March 18, 2012
No. 6 Florida State scored three runs in the eighth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit and earn a 4-3 win over the Virginia baseball team Sunday afternoon at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. Stephen McGee's RBI groundout proved to be the difference for FSU, which clinched a series victory over UVa for the first time since 2008.
Kyle Crockett allowed three runs in the eighth inning and took the loss. Crockett (0-1) struck out three straight batters before walking a batter and hitting another before giving up a bloop single to James Ramsey to load the bases in the eighth before Justin Thompson came on in relief.
The loss spoiled a great outing from UVa starting pitcher Branden
Kline, who tied a career high in tossing 6.1 innings. He allowed one unearned run, four hits and no walks while striking out six.
Reed Gragnani had a pair of RBI for the Cavaliers. Mitchell Shifflett scored twice for UVa.
Virginia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Shifflett led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a Keith Werman sacrifice bunt allowing Werman to reach. After Chris Taylor was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Gragnani hit a chopper to first which scored Shifflett. Stephen Bruno lined the next pitch to right-center to score Werman.
Both pitchers cruised through the next three innings until Virginia broke through for a seventh-inning run. With one out Shifflett drew a walk and moved to second on a Werman bunt single. Taylor reached on a fielder's choice, just beating out a throw to first on a potential double-play grounder. That hustle proved key when Gragnani ripped a single to center to plate Shifflett.
FSU got its lone lead in the eighth inning with a three-run rally. With one out, Crockett walked Johnson and then hit Travis with a pitch. With the outfield playing deep, James Ramsey blooped a single into left field to load the bases. Thompson came on in relief and gave up a long fly ball to right-center by Boyd, with the ball bouncing off the glove of Mike Papi as he crashed into the wall. The double scored a pair to tie the game. McGee then hit a slow grounder to third, and Bruno's only play was to first, with the go-ahead run scoring.
UVa looks to avoid a series sweep as the teams conclude the series at 7 p.m. Monday.