April 2, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Fourth-ranked Florida State (20-5, 6-4 ACC) fell to Virginia Tech (19-9, 5-5 ACC) 10-5 Friday evening on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. The victory for the Hokies snapped FSU’s eight game series win streak, while it marked the first victory for Virginia Tech over the Seminoles in Tallahassee since April 21, 1989.
“This was just a game that Virginia Tech totally took it to us,” said head coach Mike Martin. “From the very beginning, starting in the second inning, they took the game to us. I thought we were going to make a game out of it, when we got three in the fourth to put ourselves at least in striking distance. It’s 8-3 and there are still 18 outs to get. I told myself that we were going to come back out and win this thing. What happens…we get two outs and two strikes and they turn around and get two runs. Credit Virginia Tech, they did an outstanding job.”
The Hokies jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back snapping FSU’s string of six consecutive victories. Justin Wright kept the Seminoles off-balanced during his seven innings of work to run his record to 4-3 on the year. The junior southpaw gave up three runs, two earned, with all three runs coming in the fourth. Wright finished the game tying a career-high with 10 strikeouts.
“He changed speeds real well,” said Martin on Wright’s performance Friday night. “He located his fastball to both sides of the plate. You strike us out 10 times in seven innings and throw 125 pitches, it was a pretty impressive outing for him.”
The 10 runs by the Hokies on Friday tied for the most allowed by the Seminole pitching staff this year, while the 15 hits surpassed the previous-high of 13 given-up to Virginia back on March 13. Virginia Tech also set a season-high with seven doubles on Friday night. It marked the most doubles allowed by the Seminoles in school history, surpassing the previous mark of six set on several occasions but most recently against North Carolina in 2008.
“They hit the ball well,” added Martin. “It was a game that Virginia Tech totally dominated us tonight.”
“They hit the ball well,” said Sherman Johnson. “Their pitcher threw well tonight, he threw really well. He was locating all three of his pitches; he could throw his off speed when he was behind in the count. When you can do that, you are going to do well. He didn’t walk many guys; I guess you can say that is a recipe for success.”
Sherman Johnson, Jayce Boyd and Tyler Holt paced the Seminole offense in game one of the series with two hits each. Holt tied a season-high for home runs, a record set last year as a sophomore, with his fifth in the bottom of the ninth. Johnson finished the evening 2-for-3 with a pair of singles to extend his hit streak to eight games. Boyd also recorded a pair of singles and scored twice.
Scott Sitz threw a career-high 4.1 innings on Friday night. The freshman right hander kept the Hokies scoreless allowing just two hits and no walks, while establishing a career-high with three strikeouts on the night.
Five Hokies registered multiple hits in game one as Austin Wates led the way going 4-for-5 with a run and three RBI. Wates, along with Steve Domecus, both had two doubles.
Virginia Tech ran out to the early lead in game one exploding for five runs in the top of the second. The Hokies sent nine batters to the plate in the inning registering five hits including three doubles. Tim Smalling and Ronnie Shaban got things going in the second registering back-to-back singles off FSU starter Sean Gilmartin (4-2). Buddy Sosnoskie delivered a two-run double to right plating the first two runs of the ball game. The Hokies then put together a string of three consecutive two-out hits including consecutive doubles off the bat of Domecus and Sean Ryan.
The Hokies increased their lead to 8-0 with three more runs in the fourth. Wates unloaded on his third hit in as many at-bats with a double to right to score a pair. A two-out error by the Seminoles led to the third run of the inning.
Gilmartin’s outing would come to an end after 4.0 innings marking his shortest outing as a starter since going 4.0 innings in a loss at Virginia back on March 13, 2009. The Hokies pegged the sophomore southpaw for eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits as he walked one and struck out two.
Florida State got the three runs back in the bottom of the fourth scoring all three runs on two outs. Johnson started the rally as he was hit on the arm by Wright. The Seminoles then registered four consecutive singles by Devon Travis, Boyd, Rafael Lopez and Holt. Boyd picked up an RBI with a single to right center, while Travis scored all the way from first and Boyd moved to third on a fielding error by the Hokie center fielder. Lopez brought home the third run of the inning on a bloop single to left scoring Boyd.
The Hokies responded with two more runs in the fifth off Seminole reliever Robert Benincasa. Tony Balisteri deposited a 2-1 offering from Benincasa out over the fence in right center for his second home run of the season. Domecus then clubbed a double to right center and scored a batter later on an RBI single to right by Ryan. Martin called on Sitz who got Wates to strike out swinging to close out the fifth.
The Seminoles could not generate any more offense until Holt cut the deficit in half with a two-run shot in the ninth off Hokie reliever Brandon Fisher. Ben Rowen came in to record the final two outs in the ninth to preserve the victory for Virginia Tech.
“We have to come out tomorrow and be ready to go,” added Johnson. “These games are the biggest of the year. We are right behind Clemson, so we need to keep up with them and try to win this series. We need to keep playing hard the rest of the season to get where we want to be.”
The Seminoles return to the diamond for game two of the series against the Hokies on Saturday, April 3 at 6:00 p.m. The game will air live over the internet on Seminoles.com All-Access, while fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com.