The Virginia baseball team traveled to Tallahassee, Fla. this weekend to take on Florida State, looking to win its fourth straight ACC series. The Cavaliers (35-11, 14-10 ACC) did just that, taking the second two games of the three game set against the Seminoles (27-18, 11-12 ACC).
The series began Friday as sophomore pitcher Daniel Lynch took the mound for Virginia, taking over junior pitcher Derek Casey’s usual weekend spot. The southpaw struggled out of the gate, allowing back-to-back homers in the first inning to let Florida State to jump out to a lead. Virginia responded with a three-run fourth inning to take the lead and stretched it to 4-2 in the fifth, but Lynch allowed two more runs in the inning to tie the game. Sophomore reliever Chesdin Harrington then served up a two-run homer to Florida State freshman first baseman Drew Mendoza in the sixth. The Seminole bullpen locked in, as Virginia was defeated 6-4 in the opening contest.
The Cavaliers looked to even the series with freshman pitcher Noah Murdock on the mound Saturday, and the rookie gave another strong performance. Murdock didn’t allow a run in six innings of work, limiting the Seminoles to two hits and striking out four. Virginia couldn’t get in a groove from the plate early, but finally got going when sophomore outfielder Jake McCarthy blasted a two-run homer in the fifth inning. The Cavaliers broke the game open in the sixth with a two-out, five-run rally to give Murdock insurance. Senior reliever Alec Bettinger was nearly flawless in relief of Murdock, pitching three scoreless innings to lock up the 8-0 win for Virginia.
Virginia wasted no time jumping out to a lead in the rubber match of the series Sunday, plating four runs in the first to knock out Florida State’s starter before he could record an out. The Cavalier’s mounted a 6-0 lead after three innings, but the Seminoles would not go quietly. Junior starter Adam Haseley grinded out five innings, allowing four runs and three walks as he struggled with control. Junior closer Tommy Doyle, however, came in and pitched admirably, going four innings strong. The righty pitched through the ninth to pick up his 12th save of the year as Virginia picked up a 7-5 victory and series win.
The Cavaliers return to action Tuesday when Liberty comes to Davenport Field for a midweek game. Virginia will then host Miami for a three-game set May 12 in its second-to-last ACC series.