No. 8 Virginia Uses Big 7th Inning to Beat Florida State 12-4, Clinch Series
By Matt Newton,2023-03-26
The Cavaliers blew the game open with a six-run seventh inning and clinched the series against the Seminoles on Saturday
The first six innings of Saturday's game 2 seemed to suggest that the Cavaliers and Seminoles were headed for another thriller, perhaps one rivaling UVA's 10th-inning walk-off win in game 1 on Friday. Instead, the Cavaliers blew the game wide open with a six-run seventh inning and No. 8 Virginia cruised to a 12-4 victory over Florida State to clinch the series win on Saturday evening at Disharoon Park.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning as Treyton Rank and Ethan Anderson each delivered RBI singles. Each team's starting pitchers did well to avoid further damage, though, as Virginia's Brian Edgington stranded runners on first and second and Florida State's Ryan Denison stranded runners on the corners.
FSU regained the lead in the top of the third as Ben Barrett got on board on an error and later came around to score on a Jaime Ferrer single. Brian Edgington was solid on the mound for the Cavaliers beyond that, giving up just five hits and two runs (one earned) and striking out five batters in five innings of work.
That kept the score at 2-1 into the fifth inning, when Virginia managed to take its first lead of the game. Griff O'Ferrall drew a leadoff walk and Ethan O'Donnell singled before both players advanced a base on a wild pitch. Jake Gelof put the ball in play and brought home O'Ferrall with a fielder's choice and then Kyle Teel did the same to score O'Donnell, giving UVA a 3-2 lead.
Kevin Jaxel entered the game and gave up a solo home run to James Tibbs on his first pitch in the top of the sixth which tied the game at 3-3. Jaxel also gave up a walk in the sixth, but managed to retire the side to keep things tied up. In the bottom half of the inning, Virginia quickly regained the lead as Anthony Stephan hit a one-out single and then Henry Godbout hit a double down the right field line to score Stephan, but Godbout was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Jake Berry entered the game in the seventh, looking to preserve UVA's 4-3 lead and he retired the side in order on just nine pitches. Then came the pivotal bottom half of the seventh inning which turned the game on its head.
O'Ferrall and O'Donnell both flied out to start the inning, but the Cavaliers proved they were quite capable of putting together a two-out rally. Jake Gelof walked, moved to third on a single from Kyle Teel, and came home on a wild pitch. After Ethan Anderson drew a walk, Florida State brought in Andrew Armstrong looking to limit the damage, but Armstrong could not find the strike zone. He hit Casey Saucke to load the bases and then hit pinch hitter Luke Hanson to allow a run to score. Armstrong then walked Godbout on four pitches to bring another run home and that was the end of his brief outing. FSU called in David Barrett with the bases still loaded and Harrison Didawick delivered the biggest hit of the game, scorching a bases-clearing double down the left field line.
By the end of the inning, Florida State had used four different pitchers and Virginia had scored six runs on just two hits to open up a 10-3 lead.
Berry pitched an even quicker top of the eighth inning, setting down FSU's batters in order on just five pitches. UVA added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth just for good measure, as Teel scored on a wild pitch and Godbout singled to score Travis Reifsnider from second base.
Matthew Buchanan pitched the top of the ninth and gave up a solo home run to Titan Kamaka, but did not have any further issues closing out the 12-4 victory for Virginia.
With the win, Virginia clinches its third-straight ACC series victory to start the season and improves to 21-2 overall and 6-2 in ACC play. The Cavaliers beat Florida State in a three-game series for the first time since 2017 and earned their first home series win against FSU since 2013. That 2013 series was also the last time the Hoos swept the Seminoles in a three-game series. Virginia will look to accomplish that feat in game 3 on Sunday at 1pm at Disharoon Park.
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