GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Florida State coach Mike Martin finally has a trophy to bring home from North Carolina.
One of his players might have picked up another souvenir -- a bruise or two after an unnerving collision at home plate.
The Seminoles claimed their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship on Sunday by beating North Carolina State 8-3, but not before the Wolfpack's backup catcher was taken off the field in an ambulance and suffered what ACC officials termed a concussion when he was rolled by a Florida State baserunner.
Rafael Lopez drove in three runs, including a tie-breaking single in the seventh that put the fifth-seeded Seminoles (42-17) ahead for good, and Jayce Boyd had two RBI. They claimed their fifth ACC title and first since 2004, finally winning one in the state of North Carolina after coming up empty on three tries in Durham, including last year.
"We came in, a little bit of a struggle," Martin said. "I was just so pleased with how our young men bounced back, got the job done. ... We're just very proud that we got our ears pinned back (after being swept last week at Clemson). We didn't feel sorry for ourselves. We fought back."
But this one took a scary turn in the eighth when N.C. State catcher Chris Schaeffer was injured in a collision at home plate with Florida State baserunner James Ramsey, who was trying to score on a sacrifice fly. Schaeffer had positioned himself several feet up the third-base line to take the throw from shallow right field and was run into by Ramsey.
"All of a sudden, you just hit somebody, and you're not really thinking anything about it. It's just a play that happens in baseball," Ramsey said. "You're just playing the game."
The ACC issued a statement afterward saying that Schaeffer was awake and joking with hospital staff, and that the severity of his injury -- or if anything else was hurt -- wouldn't be determined until further tests were completed.