TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Junior pitcher Matt Fairel matched a career-high eight innings while striking out six allowing four runs and walking zero to lead Florida State to a 14-4 victory over Wichita State to force a third and deciding game in the Tallahassee Super Regional on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.Fairel threw a career high 124 pitches in holding the Shockers to one run in his final seven innings pitched and retiring 21 of the last 26 batters he faced in improving his record to 12-2
The victory by the Seminoles tied the best of three game series at one game each.The final and deciding game will be played Sunday in Tallahassee at WichitaState will be the home team with the winner of the game advancing to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
FloridaState struck first in the top half of the first inning.Jason Stidham, who made his first career start at shortstop, launched a double high off of the right field fence to score lead-off hitter Tyler Holt.Holt reached base as he was hit by a pitch by Shocker starter Aaron Shafer.It marked the seventh runner in the first two games of the series that had come around to score after reaching base on a walk of after being hit by a pitch.
WichitaState answered quickly in bottom of the first with three runs.Three consecutive singles by right fielder Ryan Jones, third baseman Conor Gillaspie and designated hitter Clinton McKeever produced the Shockers first run.A two RBI single by second baseman Josh Workman scored Gillaspie and McKeever to give the Shockers 3-1 lead.
FloridaState scored two runs in its half of the second on a home run by third baseman Staurt Tapley (his eighth of the season) and a sacrifice fly by Stidham to score second baseman Tommy Oravetz.Oravetz had reached base on a single and scored to tie the game at 3-3.
The Seminoles chased Shafer (11-4) by scoring five runs in the third inning.In batting around for the sixth time in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, Florida State sent 10 batters to the plate, recorded four hits including two doubles and had two players reach base on walks.The big blows were landed by All-American catcher Buster Posey (a two RBI single), Tapley (a run scoring single) and designated hitter Ohmed Danesh (a run scoring double).Tapley also scored on a wild pitch by Shafer.Shafer was removed for reliever Khol Nanney with two outs in the inning; the outing (2.2 innings) was the shortest of the season for Shafer.
The Seminoles led full innings of play.
Florida State added one run in the fifth (on an RBI single by Posey) and three more in the sixth on RBI hits by Danesh (a sacrifice fly), left fielder Mike McGee (a single) and Stidham (a single).The RBI was Stidham's third of the game marking the third time in the last five games he has earned three or more RBI.
The score was innings of play.
Fairel meanwhile was cruising though WichitaState's hard hitting offense.After allowing three runs in the bottom of the first he shutout the Shockers over the next six innings while allowing only three hits and striking out four.After pushing three runs across home plate in the first, the Shockers advanced only one runner past second between the second and seventh innings.At one point, Fairel retired nine straight and 12 of 13 Shocker hitters.
WichitaState added its fourth run of the day on a home run by Mitch Caster to make the score 14-4.The Shockers were limited to nine hits including one extra base hit.