'Noles stay perfect in conference play

Florida State struggled momentarily back in its own park, falling behind Virginia 3-0 on Saturday. But the Seminoles scored the last 12 runs of the contest to win a 12-3 laugher over the Cavaliers.

Sixth-ranked FSU (15-2, 4-0) erased a three-run deficit, scoring 12 unanswered runs over the final five innings, to remain perfect in the ACC with a 12-3 victory over visiting Virginia (11-6-1, 2-2) Saturday night on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium.

"It was a ballgame that we showed great composure, got good pitching, played good defense and got some timely hitting," said coach Mike Martin. "Obviously, I am very pleased to get a win, but we don't get to enjoy it very long. We are right back here in a couple hours trying to do it again."

Four Seminoles registered multiple hits, while Devon Travis and Justin Gonzalez led all hitters with three hits apiece. James Ramsey and Jose Brizuela added two hits each in the win.

"I was very pleased with the at-bats that we had tonight," said Martin. "It was a good win for us over a very good Virginia team."

Travis was a perfect 3 for 3 on the night, as the junior second baseman reached base on all five plate appearances, recording three singles and two walks. Gonzalez tied a career high with three hits. Ramsey connected on his team-leading fifth home run of the season in the seventh, hitting a three-run shot to left center.

Ramsey led FSU's RBI barrage with three on the night, while Sherman Johnson, Travis, John Nogowski and Brizuela each drove in two runs. Stephen McGee drew a team season-high four walks.

Hunter Scantling earned the win in relief Saturday night to move to 3-0 on the year. The senior right hander entered with a runner on in the fifth, and after giving up a base hit to the first batter that he faced, Scantling settled down and fired four shutout innings of two-hit baseball. He finished with a season-high four strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

"No doubt, Hunter was the difference in the game," added Martin, "coming in like he did and shutting them down while we had a chance to get back in it. He gave us a chance to catch our breath. Hunter provided a very good lift for our baseball team."

Scantling and Brandon Johnson combined to retire 10 straight Cavalier hitters to end the game. Johnson pitched a perfect ninth inning, as he recorded a strikeout.

"My slider was on tonight," said Scantling. "Being able to bounce back with a couple of fastballs in and out was big, and it helped set up my slider."

Virginia ran out to the early lead on Saturday night, scoring two runs in the top of the first off Florida State starter Brandon Leibrandt. The Cavaliers strung together three consecutive two-out hits in the inning, culminating with Jared King's two-run single to right.

UVA pushed its lead to 3-0 in the fourth on another two-out hit. With Nate Irving on at second after drawing a walk, Chris Taylor singled to left to score Irving but was thrown out at second to end the inning.

The Seminoles answered the call in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of a Cavs error that would lead to three unearned runs off Virginia starter Scott Silverstein (1-2). Gonzalez led off the inning with the first of his three singles and moved to second on a fielding error by Taylor at short. After a hit-by-pitch to Seth Miller loaded the bases, Johnson drove in Gonzalez for the first Seminole run of the game on a groundout to first. Travis followed with a two-run single to left to tie the game at 3-3.

Florida State grabbed the lead for good in the fifth thanks to a two-run single by Nogowski. With McGee and Gonzalez aboard following a walk and a single, respectively, Virginia went to the bullpen and brought on Shane Halley. Nogowski greeted the senior right hander with an opposite-field single that hit the chalk passed the bag at first to plate McGee and Gonzalez.

FSU increased its lead to 6-3 when Johnson scored on a passed ball after leading off the inning with a single through the left side.

Ramsey broke the game open with his fifth home run of the season in the seventh, as the senior captain took the first pitch he saw from Austin Young out of the park to left center for a three-run shot.

"It was a first-pitch fastball," said Ramsey. "You can't say enough about Devon's at-bat before mine to set it up."

The Seminoles added three more runs in the eighth to make the score 12-3. McGee, Gonzalez and pinch hitter Stephen Spradling reached to load the bases following a walk, single and hit-by-pitch, respectively. Brizuela followed with a two-run single to right center, while Johnson drove in Spradling for the 12th run of the evening on a sac fly to center.

Making his fifth start of the season, Leibrandt went four-plus innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, as he walked one and struck out four. UVA's Silverstein went 4 1/3, allowing five runs -- one earned -- on five hits, as he struck out four and walked four.

Florida State and Virginia will face off in game two of the series Sunday at 2:00 p.m.


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