After a come from behind win on Friday for the Cavaliers in extra innings, FSU and UVa decided that everyone needed to see extra baseball again on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday featured one of the most exciting comebacks and finishes that I can remember from UVa baseball while Sunday showed some of the flaws the Cavaliers will have to work on and fix to make a long run in the NCAA tournament at the end of the year.
On Saturday the Hoos were staring down a 1 run deficit entering the 9th inning. After a back and forth game that saw three lead changes and two ties coming into the bottom of the 9th, everyone watching the game online and in person knew that the Cavaliers were not going to go quietly. Hultzenbegan the inning by getting plunked with the first pitch of the inning from FSU reliever Daniel Bennett. 1st year Mitchell Shifflett came in to run for Danny and proceeded to steal 2nd. Prosciafollowed with a laser off of Bennett who recovered and threw out Proscia but moved Shifflettto 3rd. Kenny Swab walked putting runners on the corners for pinch hitter Ryan Levine who struck out swinging. With two outs Reed Gragnani was issued a walk to load the bases andpinch hitter Stephen Bruno made his weekend premier by getting hit and forcing in the tying run and extras.
Both teams went quietly in the 10th inning before Jared King lead off the bottom of the 11th for UVa with the highlight of his three year career. After watching two pitches, King sent the change up offering from FSU's Tyler Everett over the 377 sign in LF to give the Hoosthe 5-4 victory. In my three years with the Cavaliers I saw a few walk-off hits but only one walk-off home run. I can tell you personally that there is nothing more exciting for a team than a walk off bomb.
Entering Sunday I expected FSU to do whatever it takes to win the game and not get swept by the Cavaliers and go 0-4 on the week (dropped a mid-week to #1 Florida). Sure enough, FSU fought tooth and nail to eek out a win. Like the first two games, neither team was head and shoulders above the other one. The game featured 7 lead changes and4 ties throughout the game including 8 innings in which a team scored more than 1 run. Unfortunately for both staffs the two teams combined for 23 runs and 24 hits. Not a single pitcher that threw for UVa got away without giving up a run and no FSU pitcher that threw more than an inning did not give up a run. Even though UVa was able to tie the game back up in the 9th with a 2 run half, they were not able to squeak across a run in the 10th with the tying run on third. In the end, FSU was able to steal the victory due to a leadoff HR from Rafael Lopez off 1st year Artie Lewicki.
All in all even though the Hoos dropped the Sunday game it was a very successful weekend being able to take two of three from a top five ranked FSU team. Winninga series at home over the Seminoles after sweeping Clemson the previous weekend will surely result in UVaclimbing the rankings even further. Coming into the weekend UVa was ranked 5th, 6th, and 7th in the different respective rankings. I expect the Hoos to at the leastswitch places with FSU (who was ranked ahead this past week), if not move up further given their impressive wins and record.
The boys have two midweek tilts against the CAA's Towson. I don't expect much from Towsonwho will enter with a not too impressive 6-12 overall record. Then again, any given day. As always, GO HOOS!