May 10, 1998
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Freshman Matt Diaz drove in a career-high four runs on three hits and centerfielder Brian Cox ripped three hits as No. 9 Florida State (45-16, 18-4 ACC) defeated Virginia (27-24-1, 5-18 ACC), 9-6, for the Seminoles’ fourth sweep of an ACC team this season.
Right-hander John Bentley (6-1) earned the win as he held the Cavaliers to three runs on six hits and struck out one batter in five innings of work. Right-hander Scott Proctor earned his fifth save of the season as he pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 3-0 lead as ce nterfielder Brian Cox and first baseman Kevin Cash both walked with two outs in the first inning. Rightfielder Matt Diaz doubled Cox home and leftfielder Karl Jernigan drove in Cash with an infield basehit. Diaz scored on a fielding error on a ground ball hit by shorstop Brett Groves for FSU’s third run of the inning.
Florida State put four more runs on the board in the third inning sparked by a two-run single by Diaz. Diaz then scored on a sacrifice fly by Groves to increase the Seminoles’ lead to 7-0. Cox also extended his hitting streak to 13-games with a basehit and scored in the inning.
Virginia rightfielder Julian Gonzalez belted a solo home run in the third inning for the Cavaliers. Catcher Mark Rueffert then tripled and scored on a ground ball by first baseman Javier Lopez to cut FSU’s lead to 7-2. In the fifth inning, Gonzalez singled and scored on a double by Rueffert to make the score 7-3.
The Seminoles added two runs in the seventh as third baseman Jose Zabala led off the inning with a walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Cash. Cox belted his third hit of the day and came home on a basehit by Diaz.
Freshman left-hander Greg Withelder (2-3) gave up seven runs on five hits in five innings in the loss for the Cavaliers. Withelder struck out four and walked five in the outing.
Virginia second baseman Ryan Gilleland belted a three-run home run off reliever Mike Smalley to cut Florida State’s lead to 9-6 in the eighth inning.
Florida State will play the winner of No. 8 Maryland-No. 9 Virginia on Wednesday, May 13th at 1:30 p.m., in the ACC Tournament.
FSU 304 000 200 9 8 1
UVA 002 010 030 6 8 4
E-Cash, Sherlock, Lopez, LaVigne, Rueffert.
DP-FSU 1, UVA 1. LOB-FSU 5, UVA 5.
2B-M. Diaz, Cox, Rueffert, Lopez. 3B-Rueffert.