CHARLOTTESVILLE – The No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers won their second consecutive 11-inning game over No. 4 Florida State, winning 5-4 Saturday afternoon in front of 3,884 fans at Davenport Field. Jared King (Jr., Radford, Va.) led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a walk-off homer to left, giving Virginia (19-1, 5-0 ACC) its 13th consecutive victory. The Seminoles fall to 15-4 overall and 3-2 in the ACC.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) singled and John Barr (Sr., Ivyland, Pa.) followed with a double down the right field line. Taylor scored on an RBI single from Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.) and Barr scored on Steven Proscia’s (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) sacrifice fly.
Florida State got on the board in the top of the fourth with three runs to take the lead. James Ramsey drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on Seth Miller’s RBI single. With one out, the Seminoles loaded the bases and Rafael Lopez came home to tie the game as Justin Gonzalez was hit by a pitch. Miller scored to give the Seminoles the lead on Taiwan Easterling’s sacrifice fly.
Virginia tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) led off with a single and came around to score on Keith Werman’s (Jr., Vienna, Va.) sacrifice fly.
Florida State took the lead in the top of the ninth. Sherman Johnson singled with one out and moved to third on a single from Ramsey. He scored the go-ahead run on Jayce Boyd’s sacrifice fly.
The Cavaliers answered with a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Hultzen was hit with the first pitch of the inning and pinch-runner Mitchell Shifflett (Fr., Midlothian, Va.) stole second. Shifflett moved to third on Proscia’s groundout up the middle that hit FSU pitcher Daniel Bennett and knocked him out of the game. Kenny Swab (Kernersville, N.C.) was walked by Robert Benincasa, before Hunter Scandling came in and struckout pinch-hitter Ryan Levine (So., Montvale, N.J.) for the second out of the inning. Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) walked to load the bases and pinch-hitter Stephen Bruno (So., Audubon, N.J.) was hit by a pitch to force in the tying run. Tyler Everett, the fourth Seminole pitcher of the inning, got Taylor to ground out to end the rally and send the game to extra innings.
Neither team scored in the 10th inning and the Cavaliers kept the Seminoles off the board in the top of the 11th. King, who had entered the game as a defensive sub in the top of the 10th inning, came to the plate for the first time to lead off the bottom of the 11th. He sent the third pitch he saw over the left-centerfield wall for his first career homer, giving the Cavaliers the victory.
Branden Kline (1-0) picked up the win for the Cavaliers, pitching 3.1 innings of relief, allowing one run on four hits. Everett (0-1) took the loss for Florida State.
Virginia and Florida State conclude the three-game series on Sunday. First pitch at Davenport Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.