May 15, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. - Florida State controls its ACC Atlantic Division destiny with one series to play after splitting a Sunday doubleheader at NC State.
The sixth-ranked Seminoles (39-13, 18-9) will take a three-game lead over Clemson into the final series of the season - a three-game homestand against the Tigers, which begins Thursday at Dick Howser Stadium. A single win over the Tigers will give FSU its fourth divisional title in five years and the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament.
The Seminoles had a chance to wrap up the division title after knocking off NC State 7-5 in Sunday's opening, which came shortly before Virginia Tech knocked off Clemson, 3-2. NC State (29-23, 12-15) foiled those plans with a 12-4 win in the series finale.
Despite the series victory over the Wolfpack, FSU will have to wait to record its 40th victory for a 34th consecutive season.
James Ramsey wiped out Florida State's first deficit of the weekend with a three-run homer in the seventh of the opening game. Rafael Lopez's two-out, two-run double in the eighth lifted the Seminoles to victory.
Battling to assure a berth in the ACC Tournament and keep its NCAA postseason hopes alive, the Wolfpack refused to go quietly all weekend.
They wiped out a 2-1 deficit in Sunday's opener with a four-run sixth inning. Tarran Senay's two-out, two-run homer to right put NC State in front for the first time in the series. Chris Diaz's two-run single gave the hosts a 5-2 lead.
FSU began its opening game rally when Lopez and Sherman Johnson worked starter Cory Mazzoni for leadoff walks. State reliever D.J. Thomas got McGee to pop out before Ramsey launched his eighth homer of the season over the right field wall to tie the game 5-5.
The Seminoles finished their comeback an inning later when Justin Gonzalez reached on a misplayed infield pop-up, Sean Gilmartin drew a two-out walk and Lopez drove a two-run double into the right-center gap for a 7-5 lead.
Bennett closed down the victory, picking up his 11th save of the season of the season with 1.1 innings of work, capped by a game-ending 1-6-3 double play. It was the third double play of the game for the Seminoles, who were out-hit 12-9 by the Wolfpack.
Lopez, Ramsey and Boyd each collected a pair of hits to lead the Seminoles in the opener.
Second game starter Hunter Scantling failed to get out of the third inning as the Wolfpack began their 15-hit barrage with seven in a row off the big right-hander, forging a 4-0 lead that was never seriously threatened.
The Seminoles halved the deficit in the fourth when Ramsey doubled, Jayce Boyd singled and Gonzalez knocked in a run with a single to left. FSU managed to load the bases with one out, but only got one man home on Gilmartin's sacrifice fly.
State pulled away with a run in the sixth, and three in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Ramsey went 3-for-5 and Gonzalez had two hits and two RBI in the nightcap.