March 9, 1998
TAMPA, Fla. - -- Freshman rightfielder Matt Diaz drove in two runs on two hits as No. 19 Florida State (15-7) defeated South Florida (9-13), 8-4, at Red McEwen Field in a game that was added this week because of four rainouts on the Seminoles schedule.
Right-hander Jon McDonald (3-2) held the Bulls to four runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched as he picked up his third straight win. He struck out three and walked four batters in his longest outing of the season.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning capped off by a two-run single to centerfield by Matt Diaz. Second baseman Brooks Badeaux and leftfielder Karl Jernigan sandwiched Jose Zabala's walk with a pair of bunt basehits to load the bases. Centerfielder Brian Cox forced Badeaux in FSU's first run with a walk and DH Kevin Cash was hit by a pitch to score Zabala. Diaz drove in Jernigan and Cox with a basehit to give Florida State a 4-0 advantage.
South Florida closed the gap with two runs as McDonald loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter in the fifth inning. Catcher Kevin Boles ripped a single to centerfield to score rightfielder Mike Pilger and DH Sean Lynch.
FSU put a three-spot on the board in the seventh inning on three basehits. Catcher Jeremy Salazar reached base with a leadoff walk and Cox and Cash followed with singles to load the bases. Terry Henderson belted a basehit to rightfield to knock in two runs, while Cash scored on a sacrifice fly by Badeaux.
The Seminoles put their final run on the board as Salazar reached on an error by the second baseman and scored on a wild pitch by USF reliever Luis Ramos in the eighth inning.
Left-hander Pete Ashley (0-3) surrendered four runs on seven hits and six walks in the loss. He struck out four batters in the five-inning outing.
Florida State will play Long Island University in the Daytona Beach Jamboree at Jackie Robinson Field tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.