March 13, 2009
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Fourteenth-ranked Florida State (9-6, 1-3 ACC) dropped its third straight game in the ACC falling to 18th-ranked Virginia (15-0, 4-0 ACC) 15-2 on a cold, Friday evening at Davenport Field. The loss is the second in a row to the Cavaliers and the first in Charlottesville since 2004.
The 13-run victory by Virginia in game one marked the largest margin of victory by the Cavaliers in the series. The previous-high for UVa was 11 set twice back in 1996 (12-1) and 2004 (11-0).
Virginia starter Danny Hultzen (4-0) kept Florida State off balanced all night long working seven innings to remain perfect on the year in four starts. The freshman southpaw started the game retiring the first eight batters that he faced, while striking out seven in a row at one point. Hultzen finished the game with a career-high 13 strikeouts.
“Hultzen pitched gorgeously,” said head coach Mike Martin. “That was the best I have seen this year.”
The Garnet and Gold finished the game with just six hits, while committing a season-high five errors. To make matters worse, the Seminoles struck out a season-high 14 times.
Sophomore Stuart Tapley got the Seminoles on the board in the seventh registering a solo home to right. Tapley took a 1-0 pitch from Hultzen out of the park for his team leading fourth round tripper of the season. It was the first home run offered up by the Virginia starter in 25.1 innings of work.
Tyler Holt was responsible for the other Seminole run on Friday night scoring on a passed ball in the eighth. The sophomore center fielder reached base on a bunt single to third.
An error to start the bottom of the second proved costly paving the way for an early Virginia lead. Dan Grovatt led off the inning reaching on a fielding error by Florida State second baseman Tommy Oravetz opening the door for three unearned runs off FSU starter Sean Gilmartin (3-1). With runners at second and third and one out, first baseman Jared King dropped a bloop single to short center scoring Grovatt for the first run of the game. Franco Valdes then stepped in and hit an RBI groundout to short for the second out of the game scoring John Hicks from third, who reached on a walk. John Barr closed out the scoring with an RBI single to right center plating King from second.
It wasn’t until two outs in the third before the first Seminole reached base. Catcher Rafael Lopez laced an opposite field single to left on a 1-2 offering from Hultzen for the first Florida State hit of the evening. Holt then drew a walk, but a groundout to second off the bat of Oravetz brought the inning to a close. The hit by Lopez broke a string of seven consecutive strikeouts registered by the Virginia southpaw.
Virginia loaded the bases in the fourth as the first three batters to the plate reached on back-to-back singles by Proscia and Hicks and a walk to King. After a visit to the mound by Martin, Gilmartin got the next two Virginia batters out on an infield pop up and a strikeout. He came within one pitch of escaping the inning unscathed but Jarrett Parker laced a base hit up the middle to score a pair increasing the Cavalier lead to five.
The Cavaliers added to their lead in the fifth to take a commanding 8-0 lead. After a walk to Phil Gosselin, Grovatt followed with a monster blast over the wall in right for his third home run of the season. The hit would end the evening for Gilmartin who went four plus innings allowing seven runs, four earned, on six hits. He walked three and struck out seven on 86 pitches.
“I was pleased with the way Gilmartin pitched tonight,” added Martin. “Virginia did a good job of putting pressure on us. You have really got to credit UVa; they did just a good job with great pitching and timely hitting.”
UVa added one more in the inning off reliever Hunter Scantling. Another Seminole error would come back to haunt FSU as a throwing error by Stephen Cardullo at first prolonged the inning. After Proscia scored on a fielder’s choice RBI by King, the Seminoles would get out of the inning on a strike out, throw out double play. Scantling got Valdes looking on strikes, while Lopez fired down to second getting King on an attempted steal for the final out of the inning.
It didn’t get any better for the Seminoles as Virginia scored five more times in the sixth to take a 13-0 lead. Virginia sent nine batters to the plate registering five hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. The Seminoles’ fielding woes continued as Florida State committed three more errors in the inning.
Two more runs by Virginia in the eighth gave the Cavaliers their winning margin.
Ben Francis pitched a career-high 2.2 innings as the junior right hander finished the game giving up three runs on five hits. He registered a strike out while issuing one walk.
Florida State and Virginia will square-off in game two of the series on Saturday, March 14. First pitch is slated for 1:00 p.m. Game two will air live over the internet on ACC Select, while fans can listen to the action locally on 100.7 FM. Live stats will also be available via gametracker on www.seminoles.com.