first inning on Friday after giving up six runs, threw much better today tossing 3 2/3 innings while giving up only one run and three hits and was credited with the win.

* After going just 2-for-12 in the Fullerton series last weekend, Chris O'Riordan turned things around and went 6-for-15 with a home run this weekend.

* Freshman Donny Lucy started all three games this weekend for the Cardinal and went 5-for-13 with 7 RBI.

* Three of FSU's seven runs this afternoon were unearned.

Stanford          2 0 0  1 1 0  0 0 2   -   6   12   3
Florida State     1 0 0  0 4 1  0 1 x   -   7   10   1

The Cardinal return home this Tuesday evening for a single game versus the BYU Cougars.  First pitch is scheduled for 6pm.


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