Tallahassee, Fla. - Hatters Win! Hatters Win! Wednesday night in Tallahassee the Stetson baseball team defeated Florida State for the first time since 1988. Hatters Win!
Stetson, ranked #28 in the nation, improved to 18-4 on the season with a 6-4 extra innings victory over the #4 Seminoles of Florida State who fell to 16-5.
Four Hatters had two hits each and six pitchers combined to throw 11 innings and give Stetson the chance to pull out the biggest win of an already impressive season. Both teams finished with 12 hits in the game.
Stetson jumped out to an early lead with a run in the top of the third inning and another in the fourth. FSU then returned volley with a single run in the bottom of fourth and one in the fifth.
It was after the Seminoles took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning that the drama really began. In the top of the ninth FSU brought in their closer and team leader Mike McGee to finish the game. Robert Crews (Port Charlotte, Fla.) led off with a walk and then Ben Carhart (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) who was known for his heroics earlier in the season, and has been in a bit of a slump recently stepped into the batter's box. McGee delivered a 1-0 fastball and Carhart blasted it into the video board that towers over the left field wall. It was his third home run of the season and Stetson had a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Florida State was able to put together a rally of its own in the ninth and scored an unearned run on three hits to tie the game at 4-4. After a scoreless tenth inning Stetson tallied a pair of runs in the top of the 11th. Mark Jones (Bunnell, Fla.) walked with one out in the inning. Then, with two outs and Jones still at first Ryan Lashley (Lake Worth, Fla.) stepped in a delivered his fourth consecutive game-winning RBI with a double to right field. Jones scored and Lashley ended up at third base after the throw. Spencer Theiden (Longwood, Fla) was next and he delivered Lashley with a perfect bunt single down the first baseline.
Robbie Powell (Punta Gorda, Fla.) closed the door in the bottom of the 11th and picked up his fourth win of the season against no losses. Powell threw a season-high 3.2 innings, allowed just one unearned run, and struck out five batters.
Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.), Crews, Lashley and Theisen each finished with two hits in the game.
"We take pride in grinding it out and this club sure did that tonight", said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. "The thing that makes me so proud is that we gave up the tying run and our guys could have rolled over but they kept battling back. We're not going to win every time we go out but these kids think they can and that's a big part of the battle."
The Hatters Return home this weekend to host ETSU in an Atlantic Sun Conference series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. Stetson fans can see the game on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.