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FSU faces must-win after loss to Irish

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 8, 2002

TALLAHASSEE -- As a player for Miami Dade-North Community College in 1976, Paul Mainieri hoped to someday wear a Florida State uniform.

Twenty-six years later Mainieri, Notre Dame's coach, saw those same uniforms as the Seminoles walked to their dugout with their heads down after Friday's 10-4 loss in front of 5,388 in Dick Howser Stadium.

The Irish took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three super region and ended FSU's winning streak at 25. The Seminoles (59-13) suffered their last setback April 16, 6-5 in extra innings to South Alabama.

"It was kind of like being taken to the woodshed," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "We know we got a tough road. We'll see how it works out."

FSU had survived by erasing leads in six of eight games before Friday, including all three last weekend to win its region.

Friday, the Seminoles gave up three runs in the first and never led. Game 2 is at 7 tonight.

"It's do-or-die, bottom line," FSU designated hitter Ryan Barthelemy said. "It all comes down to (tonight), no room for error."

Matt Lynch, who has been one of the Seminoles' more reliable pitchers during the winning streak, gave up six runs in 61/3 innings. He was pulled after surrendering three straight singles, including a two-run shot by Billmaier that gave Notre Dame a 6-4 lead.

Notre Dame made it 10-4 with those two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth. FSU failed to score during that same two-inning span.

Lynch (13-2) is the older brother of Kevin Lynch, who gave up FSU's last loss. Grant Johnson (9-4) pitched six innings.

"He didn't locate the ball as Matt Lynch normally does," Martin said. "It seems that every good pitch he made got hit for a base hit."

The Irish took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a Brian Stavisky home run. They made it 3-0 on a Kris Billmaier single in the third.

FSU's Tony Richie hit a home run in the fourth that flew over centerfielder Steve Stanley's outstretched arm and cut the deficit to 3-2. It was his second home run in a week and 13th of the season.

Stephen Drew tied the score at 3 that inning with a grounder to first that scored Nick Rogers.

In other super-region openers:

SOUTH CAROLINA 10, MIAMI 7: Brian Buscher had a grand slam and five RBIs for the host Gamecocks, moving the defending national champion Hurricanes a game from elimination. Buscher, a third baseman in a 1-of-23 slump, had a season-high four hits. South Carolina first baseman Yaron Peters added his seventh homer of the NCAA Tournament and 28th of the season. Miami trailed 10-0 and its four home runs, including Danny Matienzo's 18th and 19th, over the last six innings were not enough. Hurricane starter Kiki Bengochea was 3-0 in his four previous starts, but allowed seven runs and six hits in one inning.

GEORGIA TECH 14, FAU 3: Kyle Bakker took a no-hitter into the sixth for the host Yellow Jackets (50-14). Bakker didn't allow a hit until Gabe Somarriba's soft liner fell over the head of second baseman Eric Patterson. The hits came so easily that FAU coach Kevin Cooney briefly thought the Jackets might be stealing signs, although he downplayed that later. ARKANSAS 9, CLEMSON 6: The visiting Razorbacks took a 7-0 lead in the fifth, then held on. Tiger ace Steve Reba gave up seven hits and left after 12/3 innings, his shortest start in two seasons.

HOUSTON 2, TEXAS 0: Keith Whatley scored on a fifth-inning throwing error and drove in a ninth-inning run for the visiting Cougars.

RICE 6, LSU 0: Steven Herce allowed three hits and tied a career high with 10 strikeouts for the host Owls. An error and wild pitch helped Rice score six in the third.

NEBRASKA 2, RICHMOND 0: Shane Komine pitched his fourth career shutout for the host Cornhuskers. Matt Hopper and Jed Morris had sacrifice flies. The Spiders committed four errors.

STANFORD 4, SOUTHERN CAL 2: The host Cardinal took a 3-0 lead in the fifth. The Trojans got within 3-2 but Stanford scored an insurance run in the eighth.

-- Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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