March 22, 2008
Blacksburg, Va. – Florida State (18-2, 8-0) withstood a ninth inning rally by Virginia Tech (7-14, 0-8) to remain undefeated in the ACC with a 12-11 victory Saturday night. In the longest and coldest game played this season, the Seminoles registered 14 hits and drew a season-high 14 walks to win their third conference series of the year and 13 of their last 14 dating back to the final series of the 2006 season.
Florida State trailed by as many as three runs before putting together an eight-run sixth to take a five run lead. The Hokies made things interesting in the ninth to draw within one but Buster Posey came in to close the door on Virginia Tech to record his third save of the season.
“Being able to come from behind again this season says a lot about our team,” added Posey. “We were down by three at one point and Jack Posey got us going with a walk in the sixth and Tyler (Holt) followed with a double. The hits then just kept on coming. It’s good for us to get down in a tight game and be able to battle back.”
Posey entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with the Hokies down two and runners at first and third with nobody out. He gave up an RBI single to the first batter that he faced as Sean O’Brien took a 1-2 offering through the right side to cut the Seminole lead to one. The junior right hander then found his grove as he got an infield fly out and a fielder’s choice groundout at second as the Hokies put the tying run 90 feet away with two outs. But the tying run would remain at third as Posey struck out Jose Cueto to end a wild and crazy game. Cueto was caught looking on a Posey fastball on the inside corner.
“Ideally, you would like to go down to the pen,” said Posey on going straight from behind the plate to the mound in the ninth. “But my arm felt good all night. Being back there eight innings, I was able to stay somewhat warm even though it was cold out. Overall, I felt pretty good.”
Every Seminole starter recorded a walk in the second game of the series while Jack Rye led all hitters with three. Dennis Guinn had a big offensive day recording three hits and four RBIs including a three-run homer. Tyler Holt went 3-for-5 with three runs scored reaching base in his first four at-bats. Tony Delmonico and Buster Posey each posted a pair of hits while driving in three and two, respectively. Delmonico also hit a three-run home run as part of the eight-run sixth.
For the second straight game, Florida State jumped out to an early first inning lead on Guinn’s three-run homer. Following a leadoff walk to Holt, Hokie starter David Cross registered two quick outs but issued a walk to Rye to put runners at the first and second for Guinn. The senior first baseman got behind in the count at 1-2 but worked the count full and on the eighth pitch of the at-bat sent a towering fly ball over the fence in left center for his team leading seventh home run of the season. Cross then issued three consecutive walks but got out of the inning without any further damage as he struck out Jack Posey on three pitches.
The lead was quickly erased in the Hokies half of the first as Virginia Tech answered with four runs to take a one run lead. The Hokies came to the plate swinging as the first two batters reached on just two pitches as Elih Villanueva gave up a pair of singles to Austin Wates and Ty Hohman. After a one-out walk to Anthony Sosnoskie, Klint Reed sent a base hit through the left side of the infield scoring two to cut into the Seminole lead. The Hokies then took advantage of two Seminole errors to take a 4-3 advantage. The second error came with two outs as Sean Ryan send a grounder toward Jason Stidham at second. The ball took a funny bounce as Stidham recovered in time but his throw short hopped Guinn at first allowing two Virginia Tech runners to cross the plate.
The Seminoles tied the game at four in the top of the second. Holt led off the inning with single to left and moved to third on Stidham’s single to right. He scored a batter later on double play groundout by Buster Posey.
The lead again turned in favor of the Hokies as Virginia Tech scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to take a 6-4 lead. Matt Hacker drilled a leadoff double to the gap in right center, advanced to third on fly out to right and scored on a groundout to short by Hohman. The Hokies then put together some two-out run production as O’Brien drew a walk and scored all the way from first on a double by Sosnoskie that fell just inside the right field foul line.
Virginia Tech added to its lead in the fifth on a two-out RBI double by Wates. The Hokie designated hitter laced a Villanueva offering off the wall in left center scoring Hacker from second who reached on a single to left. That would end the night for Villanueva who last just 4.2 innings, his shortest outing as a Seminole. Bo O’Dell came on in relief and induced a groundout to second by Hohman to close out the inning.
Villanueva gave up a season-high in runs (7) and hits (9) while he tied a career-high with five walks. The Miami, Fla., native also struck out a pair leaving the game as the pitcher of record.
The Seminoles sent 14 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth pushing across eight runs on just four hits while drawing seven walks. The first seven Florida State batters reached and scored to give the Garnet and Gold the lead at 11-7. Buster Posey got the Seminoles within one of the lead with his first hit of the ballgame, a double to left scoring brother Jack Posey and Holt. After a walk to Jack Rye loaded the bases, Guinn picked up his fourth RBI of the game with a walk to drive in Stidham and tie the game at seven. All three Seminole runners advanced a base with Buster Posey providing the go ahead run on a wild pitch by Sean McDermott (1-3). A batter later Delmonico pushed the FSU lead to four on his fourth home run of the season. The junior shortstop hit a line drive over the fence in left for a three-run shot ending the evening for McDermott.
Brandon Fisher entered and got Luke Smierciak to groundout to the pitcher. Mike McGee stepped in and roped a hit down the right field line for his second triple of the season. He would come around to score on balk by Fisher to plate the eighth run of the inning and a 12-7 Florida State lead.
Virginia Tech cut into the lead with a run in the eighth thanks to the fourth Seminole error of the game.
O’Dell looked good in relief throwing 3.1 innings to pick up the win running his record to 2-1 on the year. The junior right hander allowed one run, unearned, on two hits. He struck out two and walked just one. It was O’Dell’s longest relief appearance of the season.
The Hokies made things interesting scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth off Jimmy Marshall. After throwing two strikes to start the inning, Marshall had trouble locating the zone as he issued back-to-back walks and back-to-back singles before handing the ball over to Posey.
Florida State will return to the diamond for the third and final game of the series against Virginia Tech on Sunday, March 23 at 1:00 pm. The game will be shown live on Sun Sports, while fans can listen to the action on 100.7 FM with Eric Luallen providing all the play-by-play action.