Florida State Rallies From Behind to Post a 9-6 Win Over Tar Heels
May 24, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Buster Posey missed his first collegiate start, but drilled a pinch-hit, two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to highlight a six-run rally that lifted No. 2 seed Florida State to a 9-6 victory over third-seed North Carolina late Saturday night in the 2008 ACC Baseball Championship at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Posey, who started all 184 games the Seminoles have played in the last three years prior to Saturday, was given the night off to rest. However, with the Garnet and Gold trailing 5-3 and runners on second and third, Posey batted for Jason Stidham and hit a 2-2 pitch from UNC pitcher Rob Wooten (5-2) into left-center to drive in the tying runs.
Posey left for a pinch-runner, and after Stuart Tapley singled, play was halted for one hour and four minutes due to a thunderstorm. Upon resumption, Jack Rye and Dennis Guinn touched Tim Fedeorowicz, the sixth of seven Carolina pitchers, for RBI singles. Tony Delmonico followed with a sacrifice fly and Tommy Oravetz hit an RBI single to give FSU (48-10) a 9-5 lead.
FSU reliever Jimmy Marshall (6-2) pitched the ninth inning and gave up one run on a sacrifice fly by Mark Fleury. He got pinch-hitter Brett Thomas on a called third strike with the bases loaded to end the game. One batter before, Seth Williams hit a long fly ball to left field with two runners on that was barely outside the foul pole.
The Tar Heels (46-12), ranked first in the nation in three of the four major college baseball polls, had leads of 2-0, 4-2 and 5-3. However, the defending league champions finished 1-2 in the Division B bracket and missed the championship title game on Sunday.
Miami and Virginia will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. for the league crown and an automatic berth to next week's NCAA Tournament.
Photographs for any of the games played at this year's ACC Baseball Championship are available for purchase at www.theACC.com/photostore.
Game 11 Notes: Florida State 9, North Carolina 6
North Carolina starting pitcher Adam Warren held the Florida State lineup to a single hit over his first four innings, and allowed just two runs on four hits over his 5.1 innings on the mound. In his only previous start against the Seminoles on April 26 of this season, Warren allowed seven hits and five earned runs over 2.1 innings, as Florida State handed him the only loss of his three-year college career.
With eight strikeouts, Warren set a season-high for 2008. All three North Carolina starters this week set season-bests for strikeouts, as the Tar Heels accumulated 42 strikeouts during the week.
Florida State starter Elih Villanueva pitched five innings for the Seminoles, allowing six hits and three earned runs. Villanueva, whose three runs allowed tonight are his most since giving up five to Miami on April 20, has lasted five or more innings in 12 of his 14 starts this year and held opposing offenses to three or fewer runs in each of his last five starts.
North Carolina first baseman Dustin Ackley went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a pair of RBI. Ackley, who has 93 hits this season, is now 9-for-16 (.563) with four RBI in four games against the Seminoles this season.
Florida State All-ACC catcher Buster Posey, who did not start tonight for the first time in his three-year, 185-game career, entered as a pinch hitter to drive in the Seminoles' tying two runs in the top of the ninth inning with a single to right field. Posey is 4-for-10 this week with two home runs, two runs scored and five RBI.
Seminoles' reliever Jimmy Marshall made his 34th appearance of the year, entering in the bottom of the eighth for John Gast. Marshall, who is tied for second in the league for appearances, is now tied for eighth on Florida State's single-season appearances list.
After Florida State's leadoff batter struck out to open the top of the ninth inning, eight of nine Seminole hitters safely reached base as the `Noles rallied to take a four-run lead. The six runs scored were the most by Florida State in the ninth inning this season. The previous high was five, against Stetson on April 30.
North Carolina third baseman Chad Flack singled in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving him 514 total bases for his career. He needs just a single to tie North Carolina's all-time career mark.
Reliever Rob Wooten was credited with just his third loss in 101 appearances at North Carolina. This evening's game marked just the fourth time Wooten has allowed more than two earned runs, and the first since May 23, 2007 against Georgia Tech in last year's ACC Championship.
Tonight's loss was just the third for North Carolina this season when leading after eight innings. Two of the three have come in this week's tournament.
Florida State improves its league-leading tournament winning percentage to .675 (56-27) with the win, and improves to 8-1 against North Carolina in ACC Championship competition.