March 16, 2003
Tallahassee, Fla. – The No. 2 Florida State Seminoles (24-2, 3-0 ACC) found a way to extend their ACC home winning streak to 29 games as they came from behind to defeat Virginia (9-8, 0-3 ACC) by a final score of 5-4 in 12 innings as 2,858 looked on at Dick Howser Stadium. FSU led 3-0 after seven innings, but Virginia rallied to take the lead with four runs in the top of the eighth. Freshman Eddy Martinez-Esteve’s two-out, solo home run in the bottom of the eighth forced extra innings where Tony Richie scored the winning run on a Cavalier throwing error.
The Seminoles got on the board first with two runs in the fourth. Jerrod Brown got his second hit of the game and Martinez-Esteve was hit by pitch to put runners on first and second. Blake Balkcom followed with a single to right to load the bases. Aaron Cheesman’s fielder’s choice groundout scored Brown and Martinez-Esteve scored when Matt Sauls singled down the right field line.
Sauls scored another run in the bottom of the seventh to give FSU a 3-0 lead. He led off the inning with a bunt single and advanced to second on an errant throw to first by Virginia pitcher Matt Avery. Sauls then moved to third on a balk before scoring on a wild pitch.
The Cavaliers took their first lead of the series with four runs in the eighth. After back-to-back singles by Paul Gillispie and Joe Koshansky, Scott Head knocked in the first run with a single to right. Three more RBI-singles by Matt Dunn, Mark Reynolds and Chris Sweet made it 4-3 UVA.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Martinez-Esteve launched his fifth home run of the season over the screen in right to tie the game at 4-4.
Closer Daniel Hodges held Virginia in check over the final 4.1 innings before FSU scored the game-winning run in the 12th inning. Richie led off the inning with a walk and the Seminoles had runners on first and second with no outs after Brown was hit by a pitch. Chris Hart then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Koshansky threw the ball into right field, allowing Richie to score the game-winner.
In his first start of the season, FSU senior left-hander Daniel Davidson (2-0) allowed just three hits in seven scoreless innings of work. Davidson, who dropped his season ERA to 0.47, struck out five and did not walk a batter. He did not allow a Virginia runner past second base.
Hodges (3-0) got the win in relief, throwing a season-high 4.1 scoreless innings. Hodges gave up three hits, struck out five and didn’t allow a walk. He has not given up a run in his last 28.2 innings, dating back to May 31, 2002.
Martinez-Esteve (2-for-3), Brown (2-for-5) and Sauls (2-for-3) led Florida State offensively.
FSU returns to action next weekend as they travel to Kinston, N.C., to take on NC State in a three game series. Game times are set for Friday (7:00), Saturday (1:30) and Sunday (12:00).