Aggies pull away from FSU in Game 1
Wood’s two-run single fuels four-run seventh that dooms ’Noles
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- After six innings, Texas A&M had two hits and was locked in a tense pitching duel with Florida State.
The Aggies finally broke through against Seminoles ace left-hander Sean Gilmartin, putting together a four-run seventh inning that was keyed by Brandon Wood’s go-ahead two-run single.
Texas A&M earned a 6-2 win over Florida State on Saturday, putting the Aggies (46-19) one win from their first College World Series appearance since 1999. Game 2 of the best-of-three Super Regional against Florida State (45-18) will be Sunday.
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“We’re not done yet,” Texas A&M coach Rob Childress said. “We can care less whether we come here to get one victory. We came here to win this thing. I told our players after the game that we still hadn’t done anything.”
Gilmartin (12-2), a first-round pick of the Atlanta Braves, had seven strikeouts through six innings but ran into trouble in the seventh. Wood hit a two-run single to put Texas A&M up 3-2, and Kenny Jackson and Tyler Naquin later had RBI hits in the inning.
Texas A&M right-hander Ross Stripling (14-2), a ninth-round pick of the Colorado Rockies, scattered seven hits but had eight strikeouts in seven innings. His 126 pitches were the most he’s thrown this season.
Stripling stranded runners at third base in the first, third and fifth innings, allowing just a run in the first on Mike McGee’s sacrifice fly.
“I just wanted to throw strikes and I finally found my change-up,” Stripling said. “I finally found some change-ups there to get me out of those jams.”
While Rafael Lopez and James Ramsey each had three hits, Florida State’s 5 through 9 hitters struggled and finished just 1 for 20. No. 5 hitter Jayce Boyd had a sixth-inning home run, the only hit for the group.
“He kept us off balance and just did a great job of shutting us down,” Florida State coach Mike Martin said. “They got it done, plain and simple. You move on to the next day.”
Ramsey extended his on-base streak to 52 games with a first-inning single. He went 3 for 4 on Saturday.
Gilmartin had eight strikeouts in seven innings. He retired 12 straight Aggies before Jacob House led off the seventh with a single.
“I thought Sean pitched extremely well,” Martin said. “He just happened to run into that one inning when they bunched them all together. That’s what good clubs do.”
Florida State is trying to reach the CWS for the 21st time in program history. While the Seminoles have reached the Super Regionals 11 times, they have only once rebounded from an opening loss (in 2008 against Wichita State) to win the next two games.
“That’s good incentive,” Martin said. “I would honestly say if any club could do it of all that I’ve coached, this one can because this one is special.”