May 10, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State (36-14, 19-9 ACC) could not withstand a ninth inning rally by Georgia Tech (33-12-1, 16-8-1) as the Yellow Jackets defeated the Seminoles 6-5 Sunday afternoon on Mother's Day inside Russ Chandler Stadium. The Seminoles finished the ACC regular season with a 19-9 record, while finishing atop the Atlantic Division for the third consecutive year.
Georgia Tech scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to hand Florida State its first conference series loss since dropping two of three from Miami in Coral Gables back in early April. The Seminoles ran out to a 5-1 advantage only to see the Yellow Jackets erase a four-run deficit over the final four innings.
The two teams combined for five home runs, three by the Jackets and two by the Seminoles. Mike McGee and Stuart Tapley went yard for Florida State on Sunday as both hitters connected on solo shots in the first and second innings, respectively. The Seminoles finished the game with seven hits as two came off the bat of Tapley. McGee picked up a pair of RBI.
Following a common theme this weekend, Florida State scored a run in the first inning for the third straight game. McGee got the Seminoles off on the right foot blasting a two-out, solo shot to right center for his team leading 16th home run of the season. The home run came on a 2-0 offering from Georgia Tech starter Jed Bradley.
The Yellow Jackets answered right back with a solo shot in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1. On just the second offering from McGee, Jeff Rowland hit a deep fly ball out to right for his eighth home run of the season.
Tapley gave the Seminoles a 2-1 lead in the second on his 13th home run of the season. The sophomore third baseman hit a high fly that carried just beyond the right field wall for the second Florida State home run of the afternoon.
Georgia Tech threatened in the second as the first two batters reached compliments of a single and catcher's interference. But McGee retired three straight on a pair of fly outs and a strikeout to maintain FSU's one-run advantage.
The Seminoles loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and came away empty handed as Bradley got D'Vontrey Richardson looking on strikes and then Jack Posey to ground back to the mound for the third out of the inning. With one out, FSU registered back-to-back singles by Jason Stidham and Tapley. Bradley then loaded the bases as he hit Ruairi O'Connor on the foot.
Florida State increased its lead to 5-1 with three runs in the fifth. Bradley faced just two batters to start the inning issuing a walk to Parker Brunelle and a single to Tyler Holt before Georgia Tech went to the bullpen and brought Andrew Robinson. Cardullo greeted Robinson with an RBI double down the line in left scoring Brunelle. McGee brought home Holt on an RBI groundout to short, while Stidham rounded out the scoring sending a sac-fly to center to plate Cardullo.
Georgia Tech cut the Seminole lead in half with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the sixth. After a walk to Jason Haniger, designated hitter Chris Burnette took the first pitch he saw from McGee and sent a line drive over the wall in right for a two-run shot, his seventh of the season.
McGee left the game after 5.1 innings of work giving up three runs on three hits as all three runs came off a pair of home runs. The Port St. Lucie, Fla., native struck out three, while tying a career-high with five walks.
The Yellow Jackets continued to chip away at the Florida State thanks to their third home run of the game. Tony Plagman hit a two-out, solo shot to right off John Gast for his 15th home run of the season to cut the Seminole lead to 5-4.
Gast would finish the afternoon throwing 1.1 innings as the sophomore southpaw allowed one run on one hit while issuing one walk. Geoff Parker worked 1.1 scoreless innings.
In the ninth, the Jackets loaded the bases with two singles and a walk off Florida State closer Jimmy Marshall. Georgia Tech tied the game at 5-5 as Luke Murton drew a bases loaded walk. The Seminoles then made a defensive change bringing Sherman Johnson in for Ohmed Danesh to add a fifth infielder. The next batter Tony Plagman brought home the game-winning run on a fielder's choice RBI. Johnson made a diving grab on a groundball hit back up the middle by Plagman. He got to his feet and threw a strike to Rafael Lopez at the plate, but the throw was not in time to get the sliding Rowland. The blown save by Marshall was his first in 10 save opportunities this year.
Florida State will wrap-up its regular season schedule with a four-game series against Grambling State beginning Thursday, May 14 at 6:00 p.m. on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. All four games will be broadcast live over the internet on ACC Select. Fans can listen to the action locally on 1270 the Team (Thursday and Friday) and 100.7 FM (Saturday) and over the internet on www.seminoles.com. Live stats will also be available via gametracker.