Florida State athletics

Since joining the conference in 1992, Florida State has won the ACC Baseball Tournament eight times. The longest drought between titles was six years. That drought was ended on this day 10 years ago.

The Seminoles had overcame a rough start to their stay in Greensboro to reach the ACC Championship. On May 30, 2010, they took the ACC crown with an 8-3 comeback win over NC State.

Setting the Stage

The Wolfpack and Seminoles had taken similar paths to the ACC Championship. After fifth-seeded FSU started the tournament with a 9-3 loss to fourth-seeded Miami, it bounced back to take down top-seeded Virginia and No. 8 seed Boston College by a combined 23-6 margin.

Still, the Seminoles needed help. They would get it as Miami would fall to the Cavaliers and Eagles. FSU and Virginia each finished 2-1 in Pool A, but the Seminoles were given the nod as result of a head-to-head victory.

NC State started things with a 13-8 victory over No. 2 seed Clemson — the top seed in Pool B. After a 17-5 loss to Georgia Tech, the Wolfpack bounced back to rally past Virginia Tech in 10 innings, 10-9. The victory coupled with Georgia Tech losses to Virginia Tech and Clemson sent NC State to the finale.

FSU Bats Come Alive Late

For most of the day, the contest had been a pitchers’ duel. As the contest entered the bottom of the seventh inning, the Seminoles were on the short end of a 3-2 score.

James Ramsey got the inning started for FSU with a sharp single off NC State reliever Grant Sasser before Stephen Cardullo walked. After a sacrifice bunt by Stuart Tapley moved both runners into scoring position, Jayce Boyd evened the game with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, catcher Rafael Lopez put the Seminoles ahead for good, 4-3, with an RBI single.

Normally a starter, lefty Sean Gilmartin worked around a lead-off double in the top of the eighth to keep the FSU intact. The FSU offense responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning.

Mike McGee started the FSU eighth with a solo home run. That was quickly followed by a Ramsey triple. Following a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly by Devon Travis, Lopez again came up big. With two runners in scoring position, Lopez singled home two more to cap the big inning.

McGee worked a scoreless ninth to end the contest.

Prior to the seventh, both Florida State runs had come in the second. NC State drew first blood with a solo home run from Andrew Ciencin in the top of the inning, but FSU answered with a sacrifice fly by Boyd and an RBI double by Travis.

The Wolfpack drew even on a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Ciencin’s RBI single in the fifth put NC State back in front, 3-2.

Top Performers

Lopez came through with the big hits for FSU during a 3-for-4 afternoon with three RBIs. Ramsey also had a big day at the plate, finishing 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Although they combined for just one hit, Boyd and Travis each had two RBIs.

Ciencin had three of the seven hits for NC State with a solo home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. Harold Riggins had a pair of hits in the loss.

On the mound, Gilmartin earned the win, allowing just two hits in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Cardullo and Tyler Holt were each named to the All-Tournament team.

In Hindsight

The ACC title was not enough for Florida State to get a regional in Tallahassee. The Seminoles however, were the No. 1 seed in Norwich, Connecticut.

FSU swept through the regional before outlasting Vanderbilt in three games in the Tallahassee Super Regional to reach the College World Series. The Seminoles’ stay in Omaha would be just three games. FSU suffered a pair of losses to TCU sandwiched around a victory over Florida in an elimination game.

As for NC State, it would wind up as the No. 3 seed in the Myrtle Beach Regional. The Wolfpack lasted just two games as they were eliminated with losses to College of Charleston and Stony Brook.

It would be five years later before FSU won another ACC title. Interesting enough, that title was also clinched with a victory over NC State. The Wolfpack join Clemson as the only teams that the Seminoles have defeated multiple times for the ACC championship. The first of those occasions came on this day a decade ago.

Mike Ferguson is the associate editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.