Saturday May 31, 2008FSU Eliminates Baseball From NCAA Regionals
Top-seeded Florida State (49-11) used a season-high 25-hit offensive barrage to oust second-seeded Florida (34-24), 17-11, from the NCAA Tallahassee Regional at Dick Howser Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Seminoles overcame a 5-2 deficit with a seven-run, fifth-inning outburst before the Gators answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame to even the score. FSU moved in front with a run in the sixth and expanded its lead with five runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth to stay alive and end UF’s season. Florida State will face the loser of tonight’s winner’s bracket contest between Tulane (38-20-1) and Bucknell (30-22-2) tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Led by freshman Tyler Holt (4-for-6, two runs) and sophomore Jason Stidham (4-for-5, two runs), all nine Seminole starters had at least one hit. Eight players turned in multiple-hit outings, including junior Tony Delmonico (2-for-5, four RBI, three-run homer, three runs), junior Tommy Oravetz (3-for-5, three RBI) and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year junior Buster Posey (2-for-4, two-run homer). Junior right-hander Elih Villanueva (7-2) threw six innings in relief of sophomore lefty Matt Fairel (3.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R) to earn the victory. For Florida, sophomore Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) (2-for-4) drove in four runs and belted a game-tying three-run homer in the fifth, sophomore Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) was 3-for-4 with three runs and senior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.) tallied three RBI. Six Gator pitchers were pressed into service, with sophomore Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.) (0-2) on the hook for the defeat.
The Gators drew first blood in the home part of the first on a two-out RBI single into left field by den Dekker. Senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) stroked a single with one down through the left side and moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by sophomore Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.). McArthur went to third on a wild pitch from Fairel and freshman Josh Adams (Jacksonville , Fla.) walked on four pitches for runners on the corners. den Dekker sliced a 1-1 offering from Fairel to give UF an early lead.
Florida tacked on two more runs in the second to build a 3-0 advantage. Pisani and freshman Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) began the frame with consecutive doubles to switch places and Cooper swiped third base for his fifth theft. Sophomore Buddy Munroe (Miami, Fla.) followed with an RBI grounder to bring in his teammate.
The Seminoles used a sac fly by Stidham in the third to get on the scoreboard. Sophomore Ohmed Danesh had led off with a double off junior right-hander Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.) and Holt stroked a single into left for a pair of runners aboard. After Stidham flew out to left to score Danesh, Keating caught Holt in a run-down for his second pickoff of the game. Posey punched a single and den Dekker robbed senior Jack Rye of potential extra bases with a leaping grab against the center-field wall.
Florida answered in its turn at bat with two more runs without any hits. Figueroa opened with a walk but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Adams. den Dekker earned a free pass and Townsend was plunked to load the bases. Pisani’s fielder’s choice scored Adams and an errant throw by shortstop Delmonico enabled den Dekker to come in with the Gators’ fifth run.
Oravetz delivered a two-out RBI single into right for a 5-2 FSU deficit in the fourth inning. Senior Dennis Guinn was hit by a pitch to start things off before Delmonico’s grounder forced him out at second. A groundout by freshman Stuart Tapley (3-for-6, two RBI) advanced Delmonico and Oravetz cashed in on a 3-2 offering.
The Seminoles sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth and seized a 9-5 lead with seven runs on seven hits and two walks. Holt and Stidham opened with back-to-back singles and Posey walked to load the bases. Rye stroked an RBI single down the left-field line and Guinn walked to narrow the gap to 5-4. Delmonico evened the score with an RBI single into right field that ended the afternoon for Keating (4.0 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 3 K, 2 BB). Tapley put Florida State on top with an infield single that ricocheted off sophomore pitcher Kyle Mullaney’s (Jacksonville, Fla.) glove and Oravetz roped a two-run double into the right-field corner for an 8-5 cushion. Holt punched a one-out single to increase the margin to 9-5 and prompt another pitching change. Davis took over for Mullaney (0.1 IP, 3 H) and had the Garnet and Gold leave the bases full.
Florida countered with four runs in the bottom of the stanza, highlighted by Pisani’s three-run homer, to forge a 9-9 stalemate. Figueroa led off with a single off Villanueva, Adams walked and den Dekker collected his second hit to fill the bags. Townsend lofted a sacrifice fly to deep right center that Rye corralled for the out, as Figueroa tagged up and scored. Pisani then stepped to the dish and rocked a 2-1 pitch into the left-field bullpen for his fifth dinger to square the affair at nine runs apiece.
Tapley slashed an RBI single in the sixth to give FSU a 10-9 advantage. Guinn began the stanza with a base-hit into left off Davis and was sacrificed over by Delmonico. Tapley came through with a knock through the right side to help his squad reclaim the lead.
The Seminoles put the game out of reach with five runs in the seventh, featuring a three-run round-tripper by Delmonico, for a 15-9 bulge. Holt bunted his way on to start the stanza and raced to third on Stidham’s single to end Davis’ time on the hill. Over 1.2 innings, the southpaw (0-2) gave up four hits and three runs. Freshman Tommy Toledo (Tampa, Fla.) caught Posey looking on strikes but then allowed an RBI single to Rye for an 11-9 score. After Guinn stroked an RBI single into left field, Delmonico cleared the bases with his eighth homer to balloon FSU’s margin to six runs and cause another change. Senior Dustin Bamberg (Winter Haven, Fla.) relieved Toledo (0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R) and fanned Holt.
Townsend roped a two-run single to bring UF within 15-11 in the home part of the seventh. Junior Teddy Foster (Jacksonville, Fla.) led off with a base-hit up the middle and den Dekker doubled to right center before Townsend lined a base-hit to give him three RBI in the game and five at the tournament. In the top of the eighth, Posey cranked his team-leading 20th homer to finalize the 17-11 Florida State victory.