May. 1, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Virginia Cavaliers (31-14, 10-11 ACC) defeated the Florida State Seminoles (36-14, 11-9 ACC) by the score of 6-2 in the second contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at FSU's Dick Howser Stadium. The contest was the first game of a doubleheader. UVa scored a pair of runs in the first, third and fifth innings and starting pitcher Mike Ballard and reliever Sean Doolittle kept the FSU bats relatively quite as the pitching duo combined for 13 strikeouts as the Cavaliers posted just their third victory ever over the Seminoles in Tallahassee. Virginia's win tied the series at one game apiece.
Virginia wasted no time getting on the scoreboard and took an early 2-0 lead when Doolittle blasted a two-run home run over the right field wall. Doolittle's home run, his team-leading ninth of the season, also drove in Matt Street on the play after Street reached base on a walk two batters earlier.
Florida State cut UVa's lead in half at 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning when Ryne Jernigan hit a solo home run to left field. Jernigan's home run was his sixth of the season.
But the Cavaliers came right back in the top of the third inning and stretched their lead to 4-1 by scoring a pair of runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Doolittle drove in two more runs to give Virginia a three-run lead when he lifted a two-run RBI-single to left field to drive in Kyle Werman and Tim Henry. Both Werman and Henry reached base on a walk.
UVa tacked on another pair of runs, this time in the top of the fifth inning, and increased its lead to 6-1 after back-to-back RBI hits by Brandon Guyer and Tom Hagan. Guyer drove in Doolittle (who singled through the left side to reach base) with a RBI-double down the left field line before Guyer scored a run him one batter later on a RBI-single to left field by Hagan.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Seminoles trimmed the Cavaliers' lead to 6-2 when Daniel Wardell hit a solo home run to right field to pull FSU to within four runs on UVa. Wardell's home run was his sixth of the year. But that would be as close as Florida State would get as Virginia posted the four-run victory.
UVa's Ballard (7-3) picked up his seventh win this season on the mound. He went 6.0 innings and allowed two runs on six hits and struck out five batters. Doolittle then entered the game in the seventh inning and promptly stuck out eight of the ten batters he faced (including the first five batters that stepped to the plate) to post his second save of the year.
FSU starting pitcher Barret Browning (3-3) took the loss and lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed four runs on two hits and walked four batters with one strikeout.
With the win, Virginia's record improves to 31-14 overall, 10-11 in the ACC. The loss drops Florida State's record to 36-14 overall, 11-9 in the conference. The series is now tied at 1-1.
The Cavaliers and Seminoles will play the third and final contest of the series at 2:00 PM this afternoon 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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