CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia baseball team recorded a dramatic 11-10 come-from-behind victory over the #1 ranked Florida State Seminoles in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams in front of 509 spectators at the UVa Baseball Stadium this afternoon. Kyle Werman‘s RBI-single to right-center field with the score tied 10-10 in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs proved to be the game-winning hit as he drove in Chris Sweet to score the game-winning run.
Florida State wasted no time jumping on the scoreboard when Richie Smith and Bryan Rogers led off the top of the first inning with back-to-back singles to right field. Smith scored FSU’s first run when Ryan Barthelemy drove him in with a RBI-single through the left side to make it a 1-0 contest. However, Virginia answered right back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning when the trio of David Stone, Dan Street and Robert Word each hit a double for the Cavaliers. D. Street and Word’s doubles each drove in a run to give UVa a 2-1 lead.
The Seminoles regained the lead in the top of the second inning at 3-2 when Jerrod Brown and Michael Futrell each scored a run after Brown singled and Futrell was hit by a pitch. But the Cavaliers answered right back again in the bottom half of the inning when Andrew Riesenfeld blasted his second home run of the season (a solo shot to left field) to knot the score at 3-3 after two innings of play.
Virginia took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Riesenfeld belted his second home run of the contest, this time a two-run shot to left field, to give the Cavaliers a 5-3 lead over the Seminoles. Florida State cut UVa’s lead to 5-4 in the top of the fifth inning when Barthelemy hit a solo home run to deep right field. But once again, the Cavaliers answered right back and scored another run in the bottom half of the inning when D. Street doubled to left field in UVa’s first at-bat before scoring three batters later when Mike Priest drove him in with a RBI-sacrifice fly to center field. Virginia added another two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Riesenfeld was hit by a pitch and scored a run on a fielders choice, RBI-bunt by Stone, before Stone scored a run himself on a RBI-single to left field by Mark Reynolds to make it an 8-4 UVa lead.
However, Florida State responded with a huge eighth inning scoring outburst as the Seminoles scored six runs on seven hits to take a 10-8 lead. The first six FSU batters that stepped to the plate recorded a hit, highlighted by a three-run home run by pinch hitter Blair McCaleb. But the Cavaliers would just not go away, and as they did all game long, rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. After a RBI-sacrifice fly by D. Street and a RBI-single by Joe Koshansky to score Matt Street and Reynolds, Werman’s game-winning hit with two outs put the wraps on UVa’s comeback victory.
The Cavaliers’ Alan Zimmerer (1-0) earned his first win of the season after pitching one inning in relief and allowing no runs on two hits with two strikeouts. UVa starting pitcher Chris Gale pitched six strong innings and allowed four runs on seven hits with a game-high four strikeouts. FSU’s Eric Roman (0-2) was dealt the loss after giving up three runs on five hits in just 0.2 innings of work in the bottom of the ninth inning.
With the victory, Virginia’s record improves to 12-7 overall, 1-0 in the ACC. The loss drops Florida State’s record to 22-5 overall, 0-1 in the conference. The Cavaliers and Seminoles will return to action on Saturday, March 16th when UVa hosts FSU in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 noon. Both contest will be played at the UVa Baseball Stadium.
VIRGINIA BASEBALL NOTE: With his walk in the top of the fourth inning, David Stone became Virginia’s all-time leader in bases on balls with 126, breaking Bill Narleski’s mark of 125 from 1984-1987.