April 4, 2010
No. 4 Seminoles prevent Hokie sweep with 9-6 win
Domecus, Wates and Smalling all homer in loss
Virginia Tech (20-10) 2020000206111
(4) Florida State (21-7) 02000043X9101
  • Dick Howser Stadium - 4,210

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Fourth-ranked Florida State broke a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning by plating three runs to win 9-6 over Virginia Tech, preventing a series sweep on Sunday at Dick Howser Stadium.

The Hokies, who clinched their first-ever series from the Seminoles with wins on Friday and Saturday, fell to 20-10 (6-6 ACC) with the loss. Florida State improved to 21-6 (7-5 ACC).

With the scored tied 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth, Florida State first baseman Jayce Boyd led off by drawing a walk from Tech reliever Manny Martir. Boyd advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Parker Brunelle and to third when center fielder Tyler Holt singled. He then scored on a wild pitch to give the Seminoles just their third lead of the series. After third baseman Sherman Johnson walked and left fielder Mike McGee was intentionally walked, right fielder James Ramsey singled home both Holt and Johnson to give FSU some breathing room. McGee then came to the mound for the ninth to record his fourth save of the season.

Martir took the loss for Tech to fall to 2-2. Hokie starter Jesse Hahn pitched 6.1 innings and struck out a career-high 10 batters, while allowing four runs on six hits. As a staff, the Hokies struck out 31 Seminole batters on the weekend. FSU reliever Daniel Bennett picked up his first win of the season despite allowing a home run in the top of the eighth.

The Hokies collected 11 hits to Florida State’s 10 in the game, but tied a season-high by leaving 13 men on base. Catcher Steve Domecus, shortstop Tim Smalling and third baseman Tony Balisteri all recorded two hits apiece for the Hokies, who, as a team, clubbed seven home runs and nine doubles in the three-game series.

The Hokies picked up a pair of runs in their first trip to the plate to hop out to an early lead. After right fielder Austin Wates drew a two-out walk from FSU starter Geoff Parker, Smalling hit his fourth homer of the season to left field.

The Seminoles answered in the bottom of the second inning with a pair of their own to tie it up. Designated hitter Stuart Tapley led off with a single and later made it to third on a fielder’s choice by second baseman Devon Travis. Tapley soon scored on a double by Boyd, while Travis came home on an RBI groundout by Brunelle.

Wates got the lead right back for Tech with an opposite-field solo homer to right field – also his fourth of the season – to lead off the third inning. First baseman Ronnie Shaban followed two batters later with his 11th double of the season, and later scored on an error by the FSU right fielder following a base hit by second baseman Michael Seaborn.

Florida State used to a pair of two-run homers in the bottom of the seventh to take just its second lead of the series. After Boyd drew a lead-off walk from Hahn, Brunelle crushed a first-pitch home run to right field to tie the game at four. Hahn struck out the next batter – his 10th of the game – to register a new career-high before exiting the game in favor of Martir. Hahn became the fourth different Hokie pitcher to strike out 10 batters in a game this season.

After retiring the first batter he faced, Martir allowed a single to McGee, and Ramsey followed with another home run to right field to make it 6-4. Two walks later, Justin Gonzalez sent another shot deep to right field, but Wates saved couple of more runs by making a leaping catch at the wall to end the inning.

Tech quickly eliminated FSU’s lead in the top of the eighth. After Balisteri drew a lead-off walk, the Seminoles pulled reliever Brian Busch, who gave up just one run on two hits in four-plus innings of relief. Domecus then took the second pitch he saw from Bennett over the left-field wall for his seventh home run of the season to tie the game at 6-6.

The Hokies are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday with a home game against North Carolina Central. It will be Military Day at English Field, and the Hokies will wear their camouflage jerseys. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).

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