April 29, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Virginia Cavaliers (30-14, 9-11 ACC) dropped the first contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference to the Florida State Seminoles (36-13, 11-8 ACC) at FSU's Dick Howser Stadium, 8-1. The Cavaliers essentially played the Seminoles toe-to-toe for the entire ballgame - except for one half of an inning - and Florida State took full advantage of it as FSU scored seven of its eight runs and recorded four of its five hits in the bottom of the game-deciding fourth inning. The Seminoles turned a 1-0 lead into a comfortable 8-0 advantage after four innings of play and cruised to a seven-run victory in the series opening game.
"Florida State took advantage of a big inning where [it] scored six runs of its seven runs in the inning with two outs," said UVa head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "When you play Florida State at home, in front of their home crowd, you've got to maintain your poise and that's something we didn't show much of tonight. Tomorrow we've got to come out here and show a lot more poise and just play better baseball."
After two scoreless innings of play, Florida State took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Josh Spivey led off the side with a double before he scored a run two batters later on a double-play groundout by Shane Robinson two batters later. The Cavaliers prevented a second Seminole run in the inning when UVa left fielder Tom Hagan robbed FSU's Ryne Malone of a solo home run to left-center field. Malone ripped a ball to left-center field and Hagan raced to the warning track, leaped into the air and pulled in the catch over the top of the wall.
But in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cavaliers ran into trouble as Florida State extended its lead to 8-0 by scoring seven runs on four hits to break the game wide open. After a RBI bunt-single by FSU's Daniel Wardell to make it 2-0, the Seminoles scored a pair of runs after Tony Thomas Jr. and Shane Robinson were both hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in consecutive plate appearances to make it 4-0. Florida State's Malone then cleared the bases and made it a 7-0 ballgame with a three-run double to right field. Malone scored a run himself one batter later on a RBI bloop-single to left-center field by Gibbs Chapman to drive in another run, pushing Florida State's record to 8-0 through four complete innings.
In the top of the seventh inning, Virginia got on the scoreboard and made it an 8-1 ballgame when Brandon Guyer crushed a solo home run to left field. Guyer's home run was his third of the season. But that would be all the scoring the Cavaliers would muster as the Seminoles posted the seven-run win.
UVa starting pitcher Matt Avery (4-4) took the loss after he went 6.0 innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on five hits and struck out five batters. The Cavaliers' Alex Smith and Josh Myers each pitched an inning of relief to close out the game.
FSU starting pitcher Bryan Henry (5-2) picked up the win and went 8.0 innings and allowed one run on four hits and struck out five batters.
With the loss, Virginia's record falls to 30-14 overall, 9-11 in the ACC. The win improves Florida State's record to 36-13 overall, 11-8 in the conference. FSU takes a one game to none lead in the three game series with UVa.
The Cavaliers and Seminoles will return to action on Saturday, April 30th when Virginia and Florida State play the second contest of a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM at FSU's Dick Howser Stadium.
-- UVa --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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