In a game that featured two of the top pitchers in the game as well as two of the top teams it certainly did not disappoint. The Cavs and the 'Noles battled and even took extra innings to decide who was going to get the W in the first game of the series. Luckily for UVa fans, the Cavaliers came out on top in the 11th inning.
The Seminoles struck first in the top of the 1st inning when Devon Travis lead off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball that got away from John Hicks. Seminoles' James Ramsey followed up with a shot to Keith Werman who was unable to handle it and allowed Travis to take the lead. Good thing the Hoos followed suit in the bottom of the 1st with a triple from John Barr and a sacfly from John Hicks to tie it up.
The next 7 innings were more of a blur and a redundancy. FSU's Sean Gilmartin and UVa's Danny Hultzen provided the pitching power they promised. Both were touched up for two more runs including a solo home run from FSU CF Mike McGee. The Hoos were able to tie the game in the 7th from a Hick single, a Proscia double, and a clutch two out single from 2nd year Reed Gragnani. The game would remain locked up at 3 til the bottom of the 11th when Hicks was able to provide a 2 out double. The 'Noles made the right choice and intentionally walked Danny Hultzen to put runners and first and second with 2 outs for Stephen Proscia. Proscia took the 0-0 offering from FSU reliever Bennett and crushed it over the FSU LF to score Hicks and win the game.
I can't really say either team lost the game given how close and evenly matched the entire game was. What I can say is this: THE HOOS WON. Timely hitting and stellar pitching gave the nod to the UVa just as it has the 17 other times this season.
Finally, coming into the game much was made over the pitching matchup between Hultzen and Gilmartin (myself included). As I said, they did not disappoint. Hultzen turned in another great night going a strong 7 IP and giving up 2 ER on 6 hits while striking out 12 Seminoles (I think I said FSU was prone to Ks didnt I?). Unfortunately for Danny, that outing is going to raise his ERA. Bummer. On the other side, Gilmartin was nearly as good. He went an impressive 7.1 IP giving up 3 ER while striking out 5 Hoos. Thank god Coach Mac emphasizes making contact over anything else. Putting pressure on the defense to make a play is key in the UVa offense.
The two teams will square off again today at 1 pm. 4th year Tyler Wilson will take the mound for the Hoos as they look to win the series. As always, I will be providing updates via Twitter @STLUVaBaseball. And of course, as that lady with the sexy voice says on that radio commercial: Go HOOS.