March 30, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va. – In a wild start to doubleheader Saturday on English Field, No. 4 Florida State (24-3, 8-3 ACC) hung on for the game one victory defeating Virginia Tech (19-9, 6-5 ACC) 11-10 to even the three-game series.
The Seminoles squandered an early eight-run lead and then held on for the one-run victory as Virginia Tech had the game-tying run at third with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Three straight Hokie batters reached off Robby Coles to cut FSU’s lead to one but the Seminole right hander responded by getting Kyle Wernicki swinging on strikes and then Alex Perez to groundout to second to end the game. The save for Coles was his sixth in as many opportunities in 2013.
For the second straight game, Giovanny Alfonzo paced the Seminole offense with three hits as the sophomore shortstop registered three singles in his first three at-bats. Stephen McGee and Jose Brizuela recorded two hits apiece in the win. The trio of McGee, Brizuela and Alfonzo combined to drive in seven of FSU’s 11 runs led by McGee with three RBI.
Both teams were not sharp defensively in game one of the doubleheader as each team committed three errors. Of the 11 runs scored by Florida State, five were earned, while three of Virginia Tech’s 10 runs were earned.
The Seminoles drew 12 walks in the game to go along with their 12 hits. FSU finished the game leaving 12 runners on base.
Bryant Holtmann earned his second win of the season as the sophomore southpaw turned in 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of FSU starter Scott Sitz. Holtmann allowed three hits and walked a batter to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Sitz did not factor into the decision as the senior right hander could not make it out of the fourth inning, an inning in which the Hokies scored seven unearned runs to erase FSU’s early lead and tie the game at eight. Sitz would leave the game allowing eight runs, one earned, on seven hits as he walked one and struck out one.
Gage Smith worked 2.0 innings in relief and allowed a run on two hits as he finished with two strikeouts.
Mark Zagunis and Gary Schneider paced the Hokies with three hits each, while Zagunis and Brendon Hayden both drove in two runs.
Florida State wasted little time cracking the scoreboard in game one of the doubleheader on Saturday scoring five runs in the top of the first. The Seminoles sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning recording three hits, drawing four walks and taking advantage of two Hokie errors. Brizuela began the scoring spree legging out would could have been an inning ending double play on a groundball to second to score Marcus Davis for the first run of the game. John Nogowski followed with an RBI single to right and after Seth Miller drew a walk to load the bases, Alfonzo laced a base hit to center that cleared the bases. Alfonzo was credited with two RBI on the play as the third run scored on a fielding error by Andrew Rash in center.
The Noles extended their lead to 8-0 with three more runs in the second. DJ Stewart opened the inning with a double to the gap in left center and scored on McGee’s RBI double down the line in left. Brizuela followed with an RBI single through the right side of the infield to score McGee ending the afternoon for Virginia Tech starter Devin Burke. Brizuela would score the third run of the inning on Miller’s sac-fly to center.
Virginia Tech scored a run in the second to cut the deficit to 8-1. The Hokies opened the inning with back-to-back singles off Sitz by Tyler Horan and Zagunis. The Seminole starter then registered consecutive fielder’s choice groundouts with the second coming off the bat of Hayden to plate Horan from third. Sitz would retire the side on a pop out to short by Wernicki.
Burke did not factor into the decision for the Hokies despite going just 1.0 plus inning. The junior right hander allowed eight runs, two earned, on six hits as he walked four and did not record a strikeout.
Three Seminole errors in the fourth led to seven unearned runs as the Hokies fought back to tie the game at 8-8. Virginia Tech sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning as all seven runs were scored with two outs. The Hokies put together four straight RBI hits with only one leaving the infield. The inning continued with consecutive fielding errors, first by Sitz and then from Holtmann. The inning finally came to end when Horan was thrown out at third but not before Zagunis tied the game with a two-run single to right.
Florida State retook the lead in the fifth when McGee drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded. The Seminoles could not add to the lead as Jake Joyce, the third Hokie pitcher of the afternoon, got Brizuela swinging on strikes to end the inning.
Virginia Tech threatened in the bottom of the fifth putting runners at the corners off Holtmann following a walk to Rash and a single by Wernicki. But the sophomore southpaw got out the jam and kept FSU’s lead intact getting Perez to ground into an inning ending double play.
The Seminoles increased their lead to 11-8 after plating two runs, both on two outs, off Joyce. With Josh Delph and Davis on at third and second, respectively, after reaching on a fielder’s choice and a walk, Delph would come home on a wild pitch by Joyce. McGee drove in Davis for the second run of the inning on a base hit to left.
The Hokies answered with a run in the bottom of the inning off Smith to cut the Florida State lead to 11-9. Zagunis led off the inning with a triple to the gap in right center and scored a batter later on a groundout to second by Rash.
Virginia Tech made things interesting in the ninth as Zagunis drew a one-out walk off Coles. The Hokie catcher would move to third when Rash hammered a double to the gap in left center. With runners at second and third, Hayden hit a tough chopper just over the mound that Alfonzo gloved but the Virginia Tech second basemen beat the throw for an infield single. Zagunis scored on the plate to cut the Florida State lead to 11-10. The Hokies put the pressure on Coles with runners at the corners and one out but the junior closer responded by getting Wernicki swinging on strikes and then Perez to ground out to second to end the game.
Florida State and Virginia Tech are right back at it for game two of the doubleheader beginning at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Fans can listen to the game on the Seminoles.com All-Access player and locally on 100.7 FM. As always, Seminole fans can follow the Noles on twitter @FSU_Baseball and remember to like the Seminoles on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FSUBaseball). Live stats for the game will be available via gametracker.