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May 29, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Steven Proscia hit a tiebreaking three-run home run, one of three homers for Virginia in its 7-2 victory over Florida State on Sunday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship game.
John Hicks and Chris Taylor added two-run shots for the Cavaliers (49-9). They won their third league title, polished off a perfect 4-0 week at the tournament and claimed a title-game win over the Seminoles in Durham for the second time in two years.
Justin Gonzalez tied it at 2 with a solo homer in the sixth for the Seminoles (42-17), who were denied a second straight ACC championship.
Proscia's shot off starter Hunter Scantling later that inning sailed over the 32-foot "Blue Monster" in left field and put the Cavaliers up 5-2. Taylor homered an inning later off reliever Scott Sitz to make it a five-run game.
Virginia starter Danny Hultzen (10-3) struck out five and allowed two runs on six hits in six innings.
A tournament that featured the longest game in its history - a 15-inning marathon between North Carolina State and Georgia Tech - plus a handful of rain delays and three consecutive post-midnight finishes ultimately ended up with its two top seeds meeting for the championship.
Virginia was the only team to go unbeaten during three games in pool play, while the only blemish for the Seminoles was an opening-game loss to N.C. State. That set up a rematch of the 2009 league title game, won 6-3 by Virginia, also at the Triple-A Durham Bulls' ballpark.
The homers by Hicks and Taylor traveled the same path - over the Monster and off the awning of the sports bar that overlooks the field. Hicks hammered the first pitch he saw from Scantling to make it 2-1 in the first.
That was one of the few mistakes by Scantling (3-2), who struck out three in 5 2-3 innings and retired 12 consecutive hitters before he plunked John Barr in the sixth to start the Cavaliers' rally.
Gonzalez lofted a solo homer off Hultzen into the grass in center field for his seventh homer of the season to make it 2-all for Florida State, which stranded 10 runners and took its only lead of the day when Proscia's throwing error in the first allowed Devon Travis to score and make it 1-0.
The Seminoles' James Ramsey reached base for the 49th straight game with a walk in the first. He has reached safely in all but one of his 59 games this season.
Tournament MVP Steven Proscia's three-run homer breaks a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning as top-seeded Virginia claims its second ACC title in four years and fourth overall with a 7-2 win over Florida State before 5,834 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park ... Proscia hits .438 (7-for-16) in the Cavaliers' four tournament games with two doubles, one, triple and one home run.
With the win, Virginia's Danny Hultzen (10-3) improves his career record to 30-5, including a perfect 3-0 mark in ACC Tournament play.
Virginia's John Hicks's two-run, first-inning home run is his first since May 3 and his sixth of the year ... FSU's Justin Gonzalez sixth-inning home run is his first since May 3, his seventh of the year and only the 18th allowed by the Virginia pitching staff in 58 games.
Taiwan Easterling's second-inning bunt single is his second hit of the tournament; a wide receiver on the Seminole football team, Easterling had six receptions for 79 yards against Virginia Tech in this year's ACC Football Championship game in Charlotte.
2011 ACC Baseball Championship All-Tournament Team
C-Rafael Lopez, FSU; 1B-Jesse Wierzbicki, UNC; 2B- Zeke DeVoss, UM; 3B-Steven Proscia, UVa; SS-Chris Taylor, UVa; OF-Kenny Swab, UVa; OF-James Ramsey, FSU; OF-Chris Epps, Clem. UT/DH-Mike McGee, FSU; P-Cory Mazzoni, NCS; P-Patrick Johnson, UNC.
Tournament MVP - Steven Proscia, Virginia
Virginia's 49 wins are the second-most in school history, trailing only last year's 51 victories ... under Brian O'Connor, the Cavaliers are 18-9 (.667) in ACC Tournament play
College World Series
Each of the last five ACC Champions - Florida State (2010), Virginia (2009), Miami (2008), North Carolina (2007), Clemson (2006) - have gone on to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.