Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Irish Bats Slam FSU Notre Dame Rolls Past 'Noles, 10-4

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Irish Bats Slam FSU Notre Dame Rolls Past 'Noles, 10-4

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, Times-Union sports writer

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida State's school-record 25-game winning streak is over, and unless the Seminoles can put together a two-game win streak beginning tonight, so will the winningest season in FSU coach Mike Martin's 23 seasons.

Oblivious to the partisan Dick Howser Stadium crowd of 5,388, Notre Dame pulled away to a 10-4 victory in last night's best-of-three Super Regional opener.

Kris Billmaier drove in five runs on four hits, including two-run singles in the seventh and eighth innings, after the Seminoles rallied from a 3-0 deficit to forge a 4-4 tie.

The loss puts the Seminoles (59-13), the nation's No. 1 seed, on the brink of elimination and the Fighting Irish (48-15) one win away from their first College World Series appearance since 1957.

After hitting .396 with runners in scoring position over the course of their winning streak, the Seminoles stranded 10 baserunners. Conversely, Notre Dame drove six of its 10 runs with two outs, making the most of every opportunity.

"We came down here to win," Notre Dame coach Paul Mainieri said. "We have a tremendous respect for that [FSU] team in the other dugout, and I have a lot of confidence in our team."

In a matchup of the nation's two hottest teams, Notre Dame was the aggressor from the start, winning for the 30th time in 33 games. FSU trailed for the fourth consecutive game -- and the seventh time in the last nine -- after Brian Stavinsky hammered a two-run homer off Matt Lynch in the top of the first. The Irish pushed their lead to 3-0 when Billmaier followed All-American Steve Stanley's leadoff double with a two-out single.

After hitting .480 in last week's regional sweep, the Irish picked up where they left off, battering five FSU pitchers for 15 hits.

"I think it's just the regional carrying over to this tournament," Stavinsky said. …

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