Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – A game between rivals Miami and Florida State wouldn’t be complete without a nail-biting finish. And that’s exactly what the 4,432 people at Dick Howser Stadium were treated to on Friday night.
The No. 14 Florida State Seminoles (30-13, 12-9) defeated the Miami Hurricanes (17-24, 10-12) in a 2-0 shutout.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it was Florida State and Miami. Did you expect anything less?” said FSU manager Mike Martin.
FSU catcher Cal Raleigh was the first and only source of offense when he hit a two-run home run to center field in the 1st inning. Neither team would score again the rest of the night.
“I was just looking for a fastball to hit, and obviously I put a good swing on it,” said Raleigh, who went 2-for-3. “Obviously things didn’t go the way we wanted to for the rest of the offense, but that’s just baseball. Some days you score two, some days you score twenty.”
Miami starting pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt retired the next 15 FSU batters that he faced after the Raleigh home run.
FSU starting pitcher Drew Parrish was effective from the beginning. He struck out nine of the first fourteen batters he faced, and ended with thirteen strikeouts– a career-high for him.
Parrish made it through the 7th inning allowing only two men to reach scoring position, and allowed nobody to reach third. However, he found himself in a jam in the 8th after walking Miami first baseman Raymond Gil and allowing a single to shortstop Freddy Zamora. With only one out, coach Martin went out to the mound to talk to Parrish.
“Coach came out and asked me how I was feeling and I told him I had this all the way and I wanted it more than anything,” said Parrish.
The next batter laid down a difficult sacrifice bunt in front of the mound to advance the runners, and Parrish made the play to get the runner at first.
“Had he not been on the mound, I can’t say every single pitcher on our staff makes that play,” said Martin. “Drew Parrish makes that play.”
The Seminoles’ biggest threat to their lead came in the 9th. Conor Grady came in relief of Parrish and allowed a single to Danny Reyes to start the inning. With Reyes on first, Cal Raleigh attempted to pick him off, but the throw sailed over first baseman Rhett Aplin’s head and into the outfield, allowing Reyes to reach third base. Grady got the next batter to fly out, but then allowed a walk, and hit a batter to load the bases.
That’s when Mike Martin brought in Jonah Scolaro. With the bases loaded and only one out, Scolaro struck out the last two batters to secure the win.
“With his demeanor, you feel good about him coming in the ball game. He doesn’t have any different looks on his face when he comes in,” said Martin. “He just came in against the University of Miami with the bases loaded, one out, and very good hitters, and struck both of them out. It was quite a credit to him.”
The two teams play again tomorrow at 6 p.m. With the victory, Mike Martin is two wins away from becoming the winningest coach in NCAA baseball history.