TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Marist was the small fish in a very large pond at the Tallahassee Regional. The Red Foxes boast an enrollment of 4,256, or roughly one-tenth the enrollment of their opening game opponent, Florida State.
In front of a surprising crowd of 3,565 that came to Dick Howser Stadium for the late 9:30 p.m. start, the Red Foxes came out strong against the Seminoles before falling behind in the middle innings and eventually falling 16-4.
Marist went to a 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior lefty named Josh Rickards to take on a very strong Florida State offense, and for 4 1/3 innings he held the Seminoles in check, allowing just one run and five hits.
Meanwhile the Marist offense got Rickards a lead in the top of the fifth with a two-run homer by center fielder Jon Schwind that went high into the netting protecting the scoreboard in left field.
Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Rickards gave up a single and a walk with one out. Marist coach Dennis Healy went to righthander Eric Allessio, who promptly gave up a long homer to right-center off the bat of Seminoles left fielder Mike McGee, giving Florida State the lead back, 4-3.
Marist fought back and tied it 4-4 with a run in the top of the sixth. The Seminoles would take the lead for good with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. The big blow for the Seminoles came off the bat of second baseman Jason Stidham, who hit a towering three-run homer deep into the night in right-center. The ‘Noles would add five in the bottom of the seventh to ice the victory.
The Tallahassee Regional saw the most runs of any regional on the day with a total of 52 runs scored.