May 18, 2012
Box Score | Box Score
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. - No. 13 NC State dropped a razor thin 3-2 decision to top-ranked Florida State Friday night at Dick Howser Stadium, setting the stage for a Saturday rubber match.
Each team put a run on the board in the first, then settled in for a defensive battle. The Seminoles (42-12, 23-6 ACC) broke the tie with a run in the fifth, but the Pack (38-14, 19-10 ACC) responded with the tying run in the seventh. The bottom half of the seventh saw Florida State score the game-winner on a sac fly.
Trea Turner scored for the 18th time in the Wolfpack’s last 19 games, crossing the plate in the first inning for the eighth time in the last 12 games. Turner finished the day 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, a run, and two stolen bases to improve to an NCAA-leading 54-for-58 on the season, nine shy of Brian Roberts’s ACC single-season record.
Ryan Mathews extended the ACC’s longest active hitting streak to 20 games in a 1-for-3 performance with an RBI on a sac fly in the first. Jake Fincher went 2-for-3 on the night. Logan Ratledge scored once in a 1-for-2 effort with a double. Danny Canela doubled in the eighth, his only hit in a 1-for-3 game.
Starter Ethan Ogburn (4-3) took a tough luck loss on six innings, allowing three earned on nine hits and one walk after leaving with the go-ahead run on base. Chris Overman pitched the final two innings, holding the Seminoles hitless and striking out two.
Florida State used three pitchers in the game, with reliever Gage Smith (3-0) claiming the win on 2 1/3 innings. Smith allowed one earned on five hits. Robert Benincasa (13) earned the save over 1 2/3, striking out two while holding State hitless. Starter Brandon Leibrandt lasted five innings, striking out four while surrendering one earned on two hits.
Both teams traded runs in the first inning, with the Pack scoring first thanks to Turner’s base-stealing prowess. The freshman led off the game with a single up the middle, then stole second and third to get in position to score on Mathews’s sac fly to center. The Seminoles went the conventional route, stringing together a pair of singles after James Ramsey’s two-out walk. Jayce Boyd put runners on the corners by singling up the middle, then Stephen McGee drove in the run with a base knock to center.
Florida State took a 2-1 lead in the bottom fifth by cashing in on Sherman Johnson’s lead-off double. Johnson drilled a pitch off of the top of the right field fence to start the inning. Devon Travis grounded to the right side, and James Ramsey hit a sac fly to left to bring in the go-ahead run.
State tied the game 2-2 in the seventh on back-to-back doubles. Ratledge sent a one-out double down the right field line to get the inning going. Turner followed by slapping an RBI double to right. Smith escaped the subsequent jam by picking off Turner and striking out the next batter looking.
The Seminoles took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh after another lead-off double, this time by Jose Brizuela. Travis moved him to third and Ramsey brought him home with consecutive fly balls. The Wolfpack used three pitchers in the inning, with Overman getting all three outs to leave two runners stranded.
NC State looks to win its first series ever in Tallahassee tomorrow at 1 p.m. on ESPN3. Radio coverage will be provided by 88.1 WKNC, fans can follow Twitter updates from @NCStateBaseball, and live stats will be available on GoPack.com.