March 26, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Sixth-ranked Florida State (17-4, 4-3 ACC) defeated Maryland (9-13, 2-5 ACC) 4-1 in the opening game of a three-game series Friday night on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
Outstanding pitching and some timely hitting proved to be the winning combination for the Seminoles in game one as the Garnet and Gold pushed their win streak to 37 straight over the Terrapins. With the win, head coach Mike Martin moved within four games of career win No. 1,600.
Fans were treated to an old fashion pitcher's duel on Friday with both starting pitchers going 7.1 innings. FSU's Sean Gilmartin (4-1) was once again outstanding as he held the Terrapins to just one run on six hits as he struck out seven. He faced the minimum in five innings while striking out the side in the second. For the second time this year and third time in 21 starts, the Moorpark, Calif., native did not issue a walk.
"It was good to get out early on a team like that especially against their starter who has thrown well the last two weeks," said Gilmartin. "We were fortunate enough to put two runs up in the first inning and it was pretty much all I needed."
"Gilly pitched beautiful baseball," said head coach Mike Martin. "Bennett came in, had some outstanding couple of outs. It was a big pick-up for us and Michael comes in and gets a nice save. He pitched very well. It was a much needed win for our ball club."
For the second time this year, the Seminole pitching staff did not issue a walk.
On the opposing end, Maryland's Brett Harman (3-3) was just as impressive tying a career-high with nine strikeouts. The junior right hander was pegged with the loss despite giving up just one earned run.
"Brett Harman is for real," added Martin. "That was a different Maryland team than I have seen since I have been in this league. That was a great display of baseball. They are really to be commended. Our young guys now know that life in the ACC is never easy, I don't care who you are playing. I can see how that guy stifled Georgia Tech for eight innings. That was an outstanding performance."
Stuart Tapley drove in three of the four runs with his biggest hit of the ball game coming in the eighth as he gave the Noles some breathing room unloading on a two-run shot for his third home run of the season.
"Tapley's hit gave us a little cushion so to speak," added Martin. "It's a lot different with a three run lead than it is with a one run lead (going into the ninth). Stuart did an outstanding job on that play, no question the big hit of the ball game."
Sherman Johnson tied a career-high with three hits in the game one victory.
Florida State grabbed the early on Friday scoring two runs in the bottom of the first off Harman. Both runs came with two outs in the inning as Harman got James Ramsey swinging on strikes on what would have been the third out, but Terrapin catcher Jack Cleary could not hold on to the ball allowing Ramsey to reach safely and Tyler Holt to score from third. Holt led off the inning with a walk. Ramsey then stole second and came around to score on a base hit back up the middle off the bat of Tapley to give FSU a 2-0 lead.
Ramsey laced a two-out double down the line in right in the third for his fourth two-bagger of the season. He moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch but was stranded at third as Harman got Tapley swinging on strikes for the final out of the inning.
Maryland cut the Seminole lead in half with a run in the seventh on a sac-fly to center by Matt Marquis scoring David Poutier from third. Gilmartin entered the seventh inning retiring seven straight Terrapin batters before Poutier's leadoff double to left. Brandon Padula put runners at the corners with no outs as he singled through the right side of the infield. Marquis then stepped in and drove in the first Maryland run of the game on a sacrifice fly to center. Gilmartin escaped the inning without further damage getting Matthew Murakami swinging on strikes and Dan Gentzler to groundout to third.
Jayce Boyd led off the bottom of the seventh with a double off the fence in right center, but he would be stranded on the base paths as Harman retired the next three Seminole batters in order to keep the Maryland deficit at one.
A one-out double by Maryland's Jon Wilson ended the evening for Gilmartin after 7.1 innings of work. Bennett came on in relieve and registered consecutive strikeouts to keep the lead in tact.
"You never expect a guy to go eight innings," said Martin. "At Florida State, we hope we can get six or seven out of our starters. We don't have complete games too many times. But this was a game, we truly needed to get it done and I am very proud of all the pitchers that threw tonight."
"Gilly had a great outing," said Bennett. "I came in and my main focus was to get ahead. I was trying to make it where it was my pitch and not the hitter's pitch."
Tapley extended the Seminole lead in the eighth connecting on a two-run shot over the fence in right off Maryland reliever Dan Gentzler. Harman was taken out of the game with one out in the eighth after he plunked Ramsey on the arm on a 2-2 offering.
"Well in the eighth inning with one out and Ramsey on first base, I was looking for something inside, but he left one over the plate and I was able to get my arms extended on a fastball," said Tapley.
The Seminoles return to the diamond for game two of the series against the Terrapins on Saturday, March 27 at 6:00 p.m. The game will air live on FS Florida and FS Atlantic, while fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.