Florida State pounds Hawai'i in series finale, 12-1
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Florida State got its fourth quality start in as many games and backed it with a 16-hit assault in rolling past Hawai'i, 12-1, yesterday at Les Murakami Stadium.
Cory Lum The Honolulu Advertiser
Florida State's Richie Smith retreats to second base ahead of a tag by Hawai'i shortstop Cortland Wilson.
Cory Lum The Honolulu Advertiser
For the Rainbows (1-3), it was the third game in a row their starting pitchers failed to complete a third of the game. Freshman right-hander Jason Piepmeier (0-1) got one out and left after facing seven batters in a five-run first inning.
Meanwhile, Florida State's Robby Read (2-0) allowed seven hits and a walk while giving up a run in seven innings. In all, FSU starters allowed two runs in 24 innings.
"Very disappointed with today, but happy that we battled and hung in as long as we could," UH coach Mike Trapasso said.
The Rainbows, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win the opener and saw mini-rallies shut down the last two games, were trailing 6-1 entering the top of the eighth. That's when the Seminoles added six runs, highlighted by Nick Rogers' three-run double. Rogers also hit a three-run homer off Piepmeier in the first.
Except for yesterday, the way the Rainbows tried to overcome deficits left an impression on Florida State coach Mike Martin. After Friday's 7-4 loss, he told Trapasso that the Rainbows are "better than you think you are." So Trapasso asked Martin if he would speak to his players after yesterday's game.
"He told us we were scrappy and had a lot of fight," UH pitcher Aaron Pribble said of Martin's talk. "He said those are good attributes. I appreciate him talking to us. He's a good coach and that meant a lot."
Added Trapasso: "I appreciate that. He's a special person to me because we want to emulate (his program)."
The Seminoles' experience and talent hurt the Rainbows.
For starters, Piepmeier walked two of the seven batters he faced; the first walk came after he got ahead 0-2.
"Piepmeier threw like a freshman against a good club," Trapasso said. "He was too geared up. He totally went away from our approach that we work on and he just wanted to throw like he did in high school, which was throw hard and throw by guys. He was throwing hard, but everything was up in the zone. This program, we won't walk guys or when we do, we won't tolerate it. And you can't walk guys in the first inning because that sets the tone."
Offensively, Hawai'i had trouble with Read's slider. The Rainbows, who were taking first pitches with regularity the previous three games, started first-pitch swinging against Read in the fifth, when they scored their only run. Brian Bock and Kevin Gilbride opened the inning by hitting first pitches for singles. After Lane Nogawa struck out, Cortland Wilson singled off a 2-0 pitch to load the bases. Danny Mocny hit the first pitch from Read for a sacrifice fly that scored Bock.
"We were just finding a way to scratch and claw," Trapasso said. "(Read) was as good as any of the guys they've thrown out there."
Also troubling was Arthur Guillen hitting into three air outs, when Trapasso emphasizes his lead-off hitter to stay on top of the ball to hit grounders. Trapasso said he considered pinch-hitting for Guillen in the eighth, but let him bat; he grounded out.
"He's not going to help us get anything started if he starts hitting fly balls," Trapasso said. "When he starts hitting the ball in the air, he's an out. Period."
For the third consecutive game, the Rainbows got a decent outing of long relief. Pribble pitched 7¡ innings, allowing four runs. Three of those runs came in his final inning. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
It was the kind of outing UH needed since it used four relievers the night before and three before that.
"I'm pleasantly surprised and pleased with the way we pitched out of the bullpen," Trapasso said.
Notes: A crowd of 1,296 watched the matinee yesterday ... FSU freshman shortstop Stephen Drew fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot in Friday's game after hitting a triple. FSU coach Mike Martin said Drew will be out 4-6 weeks. "It's a tremendous loss," Martin said. "He's as good a shortstop I've ever had." Drew, the brother of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and former FSU player J.D. Drew, was batting .346 ... The Seminoles return home for a three-game series against top-ranked Stanford next weekend ... The Rainbows play a three-game series against Sacramento State starting Friday.