Baseball falls to No. 9 Florida State in extra innings

Cavaliers unable to advance in ACC Tournament

Junior left-handed pitcher Daniel Lynch finished his season Tuesday with a career-high 105 strikeouts. Megan Vickery | Cavalier Daily

The Virginia baseball team lost its first game of ACC Tournament play, 3-2 in 11 innings, against No. 9 Florida State Tuesday. With the loss, the Cavaliers (28-25) are now unable to advance out of pool play in the ACC Tournament.

Junior left-handed pitcher Daniel Lynch started on the mound for Virginia and went seven innings, surrendering only two runs and striking out seven Seminoles (40-17). Lynch finished his season with a career-high 105 strikeouts.

However, Florida State had 2 hits off Lynch in the first inning — including a 2-out RBI double off the left field wall — to take the early 1-0 lead.

The Cavaliers equalized in the top of the third via a single by senior third baseman Justin Novak that drove in sophomore outfielder Cayman Richardson. 

Richardson began the season as the starting shortstop, then moved to center field following an injury to junior Jake McCarthy. After McCarthy’s return, Richardson moved to left field, where he started on Tuesday due to the emergence of freshman shortstop Tanner Morris.

Florida State then scored again in the bottom of the third to make it 2-1, before a sacrifice fly by junior first baseman Nate Eikhoff scored junior second baseman Andy Weber.

The score remained 2-2 as Virginia loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth before 

Florida State sophomore left-handed relief pitcher Clayton Kwiatkowski struck out two-consecutive batters to close the inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, freshman left-handed pitcher Andrew Abbott came in to pitch for the Cavaliers in relief of Lynch. Abbott pitched three straight one-two-three innings in the eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively.

In the top of the eleventh inning, freshman outfielder Alex Tappen reached third base with two outs, before being stranded as Kwiatkowski struck out junior designated hitter Caleb Knight.

In the bottom of the eleventh, Florida State freshman left fielder Reese Albert drove in sophomore third baseman Drew Mendoza with a single to right field — only the second hit Abbott allowed in three and two-thirds innings — to win the game for the Seminoles. 

Because the loss rendered Virginia mathematically unable to advance in the ACC Tournament, the Cavaliers will play the last game of their season Thursday at 3 p.m. against NC State at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

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