The Cavaliers hit the road for the second straight ACC series this past weekend in Tallahassee. Unfortunately, the pitching and hitting performances echoed last weekend’s series against UNC with the pitching doing more than enough, but the lineup just not producing nearly enough to come away with victories.
Friday: UVA 0 - FSU 2
Andrew Abbott put on a show for the Cavaliers striking out fourteen in just 5.2 innings (14 Ks in just 17 outs!) while only surrendering two hits and two runs (one earned). Zach Messinger and Brandon Neeck followed suit holding FSU to one hit over the final 2.1 innings while striking out four more. Ultimately, the game was decided in the 3rd inning when a two out single from FSU scored the only two runs of the game. The order only had four hits and 2 HBPs on the day, but stranded all five base runners they had while striking out 11 times.
Saturday: UVA 4 - FSU 9
The bats woke up a bit on Saturday as UVA was able to put four runs up on the board, but a five run 4th inning from FSU would be too much for UVA to overcome. Griff McGarry uncharacteristically struggled against the Noles lineup walking 6 in just 3 innings while surrendering five earned runs. McGarry only gave up 2 hits in the outing, so nearly all of that damage came from those free passes. Matt Wyatt and Billy Price were unable to keep FSU at bay over the next 2.2 innings allowing four more runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.
Though the staff struggled on Saturday, through the first two games, the UVA lineup had just 9 hits, 2 extra base hits, and scored all four of their runs over 18 innings in just one inning on Saturday. Saturday’s four walks and 10 strikeouts were better than Friday’s, but still not nearly enough to expect to win an ACC series
Sunday: UVA 2 - FSU 1
The Hoos narrowly avoided the sweep Sunday afternoon behind another stellar outing from Mike Vasil, some timely hitting by Brendan Rivoli, and a gutty three inning save by Stephen Schoch. The Hoos led most of the way with Rivoli driving in runs in both the first and third innings. Vasil pitched into the seventh and gave up his first earned run of the season when Blake Bales gave up a bases-loaded walk. Schoch would make Hoos fans sweat needing to pitch out of bases-loaded jams in the seventh and eighth and allowing the tying run to reach second base in the ninth. Overall, the Virginia pitchers were terrific with Vasil, Bales, and Schoch combining for 15 strikeouts. At the plate, Rivoli led the way with his two, run scoring hits while Max Cotier and Nic Kent each had a hit and scored a run.
At 6-5 overall and 2-4 in the ACC, UVA obviously has ground to make up to accomplish their goals of competing for another ACC title and making it back to the NCAA Tournament. Their next three weekend series are at home, so they won’t hit the road again til April. Bad news is it looks like nobody is having a down year this year in the conference and all the weekends will be dogfights. Before they host Notre Dame next weekend, Richmond comes to Charlottesville on Tuesday.