March 14, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Top-ranked Virginia (12-2, 2-0 ACC) erased a five-run deficit scoring six-runs in the ninth to post a 9-8 victory over third-ranked Florida State (12-2, 0-2 ACC) in the middle game of a three-game series Saturday night on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.
Keith Werman came up with the big hit for the Cavaliers as he singled to left center with the bases loaded scoring John Hicks and John Barr for the tying run and go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.
Werman led off the ninth reaching on a fielding error at first base, but Daniel Bennett, who worked a perfect eighth inning, bounced back to get Phil Gosselin swinging on strikes for the first out of the inning. Bennett then got in trouble as he loaded the bases giving up a walk to Tyler Cannon and a single to Dan Grovatt. Steve Proscia stepped in and cut into the deficit with an RBI single through the left side scoring Werman.
Head coach Mike Martin went to the bullpen and brought on Tye Buckley to face the left handed swinging Jarrett Parker. On the very first pitch, the junior southpaw unleashed on a wild pitch scoring Cannon from third. Buckley would do the job that he was asked to do as he got Parker to ground out to Jayce Boyd at first for the second out of the inning. Grovatt scored on the play to make the score 8-6.
Martin once again went to the bullpen and this time brought in Andrew Durden (0-1). The junior college transfer faced just three batters as he loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single back up the middle that drilled him on the leg scoring Proscia to bring UVa within one of the lead. Tyler Everett was the fourth Seminole pitcher of the evening and was brought on with the bases loaded and two outs. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat to Werman, the UVA second baseman laced an opposite field base hit for the game-winner bringing home two to give UVA its first lead of the night.
“That’s the crazy thing about baseball,” said sophomore outfielder James Ramsey. “One thing happens that doesn’t go your way, and then before you know it the other team puts together some good at-bats. You have to credit them for fighting back and never giving up. We were in a similar situation last night, we fought back in the ninth and it didn’t go our way. That’s just baseball.”
The win was the fourth straight for the Cavaliers over the Seminoles, while it marked the second year in a row that FSU has dropped its conference series opener. Last year, Boston College took two of three from the Seminoles at home.
“I have a lot of confidence in this ball club,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Virginia showed what they are about tonight. You have to give them a lot of credit.
“Tomorrow is another day, we still have 80 percent of our season left. We just have to take this one and throw it away.”
“We really have to come together and build on this loss,” added Ramsey.
Justin Gonzalez finished the evening with a game-high three hits, his second three-hit game of his career. Sherman Johnson was 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Ramsey connected on an eighth inning home run, a two-run shot, for his third home run of the season. Tyler Holt, Stephen Cardullo and Mike McGee each scored twice in the loss.
The Noles got off to a fast start on Saturday scoring three runs in their first at-bat. Holt led off the bottom half of the inning with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ramsey. Cardullo would bring Holt home on a slow chopper toward third that UVA third baseman Steven Proscia had problems getting the ball out of his glove to make a play at home. Proscia recovered in time to throw over to first, but Cavalier first baseman Kenny Swab could not field the ball cleanly allowing Cardullo to reach safely. The senior shortstop would score one batter later on an RBI double to the gap in right center off the bat of McGee. After a passed ball moved McGee to third, Stuart Tapley brought him home on a sac-fly to center for the third run of the inning.
Virginia cut the deficit to one with two runs in the top of third. The Cavaliers began the inning recording four consecutive hits off FSU starter John Gast. Swab led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to third on a double to center by designated hitter Stephen Bruno. The Cavaliers would then register back-to-back RBI singles off the bat of Gosselin and Cannon to make the score 3-2.
The Seminoles answered right back in the bottom half of the inning with two more runs to increase their lead back to three. Cardullo and McGee drew consecutive walks off UVA starter Robert Morey and came around to score on an RBI single by Johnson and a sacrifice bunt by Gonzalez, respectively.
Both starting pitchers would not factor in Saturday night’s decision. Gast went four innings allowing two runs on five hits as he struck out five and walked two. Morey worked five innings giving up five runs, three earned, on seven hits as he was walked three and struck out six.
Both teams would exchange a run in the seventh. Gosselin doubled to right center off Brian Busch and scored two batters later on a sac-fly to right. Busch finished the inning getting Parker looking at a called third strike for the southpaw’s second strike out of the game.
The Noles once again answered the call to maintain their three-run advantage. Tapley led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and was replaced at first base by pinch runner Ohmed Danesh. Danesh stole second and scored two batters later on an RBI double to right center by Gonzalez.
Ramsey then gave the Seminoles a five-run cushion in the eighth as he deposited a 0-1 pitch from Grovatt (1-0) over the fence in right for a two-run home run and a 8-3 FSU advantage.
The Seminoles return to the diamond on Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 p.m. for the final game of the series against No. 1 Virginia. The game will air live on Sun Sports, while fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.
NOTE: Tyler Holt was honored before the start of Saturday’s game with the 2009 ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award. He becomes the second Seminole to claim a Gold Glove joining Buster Posey, who won the award as a catcher in 2008.