April 6, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – It took extra innings but Florida State (27-3, 13-1) prevailed with a 3-2 victory over Virginia (24-8, 8-6) in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday at Dick Howser Stadium. The Seminoles captured their 15th ACC series in the last 16 thanks to a walk-off bases loaded single by Jack Rye in the bottom of the 10th. Rye was responsible for two of the three Seminole runs on Sunday as the senior right fielder finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk.
Ryan Strauss earned the win as the senior right hander made just his second relief appearance of the season. Coming off a season-best performance against the Florida Gators last Tuesday, Strauss fired three shutout innings without giving up a hit. The Tampa, Fla., native struck out six of the 10 batters that he faced to move his record to 4-0 on the year.
Seminole starter Geoff Parker threw a career-high seven innings while posting a career-high seven strikeouts in earning a no decision in his second start of the season. He matched Pat McAnaney, the ACC leader in ERA, pitch for pitch to give the Garnet and Gold a solid effort on the mound.
“It was a day in which we got some exceptional pitching,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Geoff Parker had a tremendous outing and then Ryan Strauss comes in and was throwing harder than I have ever seen him throw since he’s been at Florida State.”
Luke Smierciak got things going for Florida State in the tenth as he was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning. Tyler Holt advanced Smierciak to second as he reached on a sacrifice bunt that Cavalier reliever Matt Packer (5-1) could not field cleanly. Following a fly out to left by Jason Stidham, Buster Posey registered an infield single bouncing a ball just over the pitcher’s mound loading the bases for Rye. With the UVa infield drawn in, Rye hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle scoring Smierciak for the winning run. It was Rye’s third career walk-off hit.
Buster Posey went 2-for-5 with an RBI double and a single in the Seminole victory. Holt walked once and a scored a run as the freshman center fielder has now reached base safely in all 30 games this season.
As was the case in game one on Friday, Virginia once again took an early lead on a two-out RBI single by left fielder Dan Grovatt. Tyler Cannon registered the first Cavalier hit of the game reaching on an infield bunt single to third. He moved into scoring position after stealing second and came around to score on Grovatt’s single to center.
And just like Friday night, Florida State answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead. Holt and Stidham started the inning drawing consecutive walks with Holt stealing second during the sequence for his seventh stolen base of the season. Buster Posey stepped in and drilled a 2-1 offering from McAnaney off the wall in right scoring Holt from third. Posey recorded his 10th double of the year on the play. Rye gave the Seminoles the lead on an RBI groundout to second plating Stidham.
The Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second on a pair of singles and a walk but the Seminoles escaped without giving up a run as Greg Miclat grounded into an inning ending double play. On an attempted bunt single, Miclat bounced one right in front of the plate where Posey quickly grabbed the ball, stepped on home and threw down to first for the third out of the inning.
Virginia pushed across the tying run in the fourth on another two-out hit. Franco Valdes blasted a 3-2 pitch from Parker off the wall in right center and scored the very next play on a single through the left side by Patrick Wingfield.
UVa once again loaded the bases in the top of the fifth but came away empty handed as Parker got David Coleman to groundout to first. After Miclat started the inning with a double, Parker registered consecutive strikeouts before issuing an intentional walk to Grovatt and then a walk to Farrell. The Seminole right hander settled down and got Coleman to groundout to Dennis Guinn at first to end the inning.
It wasn’t until the seventh that Florida State had its best scoring opportunity off McAnaney, who settled into a groove after a rocky first. Following two quick outs to start the inning, Stephen Cardullo worked the count full off the Cavalier hurler before registering a solid line drive off the glove of Miclat at short for a base hit. Pinch hitter Luke Smierciak followed with a beautiful bunt single that hugged the third base line. With runners at first and second, the Cavaliers went to the bullpen bringing on Matt Packer and ending the afternoon for McAnaney.
The runners advanced a base on a failed pickoff attempt by Packer who threw wild over to second. But Packer got a groundball back to the pitcher’s mound off the bat of Holt to end the inning and keep the score tied at two.
Neither team could muster a run in the final two innings as the game would move into extra innings. It was just the second time in 2008 that Florida State has played extra baseball. The first extra inning game occurred back on April 30 as the Seminoles topped Wake Forest in 3-2 in 11 innings in Winston-Salem.