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'Noles end Jackets' streak

wire services
Published May 30, 2004

SALEM, Va. - Eddy Martinez-Esteve hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Florida State forced another game in the ACC baseball tournament with an 8-6 victory against Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

The loss ended Georgia Tech's winning streak at 20 games.

Martinez-Esteve's 18th home run came in a four-run eighth for Florida State (41-20), which also beat North Carolina 8-7 in 11 innings to get to the championship round. Because the top-seeded Yellow Jackets (41-18) were unbeaten, the Seminoles need another victory to dethrone the defending champions.

The comeback in the eighth, which also included a run-scoring double by Bryan Zech and a run-scoring single by Stephen Drew in front of the home run, capped the Seminoles' rally from a 6-1 deficit after four innings.

It also completed a remarkable recovery for Martinez-Esteve, Zech and pitchers Tyler Chambliss and Kevin Lynch, who were suspended for the game against the Tar Heels after missing their curfew the previous night.

Florida State had played a 31/2-hour game against North Carolina, winning in the bottom of the 11th on Matt Sauls' perfectly placed two-strike safety squeeze.

Sauls' bunt between the pitcher and first base could only be fielded by pitcher Michael Gross, but he bobbled his attempted flip to the catcher, allowing Stephen Drew to score.

VANDERBILT 6, FLORIDA 5 (12): Reserve catcher Matt McGraner, who had one RBI all season, had a run-scoring single in the 12th inning to lift Vanderbilt (42-16) past Florida (40-20) in Hoover, Ala., and into today's SEC tournament championship game. "It probably still hasn't sunk in," said McGraner, who entered in the top of the 12th. "As a player, that's a moment you dream about and hope you get an opportunity to succeed. It's great to get an opportunity in that spot and come through. It feels really good."

SO. CAROLINA 3, ARKANSAS 2: Billy Buckner pitched six shutout innings, and the Gamecocks (44-15) beat the top-seeded Razorbacks (39-21) to advance to the SEC tournament title game. Arkansas' Jake Dugger went 4-for-5.

SOUTHERN MISS 16-9, UAB 10-7: Jason Lowery's homer and four RBIs helped the Golden Eagles (44-16) eliminate the Blazers (30-29) in a sweep and reach the championship game of the C-USA tournament in Houston. Jarrett Hoffpauir had a grand slam, another homer and six RBIs in an 11-run seventh for Southern Miss in the first game.

TCU 8, HOUSTON 3: Austin Adams' grand slam highlighted a seven-run seventh as the fourth-seeded Horned Frogs (36-24) rallied against the fifth-seeded Cougars (30-28), setting up a rematch late Saturday night to determine which advanced to the C-USA tournament title game in Houston.

FAU 21, TROY STATE 2: Rusty Brown had two home runs and six RBIs to help the Owls (45-15) win the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament in DeLand and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Derek Hutton had five RBIs and Jeff Fiorentino four of Florida Atlantic's 27 hits.

MIAMI 7, LONG BEACH STATE 6: Adam Ricks went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and Gaby Sanchez drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to lead the host Hurricanes.

Football

Five of the eight members of an independent commission that investigated Colorado's recruiting scandal wanted somebody at the university fired, the Denver Post reported. But because not all on the panel agreed, and the members wanted their final report to be unanimous, the commissioners decided they would not call for the job of any particular official, they said.

Lacrosse

Syracuse advanced to the NCAA championship game for the fifth time in six years, stunning top-seeded Johns Hopkins 15-9 in Baltimore behind a five goals from Kevin Dougherty and four from Brian Nee. The fourth-seeded Orange (14-2) lost their two previous games against Hopkins (13-2) by a combined 36-13. Syracuse plays second-seeded Navy (15-2) for the title Monday. The Midshipmen got two goals apiece from Graham Gill and Ben Bailey to defeat Princeton 8-7. Attendance in Baltimore was 46,923, a record for an NCAA event in this sport.

Tennis

Baylor's Benjamin Becker outlasted Florida junior Hamid Mirzadeh 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in their NCAA quarterfinal match in Tulsa, Okla. Mirzadeh and teammate Chris Brandi fell in the doubles quarterfinals to Georgia's Bo Hodge and John Isner 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-1).

Track

The Florida men's and women's teams won the NCAA East Region Championships in Gainesville, but Florida State's 4x100 relay team came away with some bragging rights.

FSU's Derrick Baker, Rhoan Sterling, Cedric Nabe and Brian Dzingai defeated UF's celebrated team of Ahmad Jasmine, Mike Morrison, Sekou Clarke and Kyle Farmer to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships June 9-12 in Austin, Texas.

"It is always good to come to Gainesville and beat the Gators," Dzingai said. "It has been a long time coming. We are glad to have gotten it right at the right time, a week before NCAAs.

"This is a good time for us, but I'm sure we can run faster there."

For Dzingai, however, the day did not end with the relay.

He also qualified for the 100 and 200.

"It's exciting to qualify in all three events," Dzingai said. "Now I know I can run at a top level."

The Florida State men's team was third, and the women's team was seventh.

Lauryn Williams won the 100 meters and contributed to a win in the 4x100 relay, and Miami's women's team took third overall.

USF's Amber Delpino broke her school record in the 400-meter hurdles while finishing fourth in 57.03 seconds.

UF sends 22 athletes and three relay teams to the championships and FSU 10 and two relay teams.

- Times correspondent Brian Shaffer contributed to this report.

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