May 6, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) - On the opening night of a big in-state series the Seminoles once again rode the left arm of staff ace Sean Gilmartin to victory. Florida State's national pitcher of the year candidate reached double digit strikeouts for the fourth time in 11 starts fanning 11 and walking just one. He raised his record to 8-1 throwing seven shutout innings as Florida State (35-11) took the opening game of the series versus UCF (28-18) 8-0.
"That was a good baseball game," said FSU Head Coach Mike Martin. "I am just very pleased with the way we played. Obviously we all know the story of the game, that's Sean Gilmartin. You just don't go out there and do what he did and act like it's expected. That young man had a very good outing."
The California native had a good game indeed. Gilmartin threw 105 pitches, 71 went for strikes. He has now fanned 30 batters in his last three starts and he has lowered his ERA to 1.36.
"Everything felt good," said Gilmartin of his outing. "The ball was coming out...felt good coming out of my hand and everything was where I wanted it to be."
Gilmartin kept the Seminoles in a game in which they jumped out to an early lead but failed to cash in on a few opportunities to extend the lead early on. After racing in front 3-0 after three innings, FSU stranded seven runners in the fourth, fifth and sixth before breaking the game open with a five run seventh.
"The 7, 8, 9 are the innings we try to really take over and produce the most so it was huge for us," said Ramsey. "We had a lot of great at bats and pushed the lead out a little farther."
While the story of the night may have been Gilmartin, his roommate Ramsey stole the headlines early on. After extending his ACC-leading hitting streak in the ninth inning to get to 22 and 23 games, Ramsey took all the suspense out of things early on Friday. The junior singled with two outs in the third to up his hit streak to 24 games, which ranked fourth in the nation coming into the game Friday.
Rafael Lopez opened the scoring in the second by sneaking his third homerun of the year just inside the right field foul pole. The Seminoles added on in the third when Sherman Johnson laced a two-run double to up his season total to 14 extending FSU's lead to 3-0.
The game remained 3-0 until the bottom of the seventh when the Seminoles knocked UCF starter Brian Adkins out of the game after he gave up 12 hits. Lopez singled home a run on a blooper to shallow center and then another run came in on a wild pitch to put the lead up to 5-0. A Parker Brunelle sac fly made it 6-0 Seminoles. The lead ballooned to 8-0 thanks to a two-run double off the right field screen by Devon Travis. It was his ACC-leading 20th double of the year.
The Seminoles and Knights will go back at it starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised by Sun Sports and prior to the game there will be a special ceremony during which eight FSU players will take part in a special graduation commencement program on the field with Dr. Eric Barron presiding. This was arranged to make up for the fact that these players were in Miami during last week's university-wide graduation. The players participating are: Daniel Bennett (criminology), Taiwan Easterling (social science), Tyler Everett (finance), Rafael Lopez (social science/political science), Mike McGee (political science/economics), Jack Posey (social science), Robby Scott (sociology), Robby Stahl (human sciences) and Stuart Tapley (finance).
NOTES - Florida State right fielder James Ramsey was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 team on Friday. The junior has a 3.87 GPA and is a finance major. He was one of four ACC baseball players to make the all-district first team.
Junior ace Sean Gilmartin was one of 25 pitchers named to the College Baseball Foundation's National Pitcher of the Year watch list. Four ACC pitchers were among the 25 selections.