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May 27, 2010
By Rob Daniels
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A is for Anarchy. Pool A of the ACC Baseball Championship officially went up for grabs Thursday when shortstop Stephen Cardullo hit three home runs and left fielder Mike McGee added another pair in fifth-seeded Florida State's 11-4 win over No. 1 Virginia. The result means all four members of the group are 1-1 and still alive in pursuit of a spot in Sunday's championship game. "It pretty much sums up what the ACC has been like this year: no dominant team," Cardullo said. "To win this tournament, you need luck on your side."
The Seminoles (40-17) and Boston College were spared elimination earlier in the day when the Eagles overcame a five-run, ninth-inning deficit and stunned Miami 12-10 in 12 frames.
"I felt like we had won a game," McGee said. "It really gave us a lift to know we had a chance."
Neither FSU nor BC could celebrate for too long, however; a Cavalier victory over the Noles would have reduced the viable contenders to UVa and Miami, which meet Saturday at noon. Friday's Boston College-Florida State game, a show that must go on regardless of big-picture consequences, would have become irrelevant to the tournament. But that is not the case now.
Cardullo, who had gone deep a modest five times in 214 at-bats before Thursday, tied a tournament record with his three dingers against the Cavaliers. He joins three others for the single-game record, the most recent of whom was Luke Murton of Georgia Tech in 2006,. In all, he went 3-for-5 with four RBI.
McGee, also 3-for-5, drove in three runs of his own to take his season's total to 63.
The Noles didn't merely hang on; they displayed their survivalist tactics against the Cavs' Robert Morey, 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA in his final five regular-season starts. Morey threw a whopping 113 pitches in only four innings of work.
"Florida State looked like a team that really had something to prove tonight," Virginia coach Brian O'Connor said. "Maybe it's because of the sweep they had at Clemson (last weekend) and then losing to Miami (on Wednesday). Maybe they said, `Enough's enough.' "
Cardullo homered and Sherman Johnson delivered a two-run single in the Noles' second inning, and McGee's opportunistic safety squeeze in the fourth made it 5-1. Cardullo, who hit went deep five times in the regular season, welcomed reliever Justin Thompson with a drive that easily cleared a real-estate sign in left-center. The Seminoles were moving into a tonier Zip code all the time.
For the day, McGee was 3-for-5 with three RBI and Cardullo enjoyed a 2-for-4, two-RBI game.
Virginia (46-11) lost for only the second time in 18 games. The defeat was the Cavaliers' first in a nine-inning affair since an 8-5 setback to Virginia Tech on April 18.
"We're not perfect," O'Connor said. "The Yankees have off nights, as do we. We're at the mercy now of what somebody else does in a game."
The scenarios for Pool A are set: Everybody's in the same boat. All four teams have a theoretically equal shot at the championship game. All need to win their final scheduled contest and get help.
FSU and BC meet at noon Friday while UVa and Miami take the day off in advance of their contest at noon Saturday. If the Seminoles beat BC, they'll eliminate the Eagles and Cavs from the title picture. A Boston College win sends FSU home and knocks Miami out of contention.
2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship
NewBridge Bank Park -- Greensboro, N.C.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Game 5: #1 Virginia vs. #5 Florida State
Florida State (40-17, 18-12 ACC) ... ...improves to 40-17 overall and 59-30 in the ACC Championship. ...had five home runs, one shy of tying an ACC Championship team single-game record. ...has scored 28 runs against Virginia in its last three games against the Cavaliers. ...hit five home runs in a game for the first time since April 8, 2009 against North Florida. ...left nine runners on base. ...had 14 hits, its highest mark since tallying 17 safeties on May 20 against Clemson. ...had four players with at least two hits. ...senior shortstop Stephen Cardullo's became the first Seminole to hit three home runs in the same game since Mike Futrell against Stanford in 2002; had his second career multi-home run game; tied the ACC individual record for home runs in a tournament game with three, a feat last achieved by Georgia Tech's Luke Murton in 2006; matched a season-high with four runs batted-in. ...junior leftfielder/pitcher Mike McGee hit two home runs in a game for the second time this season and fourth time in his career. ...junior centerfielder Tyler Holt has scored three runs in the 2010 ACC Championship (two against Virginia), moving him into a tie for sixth place in school history with four other players who have scored 244 career runs. ...has its 33rd consecutive 40-win season.
Virginia (46-11, 20-10 ACC)... ...falls to 46-11 overall and 44-63 in the ACC Championship. ...has allowed 28 runs to Florida State in the last three games between the two teams. ...sent more than four hitters to bat only once in the game (six batters in the fifth inning). ...used 18 players, including six pitchers. ...pitchers struck out 11 Florida State batters, its highest mark since fanning 13 batters against Duke on April 30. ...snapped a three-game winning streak.