May 23, 2008
Jacksonville, Fla. – After sweeping the regular season series from Virginia in Tallahassee, fourth-ranked Florida State (47-10) could not make it four in a row as the Cavaliers (38-19) held on to a 5-3 victory Friday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The loss dropped the Seminoles to 1-1 in Bracket B of the ACC Baseball Championship, while the `Hoos improved to 2-0.
“It’s just no question that the team that was in the other dugout deserved to win,” said head coach Mike Martin. “They played solid baseball; got great pitching and made quality pitches when they needed to. Every time we would have a chance to do something, they, of course would do something quality, whether it was an outstanding pitch, or a key hit. I was very impressed with Virginia and the way they played. They deserved to win the ballgame.”
The Seminoles must now win on Saturday against North Carolina and receive some help from Wake Forest to advance to their first championship game since 2004. The Deacs must defeat the Tar Heels in the second game on Friday and then post a victory over Virginia Saturday night to force a three-way tie with the Cavaliers, Seminoles and Demon Deacons at 2-1 in Bracket B. FSU holds the tie breaker in that situation.
“You can’t assume anything in this game,” added Martin. “If we can beat North Carolina and Wake Forest can win both its remaining games, then we will play on Sunday. We have to win tomorrow in order to have a chance to get to Sunday. So, yes, we will be playing our hearts out and trying to get the job done against a very good North Carolina team.”
Tony Delmonico was the only Seminole in the Florida State lineup to register multiple hits in game two as the junior shortstop tied a season-high with four hits. He connected on a double in his first at-bat and then three straight singles for his third four-hit game of the season.
Florida State grabbed the early lead with a run in the top of the second on back-to-back hits by Dennis Guinn and Delmonico. Guinn collected his fourth hit of the tournament on a sharp grounder to short. He would come around to score one batter later as Delmonico laced an RBI double to right center for his 17th two-bagger of the season.
The Seminoles loaded the bases in the third but came away empty handed as Virginia starter Jacob Thompson (6-4) got Guinn swinging on strikes to end the threat and keep the Seminole lead at 1-0.
The lead was short lived as the Cavaliers answered with three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-1 advantage. UVa began the inning with consecutive base hits off the bat of John Barr and Tyler Cannon. Barr singled to right center and moved to third on Cannon’s single back up the middle. The first Virginia run crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to center by Greg Miclat. After a single by David Coleman, Cannon scored on a fielder’s choice grounder to first by David Adams. Guinn bobbled the ball on the play and then threw on to home for the out but Cannon slid safely ahead of the tag to give UVa a 2-1 lead. The third run of the inning came on an RBI groundout to second.
FSU got a run back in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Stuart Tapley to cut the deficit to 3-2. The inning started with consecutive singles first by Delmonico who legged out an infield single to second and then on a base hit to right by Tommy Oravetz. Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Mike McGee. One batter later, Tapley sent a fly ball down the right field foul line where Coleman made an outstanding catch tumbling over the wall and into the stands for the second out of the inning. Delmonico tagged up on the play and scored from third.
Virginia looked as though they would add to its lead in the fifth as the first two batters reached on an error and a hit by pitch. After the two Cavalier runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Cannon, Strauss got Miclat swinging on strikes and then a groundout to second by Coleman to end the inning keeping the UVa lead at one.
The Cavaliers would push their lead back to two with a run in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. FSU starter Ryan Strauss issued a leadoff walk to Adams before the game was halted for 53 minutes due to lightning in the area. The delay was long enough as the Seminoles went to the bullpen and brought on Bo O’Dell. After a single by Jeremy Farrell moved Adams over to third, the UVa second baseman would score a batter later on a sacrifice fly RBI by Dan Grovatt.
The run was charged to Strauss (8-1) as he finished the evening pitching four plus innings allowing four runs on five hits. He struck out three and walked one on 84 pitches.
FSU manufactured a run in the seventh to bring the deficit back to one. Tapley began the inning with a single up the middle on Matt Packer and scored two batters later on an RBI groundout by Stidham.
UVa answered right back with a run in the seventh to increase its lead to 5-3. Miclat came through with his second RBI of the game on a two-out RBI single through the right side of the infield scoring Franco Valdes who reached on a fielder’s choice.
Florida State put a pair of runs on in the eighth with one out but couldn’t muster a run as Packer induced consecutive groundouts back to the mound to maintain the Cavalier lead at 5-3. After Rye led off the inning with an infield single to second, Guinn was robbed of extra bases as Coleman made a tremendous diving catch in right center for the first out. Delmonico followed with his fourth hit of the game on a bouncer to left.
“A ball in the gap, you’ve got to bust it out of the box and try to get two, maybe more,” explained Guinn. “You’ve got to tip your hat to him (Coleman), because you don’t see that too often, that type of play right there.”
Michael Schwimer entered in the ninth and closed the door on the Seminoles to earn his 13th save of the season. Thompson got the victory moving to 6-4 on the year. The junior right hander went five innings allowing two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out six.
The loss for Strauss was his first of the season and the first since his last outing in the ACC Tournament against Miami a season ago.
Second-seeded Florida State will next face third-seeded North Carolina on Saturday, May 24 at the ACC Baseball Championship in Jacksonville, Fla. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 pm with the game being broadcast live on Sun Sports, SportSouth and NESN. Fans can also listen to the game live over the radio on 100.7 FM as well as nationally on XM Channel 190.
The Seminoles’ Tony Delmonico tied a season-high with four hits against the Cavaliers. It was his third, four-hit performance of the year.
Florida State reliever Bo O’Dell issued three walks over the course of 3.2 innings of relief against the Cavaliers Friday night. It was just the second time in 31 career appearances that O’Dell has walked more than two batters.
Jimmy Marshall got the final out in the eighth for his 33rd appearance of the season. Marshall moved into a tie for 10th place for relief appearances in a single-season with Chris Chavez (1999).