March 15, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida State (15-1, 5-0) recorded its fifth straight win over Georgia Tech (13-3, 3-2) with an 11-2 victory in game two of a three game set on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. Matt Fairel pitched eight innings to earn his fourth victory of the season, while Jason Stidham extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a three-run blast in the eighth.
Fairel was once again in control on the mound in his fourth career start as the sophomore southpaw registered career-highs in innings pitched (8.0) and strikeouts (9). The Winter Haven, Fla., native allowed just four hits in the game and at one point retired 11 straight batters. It wasn't until two outs in the fourth that the Yellow Jackets picked up their first hit of the ball game. Eight of the nine strikeouts posted by Fairel came in the final four innings as he finished the night striking out the side in the eighth.
"He did a tremendous job," said head coach Mike Martin on Fairel's performance against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday night. "This was a guy that came out in the fall and was determined to win spot in the rotation. He pitched very well for us tonight."
"I spotted by fastball and then later on my off speed stuff started coming along," added Fairel. "My defense also played real well behind me tonight. I think what has worked for me is that I've been able to get ahead with my fastball and spot by changeup and curveball. I have really just trusted my stuff."
Stidham recorded his second four-RBI game of the season, while Tyler Holt drove in a career-high three runs. Mike McGee was the only Seminole with multiple hits on Saturday night going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. With the win, the Seminoles have now captured 12 of their last 13 ACC series dating back to the final series of the 2006 season.
Florida State scored first on a two-run double to right by McGee in the bottom of the second. Tony Delmonico started the inning as he was hit by a pitch by Georgia Tech starter Eddie Burns (2-1). Dennis Guinn followed with a walk and both advanced a base on a deep fly out to the left field wall by Ohmed Danesh. Delmonico and Guinn would score one batter later on McGee's double to right. The freshman designated hitter rifled a shot passed Yellow Jacket first baseman Tony Plagman for his first hit of the series and fifth double of the season.
The Yellow Jackets cut the lead in half in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by designated hitter Luke Murton. Derek Dietrich led off the inning with a double to deep left center that carried over the head of Holt. He moved to third on a fly out by Jason Haniger and scored on Murton's single through the left side. The run snapped Fairel's scoreless innings streak at 14.1 innings.
The Garnet and Gold pushed their lead to 6-1 with four more runs in their half of the fifth. McGee led off the inning with a single up the middle and on a perfectly timed hit and run moved to third on a single to left by Stuart Tapley. Holt was credited with the first of his three RBIs as he reached base on a fielder's choice, but an errant throw by the Yellow Jacket shortstop kept Tapley on the base path and moved both runners up a base. Tapley scored on a groundout to second by Stidham, while Holt crossed the plate on a single to center by Buster Posey. Delmonico would drive in the final run of the inning off Burns with a double down the left field line to score Posey.
Holt and Stidham highlighted a five-run eighth giving the Seminoles a 10-run advantage at 11-1. With the bases loaded, Holt singled to left scoring Guinn and pinch hitter Luke Smierciak who reached on a walk and hit-by-pitch, respectively. Stidham followed with his fourth home run of the season and 10th of his career. The sophomore second baseman took a 2-1 offering from Yellow Jacket reliever Michael Hutts and deposited it over the fence in right for a three-run shot.
Ryan Vigue entered the game in the ninth for his fourth appearance of the season. He faced five batters and gave up just one run on two hits. Vigue got Plagman to fly out to Smierciak in left for the final out of the ballgame.
The win also moved head coach Mike Martin within one game of career win number 1,500. In his 29th season, the legendary ball coach has amassed a career record of 1,499-507-4
Florida State will return to the diamond on Sunday, March 16 at 1:00 pm for the final game of a three-game set against Georgia Tech. The game will be broadcast live over the internet on ACC Select, while fans can also catch the action on gametracker and over the radio on 100.7 FM with Eric Luallen providing the play-by-play action.