Top ranked Florida State (34-4, 12-2) got a sacrifice fly RBI by Brandon Reichert in the bottom of the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and give the Seminoles a 4-3 victory over Virginia Tech (17-19, 4-13) Saturday afternoon at Dick Howser Stadium. Michael Hyde bounced back after two straight rough outings and gave the Seminoles six solid innings in earning a no decision. Brian Chambers pitched two innings in relief to earn his second victory of the season.
"Michael had a good outing," explained head coach Mike Martin. "He threw the ball fine. He wasn't as sharp as he can be, but I was very pleased with the way he pitched. I though he kept us in the ball game. I mean they scored two runs in six innings. He did a very good job."
Jack Rye had an outstanding day at the plate as he was a perfect 4-for-4 with a double and three singles. It was the first four-hit game of the season for Rye, while it tied a career-high. Mark Hallberg and D'Vontrey Richardson each recorded two hits a piece as the Seminoles extended their home winning streak to 29 consecutive victories. By taking the first two games of the series against the Hokies, Florida State has now won its first five ACC series on the season for the first time since 1999.
Florida State put up a run in the first inning for the second straight game to take an early 1-0 lead. The Seminoles registered three consecutive hits as Hallberg got things started with a single to center field. Buster Posey then sneaked a bouncer passed the bag at third base advancing Hallberg to third. Jack Rye followed with an infield single to third scoring Hallberg.
Virginia Tech tied the game at one in the third on a sacrifice fly RBI by second baseman Matt Hacker. Right fielder Jose Cueto began the inning drawing a walk off Hyde and moved to third on a single to left center by Anthony Sosnoskie. Hacker would drive in Cueto on a fly ball to right.
The Seminoles threaten to take the lead back in the third but Posey was cut down at home on a double down the line in left by Rye. Tony Thomas Jr. started the inning with a walk but was caught trying to steal second for just the third time in 22 attempts. With two outs, Posey drew a walk off Hokie starter Andrew Wells and would be gunned down out at home on Rye's double thanks to a pair of relay throws from left.
Virginia Tech put a string of three consecutive hits together in the top of the fourth to take its first lead of the series. Cueto gave the Hokies a 2-1 lead singling to center to drive in Bryan Thomas from third. Thomas doubled to the gap in left center with one out, but not before a valiant, diving effort by Mark Gildea in the outfield. Thomas advanced to third on a single by Luke Padgett and scored on Cueto's hit to center. Hyde didn't allow any further damage as he got Sosnoskie to groundout into an inning ending double play.
Florida State grabbed the lead for the second time on Saturday afternoon taking advantage of a pair of Hokie errors in the fourth. Jason Stidham got to third on an error by Padgett out in left field. The Hokie left fielder misplayed the fly ball allowing the ball to roll all the way to wall. Stidham would get thrown out at home on the next play as he tried to score on a fielder's choice groundout to the pitcher by Gildea. Gildea then stole second and would tie the game at 2-2 on D'Vontrey Richardson's RBI single to left. After Reichert reached on the second fielding error of the inning, Thomas got his first hit of the game singling to right plating Richardson for a 3-2 Seminole lead.
Hyde finished the afternoon throwing six innings allowing two runs on six hits. The senior right hander struck out three and walked just one. Hyde started the game retiring the first six batters that he faced. He also finished strong as he allowed just two hits to the final eight Hokie batters.
"Every game is a statement game," said Hyde after bouncing back from his two previous outings to pitch well in Saturday's game against the Hokies. "Every game is going to be tough one from here on out. I felt good out there tonight. My location wasn't exactly where I wanted it to be, but I was happy we got the win."
A Seminole error in the top of the seventh led to the third Hokie run off Chambers, tying the score for the second time on Saturday. Sosnoskie started the inning reaching base on a fielding error by Stidham at third. He would move to second on a passed ball and advance to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hacker. Nate Parks perfectly executed a bunt single to first base scoring Sosnoskie for a 3-3 tie.
Rain delayed the game for seven minutes in the top of the eighth to allow the ground's crew to work on a few puddles forming around home plate and the pitcher's mound. After the short delay, Chambers was able to work out of a jam with runners on first and second and two outs, getting Cueto to groundout into a fielder's choice. Cueto hit a sharp bouncer back up the middle deflecting off Chambers and right to Thomas at second. Thomas slipped running to second and flipped on to Hallberg covering at the bag for the final out of the inning.
Florida State grabbed the lead for good in the eighth on a sacrifice fly RBI by Reichert. Gildea led off the inning with a walk off Hokie reliever Scott Stoehr (1-3). Tommy Oravetz stood in as the new designated hitter and collected a huge single up the middle to advance Gildea to third. Reichert then stepped to the plate and sent a fly ball to center scoring Gildea for the go ahead run.
"It felt good," said Reichert on getting the game-winning RBI on Saturday. "Once again it comes down to being at the right spot in the right situation. I'm really just going up to the plate and trying to get the job done."
Danny Rosen pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season. The junior right hander got the first out of the inning as he snared a come backer towards the mound off the bat of Sosnoskie. He threw on to Reichert at first for the first out of the inning. Rosen took care of the rest as he struck out the final two batters to give the Seminoles the 4-3 win.
"I came in, was able to catch that ground ball, which I didn't realize I had at first, and then got two strikeouts," said Rosen. "I was pretty happy with my performance tonight; we got the win."
Florida State will return to the diamond on Sunday in the series finale against the Hokies at Mike Martin Field. First pitch is slated for 1:00 pm and right hander Ryan Strauss is expected to make his 10th start of the season. Right hander Adam Redd will take the mound for Virginia Tech. Fans can also follow all the action over the Internet. Gametracker will be available for the contest along with live radio broadcast courtesy of 1270 the TEAM.
FSU soaks up 4-3 victory over VT
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