April 27, 2001
Atlanta, Ga. – The No. 8 Florida State Seminoles (34-13, 14-12 ACC) lost their fourth straight game by a score of 9-8 as No. 10 Georgia Tech (32-13, 11-8 ACC) scored three unearned runs in the ninth inning. Wes Rynders’ deep fly ball single with the outfield in was the game-winning RBI as a season-high crowd of 2,566 looked on at Russ Chander Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets trailed 8-6 going into the bottom of the ninth with Seminole closer Justin Lord, who ranks third nationally with 10 saves, set to take the hill. Bryan Prince led off with a single to shortstop, and Tech had runners on second and third when FSU second baseman Bryan Zech threw the ball away on what would have been a force at second following a groundball. Jason Basil plated Prince with a single to second and Victor Menocal tied the game with a single to shortstop to score Jason Perry. Zech’s second error of the inning loaded the bases prior to Rynders’ game-winning hit to left center.
The visiting Seminoles jumped out to an early lead with four runs in the top of the first inning. Scott Toole led off with a single up the middle and Ryan Barthelemy drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Toole scored when Karl Jernigan singled to right and the ball was mishandled by Jason Basil. Mike Futrell followed with a RBI-single to right to score Barthelemy. Both runners moved to second and third on the throw home and then Jernigan scored on a wild pitch. Jeff Probst knocked in the fourth run with a two-out, two-strike bunt down the third base line.
Futrell made it 5-0 FSU with a double to right center that scored Nick Rogers, who had singled.
The Yellow Jackets cut the lead to 5-4 when they batted around in the bottom of the fourth. Jason Basil started the scoring with a solo homer to left. Brad Stockton singled, moved to second on a base hit by Matt Murton and scored when the ball got by John-Ford Griffin in left. Matthew Boggs and Richard Lewis completed the scoring with a pair of RBI-singles.
Georgia Tech took the lead at 6-5 with two runs in the fifth inning. Victor Menocal doubled and scored on a double by Stockton. Murton followed with a single to left to score Stockton.
After giving up five runs through three innings, Tech starter Steve Kelly (6-2) settled down and retired 16 straight batters before issuing a walk to Nick Rogers in the eighth. Rogers stole second and scored on Mike Futrell’s single to left. After Futrell took second on the throw home, Jeff Probst came through with an RBI-single up the middle to put FSU up 7-6. FSU added another run in the top of the ninth to make it 8-6 after Zech singled and ended up scoring on a pair of Yellow Jacket errors.
FSU starter Blair Varnes (6-1) worked 4.2 innings and allowed six earned runs on 11 hits. Varnes, who hasn’t had a decision in his last three outings, struck out three and walked one.
Lord dropped to 2-2 with the loss, giving up three unearned runs in the top of the ninth. Brian Burks earned the win in relief of Kelly. Burks gave up one unearned run on one hit in 1.1 innings of work.
The two teams continue the series Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with FSU LHP Matt Lynch (5-2, 3.43 ERA) scheduled to face GT RHP Rhett Parrott (7-3, 5.03 ERA). Saturday’s contest is the ACC Game of the Week and will be carried by Fox Sports Net, HTS and Sunshine.