Blacksburg, Va. - Florida State (17-2, 7-0) opened its first road conference series of the year with a 9-4 victory over Virginia Tech (7-13, 0-7) on Friday evening at English Field. The Seminoles recorded 16 hits in game one scoring eight of their nine runs in the first two innings. Senior Jack Rye returned to the line-up and tied a career-high with his fifth career four-hit game and first of the season.
Six Seminoles registered two or more hits including Rye who ended the night 4-for-5 with a home run and three singles. The 16 hits by Florida State were the second most posted by the club this season as FSU beat Virginia Tech for the fifth straight game and for the sixth time in seven all-time appearances in Blacksburg. Rye and Jason Stidham led all players with three RBIs each.
"It was a good win for our team," said Rye. "It was definitely nice to get out of this little slump that I've been in. I saw the ball well today and got some good pitches to hit. I've been chasing a lot and basically it was all in my head. I just went up there today with a different approach. I was ready to hit and was aggressive all night long."
Matt Fairel (5-0) remained perfect on the year as he worked into the seventh inning for the fourth consecutive outing. The sophomore left hander gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five. The three runs were the most given up by Fairel in five starts this year.
The Seminoles took advantage of two Hokie errors in the top of the first to take an early one run lead. Tyler Holt led off the game with a single back up the middle and moved around to third with one out on an errant throw by Virginia Tech starting pitcher Josh Wymer (2-3) on a pickoff attempt at first. Following a two out walk to Tony Delmonico, the junior shortstop successfully stole second bringing Holt home on the play as the throw down to second by the Hokie catcher sailed into center field.
Florida State increased its lead in the second scoring seven runs on nine hits to take a commanding 8-0 lead. Rye, back in the line-up after missing the last two games due to back spasms, led off the inning with his first home run of the season, a solo shot off the scoreboard in right. The next six Seminole batters reached thanks to five singles and the third Hokie error of the game. Ohmed Danesh followed Rye's homer with a single to right but was thrown out at second as he was caught stealing. FSU then loaded the bases with back-to-back singles by Tommy Oravetz and Jack Posey and Holt's fielder's choice. Stidham drove in a pair with a single to center, while Buster Posey followed an RBI single back up the middle. The Seminoles finished off the inning scoring three more runs on two outs thanks to an RBI double by Dennis Guinn and Rye's second hit of the inning, a two-run single.
The Hokies pushed a run across in the bottom of the third thanks to a Seminole error. Matt Hacker led off the inning lacing a double down the right field line. He scored a batter later on a throwing error by Jack Posey, who was making his first start at third base. Posey came charging in on a bunt by Sean Ryan and threw high over the head of Guinn at first. Hacker scored from second on the play to cut the Seminole lead to 8-1.
Florida State got the run back in the top of the sixth to regain its eight-run lead. Stidham led off the inning with his fifth home run of the season and second hit of the ball game. It was the second time in the game the Garnet and Gold led off an inning with a home run.
Virginia Tech added a pair of two out runs in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 9-3. Sean O'Brien just missed hitting his first home run of the season knocking a double off the top of the wall in left. Michael Seaborn scored on the play after registering a one-out single to center. Ryan then drove in O'Brien with a single through the left side.
Freshman Mike McGee made his first relief appearance of the season as pitched the last two innings. He gave up two hits and a run in the ninth.
The Hokies attempted a ninth inning rally as the first two batters reached on a double and a single. Ty Hohman scored on Tony Balisteri's RBI single to left to make the score 9-4. But McGee got a pair of fly outs and groundout to short to end the game.
For the second year in a row, the Seminoles start ACC play at 7-0. Since moving to divisional play back in 2006, FSU ran its all-time record to 23-11 against Coastal Division teams including a 4-0 mark this year.
"This start for us in ACC play is so important," added Rye. "The ACC has such good teams in the league that you can't take any team lightly. It's really good to start 7-0 but hopefully we can keep it going."
Before tonight's game, the Florida State baseball team made a visit to the Hokie Spirit Memorial to honor the lives lost during the tragic campus shooting that occurred on April 16, 2007.
Florida State will return to the diamond for game two of the series against Virginia Tech on Saturday, March 22 at 5:30 pm. The game will be shown live on ACC Select, while fans can listen to the action on 100.7 FM with Eric Luallen providing all the play-by-play action.
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