March 10, 2001
Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 18 Florida State (12-5) won its ACC season opener, 9-2, over Virginia (7-5) in the first game of a doubleheader at Dick Howser Stadium. FSU starter Blair Varnes (3-1) went the distance, allowing two earned runs on eight hits while striking out a career-high 12.
Virginia took the early lead when Jon Benick hit a solo homer to center in the top of the first.
In the bottom of the first inning, Bryan Zech and Mike Futrell reached on bunt singles and John-Ford Griffin walked to load the bases. Ryan Barthelemy knocked in Zech with a sacrifice fly to the wall in the right and Nick Rogers picked up an RBI on a bases loaded walk to put FSU up 2-1.
The Seminoles opened up a five-run lead with four runs in the third. Barthelemy got things going with a double and scored on Karl Jernigan’s single to center. Virginia pitcher Brandon Creswell’s throwing error on Brett Groves’ bunt allowed Jernigan to score and Groves came around to score on the second Cavalier error on the play – an overthrow by the right fielder. Scott Toole’s second home run of the season, a solo shot to left, made it 6-1.
FSU scored another unearned run in the fourth when Griffin walked, moved to second on a failed pick-off, and scored on Barthelemy’s single.
Griffin extended the lead to 9-1 and his hitting streak to 13 games with a two-run homer to right in the sixth inning. The homer was Griffin’s sixth of the season and scored Futrell, who had reached on a single.
The Cavaliers added one run in the top of the ninth when Andrew Riesenfeld singled home Mark Rueffert, who had doubled.
Creswell (2-2) took the loss for Virginia, working 5.2 innings and giving up five earned runs on eight hits.
Futrell (2-for-5) and Barthelemy (3-for-4) led the Seminoles at the plate.
After the second game of the doubleheader is completed this evening, the two teams will play the third and final game of the series Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Sunday’s game will be televised by Sunshine.