April 27, 2008
Cary, N.C. - Second-ranked Florida State (35-7, 19-5 ACC) dropped its second consecutive ACC series of the season for the first time since 2006 falling to third-ranked North Carolina (38-8, 18-5 ACC) 2-1 in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 3,218 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The loss was the first for the Garnet and Gold in four extra inning games this year.
After both teams combined for 30 hits on Saturday night, FSU and UNC managed just seven hits in the series finale.
Stephen Cardullo was responsible for the only Seminole run in the game as he laced a double down the right field line in the third plating freshman Mike McGee who reached on one of four Tar Heel errors on Sunday.
Tyler Holt registered walks in his first three plate appearances to extend his streak of reaching base to 42 straight games. He also collected a hit to leadoff the tenth. Buster Posey and Jason Stidham each recorded a hit in the loss.
Elih Villanueva (4-2) pitched a gem in game three as the junior right hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before North Carolina finally recorded a hit. With 93 pitches thrown through nine innings of work, the Miami, Fla., native started the bottom of the tenth and issued a leadoff walk to Chad Flack on four pitches. It was the first walk given up by Villanueva all game.
The walk would close the book on a wonderful outing by Villanueva as head coach Mike Martin went to the bullpen and called on left hander John Gast. Gast gave up a base hit down the right field line to Kyle Seager moving Flack to third. To set up a force out at home, Tim Federowicz was walked intentionally loading the bases with nobody out. Designated hitter Mark Fleury stepped in and walked on four pitches driving in Flack for the winning run and a one-run Tar Heel victory.
Villanueva suffered the loss as the junior right hander gave up two runs on two hits in nine plus innings of work. He struck out three and walked just one on 97 pitches. He faced the minimum through six registering eight 1-2-3 innings. Villanueva threw single-digit pitches in five of the nine innings that he completed.
A Tar Heel error in the top of the third led to the first run of the game for an early 1-0 Seminole advantage. McGee reached on a two base throwing error by UNC shortstop Garrett Gore and came around to score a batter later on Cardullo's double down the right field line. It was the fourth hit and second RBI of the series for Cardullo who was making his fourth start of the season at third. The Seminoles continued to threaten in the inning loading the bases on back-to-back walks by Holt and Stidham, but UNC starter Matt Harvey got out of the inning getting Posey to ground into an inning ending double play.
Despite giving up just one hit on the afternoon, Harvey's day would come to a close after the freshman right hander issued consecutive walks to Cardullo and Holt bringing his walk total to a season-high six. Brian Moran came on and induced a groundout off the bat of Stidham to keep the FSU lead at one.
Villanueva was perfect through four innings before the Tar Heels finally recorded a base runner courtesy of the first Seminole error of the game. Flack sent a groundball to Tony Delmonico at short who threw high over to Dennis Guinn at first pulling his foot off the bag. Kyle Seager then hit into a fielder's choice groundout before Tim Federowicz popped into a double play to end the inning.
UNC broke through with its first hit of the ball game as Dustin Ackley led off the bottom of the seventh with a single through the right side. The Tar Heels tried to advance Ackley to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Shelton but Cardullo quickly got to the ball and threw on to Delmonico to get the force out at second. Following a strikeout of Tim Federoff, Flack was hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second with two outs.
It was the first time all game the Tar Heels put a runner at second. Seager, the ACC leader in RBIs, added to his season total as he tied the game at one looping a single to left center scoring Shelton. That was all the Heels would get as Villanueva got Federowicz to fly out to center to end the inning.
Villanueva became the second FSU pitcher to take a no-hitter into the seventh inning this year as McGee held Duquesne hitless until the seventh back on Sunday, February 24 in his first start as a Seminole.
The Garnet and Gold made some noise with one out in the eighth as Stidham and Posey reached on back-to-back base hits off Moran. Stidham dropped a single to left center and moved to third as Posey poked a hit to right. The threat would go no further as Rye grounded into the third Seminole double play of the afternoon to put a close to the Seminole eighth.
FSU got a runner to third in the ninth with two outs but it was to no avail as Rob Wooten registered a fly out to center off the bat of Cardullo.
The Seminoles would get the leadoff batter aboard to start the tenth as Holt singled through the right side of the infield. But the hit would be quickly erased as the Tar Heels turned their fourth double play of the game on a grounder off the bat of Stidham.
Florida State will continue its current eight-game road trip with a pair of mid-week contests in DeLand, Fla. against Stetson University beginning Tuesday, April 29. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Melching Field at Conrad Park. Fans can catch all the action over the internet as A-Sun TV and gametracker will be available for the contest. The game can also be heard live over the radio on 1270 the Team with Tom Block providing all the play-by-play action.