TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Behind a strong pitching performance from Sean Keselica and a five-run seventh that blew the game open, Virginia Tech defeated No. 10 Florida State 8-3 in ACC action at Dick Howser Stadium Friday night.
Keselica tossed seven innings, the last five scoreless, allowed four hits, four walks, two earned runs and struck out a career-high tying nine batters to pick up the win on the mound. Keselica is now 4-1 overall, but more importantly, 3-0 in the ACC. He joins former Tech hurler Mathew Price (2010) as the only two Tech pitchers to start 3-0 after the first four weekends to the ACC season.
Solo home runs provided three of the first four runs scored in the game as Saige Jenco led off the game with his second of the year to left before FSU took a 2-1 lead on Danny De La Calle’s shot in the second. The Seminoles plated their first run in the first on a DJ Stewart RBI single.
Rahiem Cooper hit his first collegiate home run on the first pitch of the third inning to tie the game at 2-2, but from that point until the seventh, the starting pitchers ruled the game.
FSU’s Boomer Biegalski (2-2) retired 12 of the next 13 Hokies after the home run while Keselica started the bottom of the third with back-to-back walks before sitting down 11 of the next 12 – a single that was erased on a double play.
In the seventh, Tech sent nine Hokies to the plate and scored five runs. Mac Caples scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch before Alex Perez and Brendon Hayden each drove in a run to make it 5-2. With runners on the corners and two outs, Erik Payne delivered a two-out, two-RBI double that padded the Tech lead to 7-2. He added another RBI with a bases loaded walk in the ninth to provide the Hokies’ final run.
Keselica worked a scoreless bottom of the seventh and got his final out of the night with a strikeout. His eighth K of the night in the sixth frame was the 100th of his Tech career.
Florida State (20-7, 7-3 ACC) would not go quietly as the Seminoles got their first two batters on in the eighth against reliever Luke Scherzer. Chris Monaco then came in from the pen and surrendered an RBI double to Chris Marconcini that left Seminoles on second and third with no outs.
However, Monaco struck out the next two batters and got a pop out to first base to end the threat and worked a scoreless ninth to finish the game.