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Florida State Grabs Game One With 5-2 Victory Over Clemson
Rafael Lopez' home run in the sixth proved to be the game-winner on Friday night.

Rafael Lopez' home run in the sixth proved to be the game-winner on Friday night.

March 20, 2009

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Seventeenth-ranked Florida State (10-7, 2-3 ACC) earned its fourth straight victory over 16th-ranked Clemson (13-5, 4-3 ACC) taking game one 5-2 Friday night on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. Three of the five runs scored in game one came on two outs as the Seminoles put together some timely hitting in handing the Atlantic Division Tigers their third conference loss of the season.

Freshman Sean Gilmartin once again turned in another fantastic performance as the Moorpark, Calif., native moved to 4-1 on the year. The southpaw worked 6.1 innings allowing just one run on six hits. Despite walking a career-high four batters, Gilmartin surpassed the seven strikeout plateau for the third consecutive game as he recorded eight strikeouts Friday night.

The hitting in game one was spread out as eight Seminoles recorded one hit. Tommy Oravetz, Stuart Tapley, Jason Stidham and Rafael Lopez each registered an RBI, but it was Lopez' solo home run in the bottom of the sixth that proved to be the game-winner.

"We got excellent pitching from Gilmartin, we got some big hits from Rafael Lopez to Stuart Tapley and a great at-bat by Tommy Oravetz there at the end," said head coach Mike Martin. "It was a good win. We just gotta be ready tomorrow."

"We had some quality at-bats tonight," added Lopez. "We needed that; we needed guys to step up both offensively and defensively. This win tonight was great for us."

"It was very impressive the way we got out there and played," added Martin. "We played solid defense and had some very good at-bats. We did some things that were impressive on the bases and it was a good solid win for us."

Florida State also got a solid outing from their bullpen as three Seminole pitchers combined to work 2.2 innings giving up just one run on two hits. Senior Jimmy Marshall worked a perfect ninth inning to pick up his fourth save in as many chances.

Gilmartin escaped early trouble in the first as the first two Tigers reached on an infield single and a walk. But the freshman southpaw registered a strikeout of Ben Paulsen and then got Kyle Parker to ground into an inning ending double play.

The Seminoles were unable to capitalize on a bases loaded situation in their half of the first. Oravetz got things started with a double off the fence in right center for his third double of the season. After a walk to Stidham, Stephen Cardullo loaded the bases on a two-out infield single to third. Clemson starter Trey Delk (1-1) would keep Florida State off the scoreboard when Lopez flew out to left for the final out of the inning.

Clemson loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the second but a big defensive play by Tapley at third helped get the Seminoles out of the jam. Tapley made a diving snag on a hard hit liner off the bat of Jason Stolz and quickly tagged the bag at third for the double play. Gilmartin took care of the rest getting Addison Johnson looking on strikes to close out the second.

"Those defensive plays early on were huge," said Gilmartin. "That built momentum for the rest of the game. We were able to turn two big double plays in the first two innings to get out of a couple jams."

Florida State struck first with a run in the third to take an early 1-0 lead. Tapley drew a two out walk, his second in as many at-bats, and scored from first on an RBI double by Stidham.

The Tigers tied the game in the fifth with one swing of the bat. Johnson led off the inning with a solo shot over the fence in right center for his first home run of the season. It was the fifth home run given up by Gilmartin this year.

The game wasn't tied for long as the Seminoles retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth with another two-out base hit. This time it was Tapley who hit an RBI single to center plating Holt for a 2-1 advantage. Holt picked up his first hit of the game lacing a 1-2 offering from Delk to left field. He then moved up 90 feet as Delk threw errantly over to first on a failed pickoff attempt. The error would prove costly as Holt scored two batters later on Tapley's RBI single.

Florida State extended its lead in the sixth on a home run by Lopez. The Seminole catcher greeted Tiger reliever Will Lamb with a solo shot to right for his third round tripper of the season.

"The first two pitches (in that at-bat) were fastballs," said Lopez. "I got two fastballs in my first two at-bats and did nothing with them. But then he (Lamb) came back with a low, inside curveball and I just got a good swing on it and lifted it out of the park."

Gilmartin faced two batters in the seventh before his evening came to a close. The freshman southpaw gave up a single to Stolz to lead off the inning but a balk was charged to Gilmartin moving Stolz into scoring position at second. Cardullo then made a nice defensive play in the hole at short to throw out Johnson at first keeping Stolz at second.

Martin went to the bullpen after the putout calling on John Gast, who registered a line out to left and grounder back to the mound to keep the Seminole lead at two.

Gilmartin finished the evening working 6.1 innings allowing just one run on six hits.

"I thought Sean pitched an excellent ball game," said Martin. "He made some quality pitches and I think now its time for him to look at himself as a Friday night starter and to start preparing for that."

Clemson drew within one of the Florida State lead in the eighth courtesy of the Tigers second home run of the game. After registering strikeouts in his first three at-bats, Paulsen blasted a 1-2 offering from Gast deep and out of the park to right for his team leading fourth home run of the season. Parker then laced the first pitch he saw from Gast off the wall in right for a double. After a groundout to Jeff Schaus, Florida State went to the pen for the second time in the game bringing in right hander Geoff Parker.

Parker got Sanders to ground out on a dribbler in front of the plate which Lopez pounced on and threw on to Jack Posey at first for the second out of the inning. The sophomore right hander than got pinch hitter Chris Epps swinging on strikes in a ball in the dirt, but Epps reached first and Parker moved to third on the wild pitch. But the result of that play hardly affected Parker as the Seminole pitcher got Stolz to strike out swinging to keep the Seminole lead at 3-2.

The Garnet and Gold added some insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth off Tiger reliever Tomas Cruz to take a 5-2 lead. Cardullo was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second as he successfully stole second for his first stolen base of the season. The junior shortstop then advanced to third on a nicely executed sacrifice bunt by Lopez. With a runner on first and Posey at the plate, Clemson was forced to bring the infield in. Posey hit a ball to the left of shortstop Brad Miller, who made a nice glove stop, turned and fired a strike to the plate. The ball beat Cardullo but catcher Phil Pohl could not hang on to the ball as Cardullo slide in safely for the fourth Seminole run of the game.

The Seminoles completed the scoring in the eighth as Oravetz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded bringing home Posey. The hit by pitch was the 33rd for Oravetz all-time moving him into sole possession of fifth place on school's career list.

Florida State and Clemson return to the diamond for game two of a three game series on Saturday, March 21 with first pitched scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Saturday's game will air live over the internet on ACC Select. Fans can listen to the action on 100.7 FM, while live stats will also be available via gametracker on www.seminoles.com.

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