Not even FSU's Danny Rosen, who saved both of the Seminoles' first two wins in the series, could stop the Tar Heels from extending their lead yet again. North Carolina scored two more runs in the top of the ninth to put the game out of reach and take a 10-6 win in the final game of the series.
Florida State needed something big in the ninth, but managed only a single from Mark Gildea and a Tony Thomas Jr. walk before the Tar Heels could seal the win.
The difference for Carolina was several multi-hit performances from a lineup that had for the most part been held in check for the first two games of the series. Center fielder Seth Williams finished 4-for-6 and was one of four Tar Heels with three or more hits on the day. No one from UNC had more than one hit in either of the team's first two matchups in Tallahassee.
Everyone in UNC's lineup got at least one hit on the day, while only two Seminole batters, missed out on the slug-fest that was game three.
Florida State struck back to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth as Carolina pitcher Andrew Carignan struggled through the inning. Carignan walked the first two batters of the inning and FSU catcher Buster Posey made contact to score first baseman Brandon Reichert after a fielding error.
The Tar Heels caught a lucky break, as right fielder Jack Rye sent a pitch barreling down the third-base line with runners on first and third. The ball flirted foul but looked to stay fair, much to the delight of the Garnet and Gold, but the umpire ruled it foul.
Carignan walked Rye to load the bases with two outs and walked another to score Mark Hallberg from third. UNC pulled Carignan for designated hitter Tim Federowicz, and escaped the inning as second baseman Kyle Seager reached up to snag a Tommy Oravetz's laser over the middle.
'Noles down 8-6 heading to the ninth after almost three and a half hours of play.
With momentum looking good for Florida State in the bottom of the seventh, the 'Noles failed to make contact with runners in position and down 6-4, as Danesh struck out swinging to strand right fielder Jack Rye on third.
North Carolina took advantage of the missed opporunity in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs off of three hits to stretch the lead to four. Dustin Ackley doubled down the right-field line to put runners in position and Tim Federowicz and Josh Horton both had RBI in the inning.
The Tar Heels were refused in the top of the seventh as FSU's Ohmed Danesh took a running dive and snagged Tim Fedroff's shot to left field, in what was without a doubt the best play of the series. The catch came with a man on and one out to a thunderous round of applause.
UNC's not letting up in this one, and the 'Noles running out of time.
Seminole senior Luke Tucker did his part by pitching a scoreless sixth inning and Florida State got to swinging after a four-inning drought to cut the Tar Heel lead in half. The score now stands 6-4 after FSU first baseman Brandon Reichert blasted a two RBI double down the right-field line.
With runners on second and third, North Carolina pulled starter Luke Putkonen after 5 and 2/3 innings for reliever Andrew Carignan who had an ERA of 0.0 in his last 12.1 innings. Carignan faced Reichert, who wasn't aware of the numbers, and took the swing that got the Seminoles back in it.
The ballpark was pretty quiet but the Seminole faithful in the good seats did their best to start a rally and they did just that. Everybody's in it now as the 'Noles go to another reliever, sophomore Bo O'Dell in the top of the seventh.
Florida State continues to search the bullpen as sophomore pitcher Caleb Graham surrendered another run to the Tar Heels in the top of the fifth. The Seminoles used six pitchers yesterday in game two and will likely dig just as deep today, as the fans are getting restless in Dick Howser trailing 6-2.
If anyone can step up and get the Tribe back into this one it's senior reliever Luke Tucker who came back from a shoulder injury about a week and a half ago. The senior came in to earn the last out of the fifth inning .
Other than Tucker's potential, the last thing going for the 'Noles, since the first inning anyway, was a fancy grab in the left-field stands as a fan stretched high to nab a deep foul ball. Well done young man.
After a one-hour first inning with more hits than the entire second game, things quieted only momentarily here in Tallahassee. The teams' respective pitchers rebounded for scoreless second and third innings but the Tar Heels broke the silence in the top of the fourth adding two more runs to take a 5-2 advantage.
UNC designated hitter Tim Federowicz knocked in the two-RBI single after Florida State loaded the bases with two outs by intentionally walking first basebman Dustin Ackley, who's been Carolina's most consistent hitter this season.
Florida State pitcher Ryan Strauss was replaced by freshman left hander Matt Fairel after giving up a career highs in both runs (5) and hits (10).
The Tar Heels shutout FSU bats in the bottom of the fourth with a double play and an easy out to first.
Both teams are swinging away in this one. North Carolina received a quick response from the lineup change as the team's first three batters pounded base hits, as the Seminoles and pitcher Ryan Strauss dug a deep 3-0 hole for themselves in the top of the first.
Short stop Josh Horton knocked in the first RBI for the Tar Heels to score lead-off hitter Reid Fronk with the bases loaded. Minutes later Kyle Seager nailed a two-RBI shot up the middle with two out.
However, on the same play, Horton advanced to third on a fielding error, but was tagged out after over-running the base. The crucial error got the 'Noles out of the inning and was the spark behind a huge momentum swing.
Tony Thomas Jr. started things off for Florida State with a triple that probably would have gone over had UNC center fielder Seth Williams not batted it down. FSU went on to one-up the Tar Heels, as the 'Noles got hits from their first four batters and cut the deficit to 3-2.
Not wasting any time here, all that after one inning.
Nothing but blue skies and baseball here in Tallahassee for game three of Florida State and North Carolina. The Seminoles have held the upper hand in the series so far, with the exception of a four-run sixth inning that almost cost them game two. After taking the first two matchups, the 'Noles are a perfect 6-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference series this season.
The Tar Heels have tweaked their lineup for game three and will lead off with first baseman Reid Fronk, followed by center fielder Seth Williams. Right fielder Tim Fedroff, who started at the plate for UNC in the first two games will bat ninth.
It's good to be Danny Rosen. With the Seminoles up one with two outs in the top of the ninth and 3,800 fans on their feet chanting "game time", the junior closer and fan favorite today in Tallahassee struck out North Carolina pinch hitter Drew Poulk to seal the 5-4 win.
Rosen struck out the last two batters of the ninth, recording his first two-inning save of the season. Adding to Rosen's status as fan favorite was that the first strikeout of the pair was good for another free hot dog. Seminole fans collect a ticket for a free one every time FSU reaches the eight-strikeout mark, something they've been able to accomplish in both games of the series.
The Seminoles used six pitchers in all, but survived a four-run sixth inning scare to beat the Tar Heels in game two for their 37th win of the season. FSU has now won 16 of its last 17 games against North Carolina on its home turf.
Still 5-4 'Noles as pitchers Travis Burge and Danny Rosen led Florida State through scoreless seventh and eighth innings as fans continue to give sighs of relief here at Dick Howser. Burge retired UNC batters one through three on consecutive fly-outs, while Rosen struck out one and relied on his defense for the remaining two.
Seminoles held their breath on the first hit of the seventh, a deep shot from UNC's Tim Fedroff, but center fielder Mark Gildea chased it down and bounced off the wall for the grab.
The 'Noles continue to go deep into their pitching rotation as Rosen came on in the top of the eighth as the sixth pitcher to see action today. Rosen has six saves on the year and senior Luke Tucker is ready in the bullpen if needed.
Jack Rye's two-run shot over the right-field wall gave Florida State what looked to be a comfortable 5-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth with two out.
However, North Carolina quieted the crowd in the sixth after scoring four runs on four hits to clamp the Seminole lead to one at 5-4. Center fielder Seth Williams and third baseman Chad Flack both hit doubles down the left field line and accounted for one RBI apiece in the inning.
FSU pulled sophomore Jimmy Marshall, who pitched 1 and 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, which may not have been a good idea. Matt Fairel and Brian Chambers, the Seminoles' third and fourth pitchers on the day, each gave up two earned runs.
Chambers settled down to strike out Garrett Gore to stop the bleeding, but Seminole fans are still antsy and a little nervous here in Tallahassee.
Florida State snuck out of the fourth inning as sophomore Jimmy Marshall replaced starter Michael Hyde on the mound and got UNC's Reid Fronk swinging with the bases loaded and two outs.
Left fielder Ohmed Danesh came up first for the Seminoles and slapped his first pitch down the right-field line and way out of the park to extend the lead to 3-0. Designated hitter Tommy Oravetz reached first on a fielding error but the Tar Heels ended the inning with a double play and a fly-out to right.
Hyde finished 3 and 1/3 innings with one hit and three strikeouts, and Marshall has stepped in nicely from the bullpen. He struck out UNC lead-off hitter Tim Fedroff and catcher Buster Posey caught Garrett Gore stealing second for the last two outs in the top of the fifth.
North Carolina survived a scare as pitcher Alex White walked two and hit one to load the bases in the bottom of the second with one out. White toughed it out, convincing FSU's Brandon Reichert to fly out and then striking out second baseman Tony Thomas Jr. on a pitch that looked a little too outside to get out of the inning.
Meanwhile, Michael Hyde is keeping the Tar Heels in check and not wasting any time. He gave up one hit in the top of the third but needed just six pitches to strike out the next two batters. North Carolina's Tim Fedroff flied out to end the inning.
The Seminoles are back up and Mark Hallberg just nailed one off the wall just inches too high for UNC right fielder Fedroff to earn the double. Hallberg advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrific fly from Jack Rye.
Florida State fans are up, yelling and awake after Tony Thomas Jr. worked his way around the bases and crossed the plate to give the 'Noles a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the bottom of the first.
UNC's Alex White walked Thomas to first and the speedy second baseman teased the pitcher, stepping farther and farther away from the base. Seminole fans egged him on chanting "Steal Tony, steal." After several close pick-off attempts, White beamed one to first that resulted in an error and allowed Thomas to flash to third. He scored minutes later thanks to contact by short stop Mark Hallberg.
The Seminole faithful yelled in unison after the error, "Who are these guys the mumbling brothers? The circus is over there!" Then they pointed to the circus, the only collegiate circus in the country is at Florida State, and it can be seen right across from the ballpark. Too funny.
It's a sunny Saturday in Tallahassee and everyone's talking baseball as Florida State will take on North Carolina for game two of the series. The Seminoles took the first contest 4-2 thanks to seven scoreless innings from senior right hander Bryan Henry.
Today the 'Noles will send another senior, Michael Hyde (8-2), to the mound. Hyde is third on the team with a 2.84 ERA, but has lost two of his last three decisions. North Carolina will go with Alex White (4-2), the preseason ACC Freshman of the Year as named by Baseball America.
UNC freshman Dustin Ackley homered to right field to cut the deficit to two, but Florida State's Danny Rosen helped close out the inning as FSU goes on to earn a 4-2 victory in game one of the series. The Seminoles have now recorded double digits in the hit column for 11 straight games.
Bryan Henry gets the win for the 'Noles improving to a career-high 10 wins for the season, while UNC's Robert Woodard picked up his first loss. The matchup looked to be a pitching battle early but the lineups got the best of the mound as the game went on.
Florida State continues to see contributions throughout the lineup as Mark Gildea finished 3-for-4 on the night , including three of the team's four RBIs, batting eighth. Eight members of tonight's Seminole lineup have batting percentages of .350 or better on the season, as compared to UNC's four.
Mark Gildea game up clutch for the Seminoles again, launching a double down the right-field line to score two in the bottom of the eighth as the stands rang loud with the Florida State fight song.
North Carolina pulled Robert Woodard for Matt Cox after seven innings, eight strikeouts and two earned runs. However, Cox lasted only three batters after giving up a hit, a sacrifice bunt and commiting an error.
For Seminole fans the two runs were the only thing better than the free hot dog they received in the top of the inning as Bryan Henry got UNC's Garrett Gore looking for his eighth strikeout of the game. The Tar Heels flied out twice to end the inning, with the third out coming on a deep ball that came dangerously close but was caught at the wall.
The 'Noles will sit tight for one more inning with the three-run lead.
Jason Stidham blasted a pitch up the middle to score Mark Hallberg from second and put the Seminoles back on top 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth. It was Stidham's third hit of the game, but the 'Noles were content with the one-run lead, stranding two to end the inning.
The Tar Heels came up to bat in the seventh but were shut out by Bryan Henry and the Seminole outfield.
Florida State fans don't really need much to get them in the game, Dick Howser Stadium does all it can, but mainly free food. The fans' loudest cheer of the night consisted of "hot dog," a reward they receive if Seminole pitchers can account for eight strikeouts.
Henry's close with seven and the fans are egging him on for more. The crowd is getting fiestier by the minute and coming between them and their hot dogs may not be a good idea.
The bats have picked up for both teams, but it was the Tar Heels who took advantage. Catcher Tim Federowicz singled to score Tim Fedroff from third with two outs and knot the game at one apiece. However, the ballpark erupted after Florida State made a play at the plate to throw out the go-ahead run on the same play.
The Tar Heels advanced right fielder Tim Fedroff to third base after FSU center fielder Mark Gildea couldn't come up with the diving catch on a Josh Horton single — much to the disapointment of the Seminole faithful.
Looks like the pitchers may be starting to wear down here against two powerful lineups.
Florida State's Mark Gildea drilled a pitch to center field to score Jason Stidham from second and give the Seminoles a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Gildea's RBI broke the silence but FSU wasn't able to get anything else after a pop-fly ended the inning.
North Carolina came out hitting in the third, putting two runners in scoring position after a wild pitch, but Bryan Henry and the 'Noles settled down to survive the inning and keep the lead.
A packed house and a lot of pride here at Dick Howser Stadium and the home fans are starting to get excited as the bats are heating up in this one.
Clear skies in Tallahassee for what should be a good night of baseball between two of the nations best as the Seminoles of Florida State host the Tar Heels of North Carolina. The first game of the series features a duo of unbeaten right handers with FSU's Bryan Henry (9-0) going head-to-head with UNC's Robert Woodard (7-0).