In their final weekend before their week off before exams, the Cavaliers will look to make a national statement on the road at Florida State.
A series victory this weekend would go a long way for UVa’s NCAA hosting chances because even though they sit at 33-10 overall and 12-9 in the ACC, the Hoos don’t have any shining series victories on their resumes. Not being swept by Clemson, UNC, and Louisville earlier in the season was strong, but winning one of those series could have done wonders.
On the other side, Florida State could use a few more strong victories of their own. The Noles are just 10-10 in the ACC this season, but took two of three from Clemson two weeks ago and have UVa, Wake Forest, and Louisville left on the schedule. If FSU is a team to be reckoned with in June, it will show over these final three weeks.
Unlike in years past, the Seminoles aren’t overpowering teams at the plate. They are batting just .264 as a team, which is good for 10th in the ACC, just ahead of Boston College. With just 43 home runs no the season, the team that normally takes advantage of the short porch in right field is nowhere to be found. Even the Hoos have hit more longballs this season (47).
However, the pitching staff is a bit better than in seasons past. Their 3.94 ERA is good for 6th in the ACC, just behind UVa’s 3.88. Lead by sophomores Cole Sands and Tyler Holton, the two have combined to go 10-3 this season. Holton leads the ACC with opponents batting a mere .166 against him. He also stands third in the conference with 78 strikeouts in just 61.2 innings.
Where the Cavaliers will have the clear advantage is in the field. FSU is next to last in the conference in fielding percentage and errors. If UVa can use those errors to put added pressure on the Noles’ pitching staff, the Hoos could come away victorious.