May 27, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Fourteenth-ranked Florida State (40-17) stayed in contention at the 2010 ACC Baseball Championship with a resounding 11-4 victory over top-ranked Virginia (46-11) Thursday evening inside NewBridge Bank Park.
The Seminoles recorded a season-high five home runs in the win as three of those came off the bat of Stephen Cardullo. Mike McGee was responsible for the other two home runs as FSU evened its tournament record to 1-1 in Division A.
With Florida State's win and a 12-inning victory by Boston College over Miami earlier on Thursday, all four teams in Division A sit with a 1-1 record with just one game remaining in pool play competition. The Seminoles will wrap-up pool play against the Eagles on Friday at 12 noon. A Florida State victory and a win by Virginia over Miami on Saturday will advance the Seminoles to the ACC Championship for the second year in a row and for the ninth time in school history.
"Obviously, it was a great win for us," said head coach Mike Martin. "We got great production out of these two men among others on the club. Parker pitched great in relief of Busch. I thought Busch had a good outing also, and he kept us in the game the time he was in the game. Certainly, Geoff did an outstanding job when he came in. Good win for us. We needed that one. We have been away from home now for a long time and probably the longest that I can remember."
The win on Thursday night snapped FSU's four-game losing streak while evening the season-series with Virginia at two games apiece. The loss for the Cavaliers was just their second in the last 19 games. Florida State also reached the 40-win mark for the 33rd consecutive season.
"I am very proud of our baseball team," added Martin. "We know we haven't done anything yet. We know that we had an outstanding game. Things went our way and that's the way this game is. What's impressive about our ball club is we went through a bad stretch, but these men showed what they are about."
Cardullo, who entered the ACC Tournament with five home runs, clubbed three Thursday night as the senior shortstop finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBI. He became the first Seminole to hit three home runs in a ball game since Mike Futrell slugged three against Stanford back on February 10, 2002. It also marked Cardullo's second multi-home run game of his career as both have come this season.
"Definitely," said Cardullo on FSU's coming out tonight with something to prove. "We have had a tough stretch with four straight losses, and we needed to come out and make a statement to prove that we are a great team, not only for ourselves, but to our fans and to the opposition that we can't be taken lightly."
McGee also went yard twice hitting solo home runs in the first and eighth innings. The junior left fielder finished the evening 3-for-5 with a bunt single, three RBI and two runs scored. The multi-home run game for McGee was his second of the season and fourth of his career.
The Seminoles finished the game out hitting the Cavaliers 11-6.
Geoff Parker worked 3.2 innings to run his record to 4-1 on the year. The junior right hander allowed just one run on four hits as he struck out three and did not issue a walk.
"This whole season we have been working on hitting our strides, keeping the ball down, and just having command of all our pitches," said Parker. "I feel today we did very well with that. When an outside pitch was called, we threw it away, down, and kept it away from the hitters. When we threw off-speed, we didn't keep it up, and if we did miss, they luckily took."
FSU starter Brian Busch did not factor in the decision as he yielded three runs on just two hits in 4.1 innings. The sophomore southpaw walked three and struck out one in making his ninth start of the season.
Hunter Scantling worked a scoreless ninth to preserve the victory for the Garnet and Gold.
Florida State grabbed the early lead on Thursday thanks to a two-out solo home run off the bat of McGee. The junior left fielder hit a line drive off Virginia starter Robert Morey (9-3) just over the wall in right and inside the right field foul pole for his team leading 12th home run of the season.
The lead was short lived as Steven Proscia led off the top of the second with a solo shot to left center tying the game at 1-1. The Cavalier third baseman took a 2-2 offering from Busch out of the park for his ninth round tripper in 2010.
The Seminoles answered with their second home run of the game and then a two-out, two-run single by Sherman Johnson in the bottom of the second to take a 4-1 lead. Cardullo belted a solo shot to left center for his sixth of the season to give FSU a 2-1 advantage. Then Johnson came through with a big two-out hit to right with the bases loaded to extend the Seminole lead to 4-1. Lopez and Boyd singled in the inning, while Holt drew an intentional walk which loaded the bases for Johnson's two-run single.
FSU pushed its lead to 6-1 after four innings of play scoring two more runs on two outs. With Boyd and Holt aboard after drawing back-to-back one out walks off Morey and advancing on a wild pitch, McGee dropped a beautiful bunt base hit down the third base line to score Boyd. Holt scored the second run of the inning as Morey unleashed the second of three wild pitches in the inning.
Virginia answered with two runs in the top of the fifth and in the process knocked Busch from the game after 4.1 innings of work. Following a fielder's choice and a hit-by-pitch, Cavalier designated hitter Chris Taylor registered an RBI double down the line in right scoring John Barr from second. The hit finished the evening for Busch as Parker was called on out of the bullpen.
Parker allowed just one of the two runners he inherited to score as Phil Gosselin drove in the second run of the inning on a sac-fly to right. Parker got out of the inning striking out Tyler Cannon.
Morey's afternoon was over after four innings of work as the junior right hander allowed six runs on seven hits as he walked four and struck out seven. He was also charged with four wild pitches. It marked the shortest outing of the season for Morey in 14 starts.
The Seminoles threatened in the sixth but left a pair of runners on as Virginia freshman reliever Brandon Kline got Stuart Tapley swinging on strikes to end the inning. Holt led off the inning with a double down the line in left and moved to third on a groundout to first by Johnson. Following a strikeout to McGee and a walk to James Ramsey, Kline kept the Seminole lead at three recording a big strikeout of Tapley.
Cardullo's second home run of the evening gave the Seminoles a 7-3 advantage after seven. The senior shortstop led off the bottom of the seventh crushing a 0-1 delivery from Cavalier reliever Justin Thompson on top of the grassy hill in left.
Virginia cut the lead to three on an RBI double by Dan Grovatt in the eighth. With Cannon aboard after a base hit back up the middle, Grovatt doubled to the gap in left center scoring Cannon from first. But the junior right fielder registered the second out of the inning as he was thrown out at third trying to stretch his double into a triple. The Seminoles put together a nice relay throw to record the out as Holt threw in to Devon Travis, who threw a strike to Johnson for the out. Parker recorded the final out of the inning getting Proscia to fly out to McGee in left.
The Seminoles lengthened their lead scoring four more runs in the eighth. Holt plated the first run of the inning coming home on the Cavaliers' fifth wild pitch of the game. The junior centerfielder led off the inning with a double to left center and moved to third on Johnson's groundout to first. Two pitches later after the wild pitch, McGee made the score 9-4 in favor of the Garnet and Gold as he connected on his second home run of the game sending a solo shot over the wall in left off Virginia's Tyler Wilson.
With Whit Mayberry on the hill and two outs, the freshman right hander issued a walk to pinch hitter Ohmed Danesh before giving up Cardullo's third home run of the evening. The Coral Springs, Fla., native went opposite field off the scoreboard in right on a 2-2 pitch from Mayberry for a two-run home run and an 11-4 FSU advantage.
The Seminoles return to the diamond for their final game in pool play on Friday, May 28 to take on No. 8 Boston College at 12:00 noon. After the second day of competition in Division A, Virginia, Miami, Florida State and Boston College all sit at 1-1.
John Gast will take the mound for FSU in game three, while Boston College will counter with RHP John Leonard. Friday's game will air live on FS Florida, fans can listen in locally on 1270 the Team and 94.3 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com. For further updates on the Seminole Baseball team and the ACC Tournament, stay tuned to www.seminoles.com.