Error equals losing start for Fla. State


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- On a day in which pitchers ruled, it took a lone, aggressive Roger Bailey error to send Florida State into the losers' bracket of the South II Regional baseball tournament Thursday night.

Western Carolina's Rodney Hennon scored on Matt Raleigh's sacrifice fly following that sixth-inning error for a 1-0 win over No. 2 seed FSU in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament.

Meanwhile, Catamount starter Phillip Grundy shut down 13th-ranked FSU (43-19) with eight innings of three-hit ball.

Dan Kyslinger pitched the ninth for his ninth save.

FSU will face No. 6 seed Stetson at 11 a.m. today in an elimination game. FSU will call on left-hander Chris Roberts (7-3, 2.43 ERA).

The Seminoles saw an eight-game regional win streak at home snapped.

Stetson eliminated FSU in the 1988 regional in Tallahassee. The Hatters on Thursday lost to No. 1 seed Stanford 2-1 in 12 innings. In the other game, No. 4 seed Kent beat No. 3 seed Georgia 5-2 and will face Western Carolina at 7 p.m.

Georgia will play Stanford at 3 p.m.

This first day of regional play had a decided pitching theme to it. None of the six starting pitchers gave up more than seven hits, with no team scoring more than five runs.

Grundy (9-4), who allowed only three FSU batters to reach second base, was on top of his game. He struck out six and walked two.

Bailey (14-4) was about as impressive as the next guy, even if he did wear out in the sixth inning after throwing too many pitches. His one real mistake wasn't a pitch, but a pickoff throw.

He left the ball out for shortstop Link Jarrett to pull in on a pickoff attempt at second base. But Jarrett could only glove the ball as Hennon advanced to third base.

Hennon had reached on a leadoff infield single, and stole second. After reaching third, Hennon scored on Raleigh's fly ball left, and that was enough for the upstart Catamounts (42-19-1).

Bailey struck out seven and walked two, giving up only three hits over five innings. His lone run was unearned.

Bailey might have lasted longer if he hadn't been forced to throw so many pitches. He built a full count on a countless number of batters, wearing his arm out in the process.

He helped himself out of a third-inning jam when he picked leadoff hitter Marc Stricker off first during a marathon at-bat by Roy Hurst.

Hurst grounded out to short, but Eric Whitson reached first when Chris Brock couldn't handle his liner to right. Whitson tried to score from first on Rodney Hennon's slicing liner to right, but catcher Colby Weaver held onto the ball as Whitson tried to run him over.

Whitson was ejected by home-plate umpire Gus Steiner on the play as players from both teams glared at one another.

Bryan Harris, the loser of an 11-0 decision to Clemson in the ACC Tournament, relieved Bailey in the sixth and promptly walked Joey Cox. John Nedeau came in and struck out the next two batters to end the inning, but Western Carolina had its 1-0 lead.

Nedeau almost hurt himself in the seventh on an errant pickoff throw of his own. But Chris Roberts grabbed the ball and nailed Stricker trying to go for third.

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