BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech lost to Florida State, 15-11, in a wild game at English Field on Saturday night. With the loss, the Hokies fall to 19-18 on the season and 4-13 in ACC action, while FSU, ranked No. 11 nationally, improve to 25-10 overall and 10-7 in league play.
The Hokies got off to an early start when, with two outs in the first inning, first baseman Ronny Shaban doubled off the centerfield wall. Then, one pitch later, shortstop Tim Smalling hit his eighth homerun of the season deep over the centerfield fence.
The Seminoles plated two in the second inning. James Ramsey doubled to centerfield and moved to third on a throwing error by Tony Balisteri. Ramsey scored on a single to left by Jayce Boyd. After Sherman Johnson walked, Stuart Tapley sacrificed the runners to second and third. Justin Gonzalez then walked to load the bases. Seth Miller then walked, scoring Boyd.
FSU took the lead in the third inning on a two-run homer by James Ramsey, after Mike McGhee had walked. Boyd then walked and Johnson reached on a fielding error by left fielder Andrew Rash. Two outs later, Miller walked to load the bases and all three runs scored on a double to right-center by Devon Travis, making the score 7-2.
The Hokies scored in the fourth inning. Morgan had a leadoff single, right fielder Gabe Ortiz walked and third baseman Johnny Morales singled. Designated hitter Jake Atwell then drove in Ortiz and Morgan with a single to left, which chased starter Mack Waugh.
Second baseman Michael Seaborn then greeted reliever Robert Benincasa with a single to right to load the bases and Shaban hit a grand slam to left center, the Hokies’ first grand slam of the season. Rash then hit his 12th home run of the season, a line drive to left field.
In the fifth inning, Morales had a one-out double to right and moved to third on a single to right by Atwell. With two outs, Shaban drove in Morales with a double off of Travis, which moved Atwell to third. Atwell then scored on a wild pitch by Jack Posey and Shaban moved to third. Florida State scored in the top of the sixth inning, as McGhee doubled to center and scored on a single by Ramsey.
Gonzalez led off the seventh with a double to left center and scored on a single to right by Travis. Catcher Parker Brunelle then walked, chasing reliever Jake Joyce. Sean McDermott then allowed a single up the middle by McGhee, scoring Travis. Brunelle scored on a throwing error by Balisteri, knotting the game at 11-11. Ramsey walked and McGhee singled to left. Johnson then singled to center, scoring Ramsey to give FSU a 12-11 lead.
Florida State scored three additional runs in the final two innings, making the final 15-11. Tech was able to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, but could not score.
David Trexler (2-0) picked up the win for FSU in relief, throwing a scoreless sixth inning. McDermott (1-1) took the loss. Daniel Bennett earned his third save of the season, going the final two and two-thirds inning.
Shaban led the Hokies at the plate, going four for five, with five RBI. Atwell and Smalling each had two hits each for Tech, which was his seventh straight multi-hit game. Travis drove in four runs for FSU.
The two teams will meet in the rubber game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).