After two weekend series where the Virginia Cavaliers won the opening game, but dropped the series finale, the ‘Hoos were finally able to close out the sweep taking all three games against the Florida State Seminoles. The Cavaliers were once again a force at the plate scoring 30 runs over the three game set, taking the series with wins of 3-2, 12-4, and 15-4.
Friday night was more exciting than Virginia fans would prefer as the teams traded back and forth scoreless innings and entered the ninth inning tied 1-1. With Jay Woolfolk on to pitch in the top half, a one-out walk and double gave the Seminoles runners at second and third. They’d get the go ahead run on an error by Jake Gelof off the bat of Florida State’s McGwire Holbrook. Woolfolk would stop the bleeding coming up with two huge strikeouts ending the threat and giving his squad a chance to stay in the game.
In the bottom half of the ninth, after two quick outs, Harrison Didawick was down to his last strike before he drew a walk. Griff O’Ferrall then singled to right and Didawick advanced to third on a throwing error. He’d then score on a wild pitch tying the game and sending the teams to extra innings.
Despite issuing a leadoff walk, Woolfolk was strong in the tenth, making quick work of the Seminoles and setting up the Hoos for a walk-off victory. In the bottom half of the inning, Kyle Teel picked up a one-out single and was forced out at second, but Ethan Anderson reached. Anderson moved to second on a single by Casey Saucke, setting up Chris Baker to end it. Baker lined a ball up the middle that looked like it could be a double play, however the ball skirted underneath the glove of Florida State shortstop Jordan Carrion and bounded into center field as Anderson scored the game winning run.
Despite the late game excitement, the story of the game was Virginia’s Chase Hungate. Hungate entered the game with one out in the first after starter Nick Parker took a ball to the head and had to leave. Hungate was terrific going five innings, giving up zero runs on just two hits and two walks, while striking out five Seminoles.
Game two looked very similar to Friday’s game as the teams both got runs in the first, but neither could pull away. Then with the score knotted at three in the bottom of the seventh, the wheels fell off for Florida State. After Carson Montgomery got two quick outs, he’d lose control, giving up a walk to Gelof and a single to Teel. Gelof scored on a wild pitch before Anderson walked. That brought in Andrew Armstrong to pitch for Florida State who’d hit the next two batters, one with the bases loaded, before issuing another bases loaded walk to Henry Godbout. Didawick would break the game wide open with a bases-loaded double, scoring three Cavaliers and giving the Hoos a 10-3 lead. In total Virginia sent twelve men to plate and scored seven runs all with two outs.
Virginia tacked on two more runs in the eighth, while Florida State only managed to score a single run in a meaningless ninth. Despite giving up his first run of the season on a home run to James Tibbs, Kevin Jaxel picked up the win. Virginia starter Brian Edgington went five strong, only giving up two runs, one earned on five hits. Jake Berry pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth while Matthew Buchanan closed things out in the ninth.
Virginia left no doubt in Sunday’s finale, jumping on Florida State with an eight run third inning.
O’Ferrall and Ethan O’Donnell each singled to start the inning before Gelof blasted his eighth home run of the year and staking the Cavaliers to a 4-0 lead. Teel then walked and Anderson singled before Anthony Stephan singled, driving in both runners. After Godbout was hit by a pitch and Didawick walked, O’Ferrall flew out to drive in Stephan. O’Donnell’s second hit of the inning scored Godbout while Gelof picked up another RBI on his single which scored Didawick.
Virginia scored three more runs in the sixth and seventh highlighted by a solo home run by Anderson and an RBI triple by Didawick. On the mound, Jack O’Connor got the win, throwing five innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks to go along with three strikeouts. Jake Hodorovich and Evan Blanco held Florida State to one run in the sixth and seventh before giving way to Cullen McKay who closed out the final two innings giving up a single earned run in the process.
On the weekend, Stephan was the star, reaching base seven times in nine plate appearances, batting .667 driving in three runs and scoring three runs of his own. O’Donnell led the way with six hits while Gelof had five hits and drove in six runs. Teel and Godbout joined Gelof with five hits while Teel scored three runs and Godbout had four RBI.
The ‘Hoos are 22-2 on the year, 7-2 in conference with a big-time week of baseball in the Commonwealth on tap. Virginia hosts Old Dominion on Tuesday with a series with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg over the weekend.