Jan. 31, 2003
St. Petersburg, Fla. - The second-ranked Florida State Seminoles (1-0) began their 2003 campaign with a 12-4 win over the Virginia Military Institute (0-1) in front of a crowd of 1,208 at Florida Power Park Friday night. Junior catcher Tony Richie went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. He also threw out 2-of-3 Keydet base runners on steal attempts.
Senior left-hander Matt Lynch got the win for FSU and improved his career record to 30-4. VMI's Josh Owens took the loss after pitching one inning of relief and giving up four runs.
The Seminoles took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Richie opened the scoring as he led off the inning with a double to left and then scored on freshman Derrick Smith's double off the fence in right. Jerrod Brown and Smith scored the final two runs of the inning on a pair of balks by VMI starter Duke Acors.
VMI scored their only runs of the game with four runs in the top of the third. Andy Barden's three-run homer to left-center to highlighted the inning.
FSU answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Smith got his second double of the game and scored on Blake Balkcom's RBI-single up the middle. Bryan Zech then plated Balkcom with a single. Matt Sauls later scored on a balk and Zech followed with a steal of home.
Florida State had a five-run scoring burst in the bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach. Richie's second double of the game drove in Tony McQuade and Stephen Drew. Brown brought home Eddy Matinez-Esteve on a sacrifice fly to left. Balkcom's knocked in Richie with a base hit and later scored on Matt Sauls' double to center.
The two teams will meet again Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Junior right-hander Marc LaMacchia will get the start for the Seminoles. The series concludes on Sunday with another 1:30 p.m. first pitch.