June 12, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - And then there was one...the Tallahassee Super Regional will come down to one final game on Sunday, June 13 as No. 12 Florida State (46-18) fell to Vanderbilt (46-19) 6-2 Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The loss snapped FSU's seven game winning streak, while the winner on Sunday will advance to the College World Series.
"I'm very pleased with the effort from our guys," said head coach Mike Martin. "We just came up a little short. What advantage we had we know now is gone by the board and it's a so called level, even situation and you again have to say to Vanderbilt `Well done,' they did an outstanding job."
The Seminoles fell victim to three fielding miscues in game two as the three errors combined led to three runs. Two of those three errors occurred in the first inning as the first two Vanderbilt hitters reached on back-to-back errors.
The Commodores ran out to an early 3-0 lead and used a quality start from Sonny Gray (10-5) to keep the Seminoles hitters at bay. The sophomore right hander went 6.0 innings allowing two runs on seven hits as he walked two and struck out a pair.
"You really have to take your hat off to Sonny Gray," added Martin. "He did a tremendous job today for Vanderbilt. He was an impressive pitcher and outstanding athlete and he really shut us down. A real credit to him."
Gray twice avoided trouble in the fourth and sixth innings inducing a pair of double plays including one that ended the inning in the fourth. He was also the recipient of a put out at the plate in the sixth in which right fielder Joe Loftus threw a one bouncer to catcher Andrew Giobbi to gun down Jayce Boyd and keep the Vanderbilt lead at 3-2.
The loss spoiled a great outing by FSU starter Brian Busch who worked a season-high 7.0 innings in falling to 5-2 on the year. The sophomore southpaw gave up three runs, one earned, on five hits as he walked two and struck out two. After giving up two unearned runs in the first inning, Busch allowed just one more run that coming on a solo home by Jason Esposito in the third. From the fourth to seventh innings, Busch did not allow runner to advance to third while getting two inning ending line-out double plays along the way.
"I'm very proud of these two sophomores sitting at this table," said Martin. "The sophomore to my right [Busch] has really shown what he is all about given the seven full innings of well pitched baseball. I am very, very proud of the way he showed determination and character and really pitched well."
The Seminoles finished game two out hitting the Commodores 10-8 as James Ramsey, Stephen Cardullo and Rafael Lopez each registered two hits. Jayce Boyd and Lopez accounted for the only two RBI in the game with Boyd's coming on a solo home run in the fifth.
Vanderbilt took advantage of some defensive miscues by the Seminoles in the bottom of the first to run out to an early 2-0 lead. The first two Commodore batters reached as a result of back-to-back errors first by Cardullo at short and then Busch on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt. Aaron Westlake brought across the first run of the game scoring Brian Harris from third on an RBI groundout at short. With two outs, Curt Casali drove in Anthony Gomez on a double off the fence in right center to give Vandy a two-run lead.
The Seminoles put a pair of runners on in the second but left them stranded as Vanderbilt starter Sonny Gray got Boyd to ground into a fielder's choice putout at third and then Devon Travis to groundout to first for the final out of the inning. Cardullo registered the first Seminole hit of the game lacing a base hit back up the middle. Stuart Tapley followed with a one-out walk.
The Commodores added to their lead in the third with another two-out run as Esposito connected on a solo shot to give Vanderbilt a 3-0 advantage. The sophomore third baseman took the first pitch from Busch over the wall in center for his 12th home run of the season and second of the Super Regional.
FSU looked to crack the scoreboard in the fourth as Ramsey and Cardullo reached on a base hit and a fielding error at third, respectively. But Gray got Tapley to ground into an inning ending double play to keep the Vanderbilt lead at three.
The Seminoles finally pushed across a run in the fifth as Boyd connected on his eighth home run of the season and second of the tournament to cut the Vanderbilt lead to 3-1. The freshman first baseman took a 2-2 pitch from Gray over the fence in right center.
FSU looked to add more in the fifth as Lopez singled through the right side and Johnson was hit by a pitch with two outs. Gray would keep the Vanderbilt lead in tact as he forced Mike McGee to ground out to third for the final out of the inning.
Florida State cut the deficit to one on a two-out single by Lopez. Ramsey began the inning with a single through the left side but was quickly erased from the base paths as Cardullo grounded into a double play. The Seminoles attempted to put together a two-out rally as Tapley and Boyd drew back-to-back walks, while Travis kept the inning alive as he beat out an infield single to third diving to touch the bag at first just ahead of the throw. The play by Travis was huge as Lopez followed with an RBI single to right to score Tapley. Boyd tried to score from second on the play but was thrown out at the plate on a nice one hop throw by Loftus to close out the inning.
Vanderbilt came right out of the gates in the bottom half of the inning looking to increase its lead as Westlake led off the inning with a single through the left side, followed by a walk to Esposito. After a visit to the mound by Martin, Busch got Casali to push a bunt back to the mound where he threw over to third to get the lead runner and the first out of the inning. Two pitches later, Busch got out of the inning unscathed as he got Giobbi to line out to short for an inning ending double play. Cardullo snared the line drive and flipped over to Travis at second for the third out.
The Commodores added some breathing room in the eighth plating three runs to push their lead to 6-2. All three runs came off Daniel Bennett with two of those runs being earned as the Seminoles were charged with their third error of the game in the inning. With runners at first and second and one out, Casali drilled an RBI double off the top of the wall in right center plating Gomez from second.
The hit prompted a pitching change as Martin went to the bullpen and called on Scott Sitz. On the first batter that he faced, Giobbi laid down a safety squeeze to bring home Esposito. But Sitz could not pick up the ball cleanly resulting in the third FSU error of the game. Casali brought home the third run of the inning on a two-out RBI single to left by Mike Yastrzemski.
Grayson Garvin pitched the final three innings as he scattered just three hits over that span to earn his first save of the season. The sophomore southpaw kept the Seminoles off the scoreboard and did not issue a walk as he finished the game with three strikeouts.
Florida State and Vanderbilt will square-off in the third and final game of the Tallahassee Super Regional on Sunday, June 13 with first pitch set for 1:00 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN, while fans can listen in locally at 100.7 FM and Seminoles.com. Live stats will be available via gametracker.