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FSU strands way too many in 2-1 loss to Virginia

Reese Albert bunts for a hit vs. Virginia
Reese Albert bunts for a hit vs. Virginia(LARRY NOVEY 2021 | WCTV)
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 5:08 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (247Noles) - No. 8 Virginia avoided a sweep at Florida State, defeating the Seminoles 2-1 on Sunday. Both teams got excellent pitching performances, especially from their starters, but the Seminoles (4-5, 2-4 ACC) will look back at squandered opportunities against the Cavaliers (6-5, 2-4 ACC).

Virginia posted a run in the first inning when Brendan Rivoli doubled to left field, a ball that dropped between FSU left fielder Elijah Cabell and shortstop Nander De Sedas, and allowed Nic Kent to score from second. Kent has led the game off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.

The Cavaliers added a second run to the scoreboard in the third inning. It was again Brendan Rivoli coming through with the big hit. He singled to center field, scoring Max Cotier from second base. Cotier had doubled earlier in the inning.

FSU would finally scratch something across in the bottom of the seventh inning. Garrett Mathes got things started with a one-out single that led to Virginia starting pitcher Mike Vasil being driven off the mound. Paul Kosanovich replaced Vasil and walked Nander De Sedas and Jackson Greene. Kosanovich gave way to Blake Bales who got Colton Vincent swinging with bases loaded. Tyler Martin would walk, pushing Isaiah Perry, who pinch ran for Mathes, across home plate. The Seminoles weren’t able to get anything else across, as Virginia went to their closer, Stephen Schoch, who struck out Vince Smith swinging with bases loaded to end the frame. The Seminoles trailed 2-1 at that point.

The Seminoles would again load the bases in the eighth inning as Robby Martin and Nico Baldor each walked, before a Reese Albert sacrifice bunt towards third led to a throwing error - attempt at throwing out Baldor at second - that led to everybody being safe. FSU would squander the bases loaded, no outs opportunity as Casey Asman struck out swinging, Nander De Sedas’ squeeze bunt attempt towards first base was gloved and flipped to the catcher at home plate for a force out and then Jackson Greene struck out looking to end the frame.

Tyler Martin hit a one-out double in the ninth inning, which was FSU’s lone extra-base hit. He ended the game at second base as Vince Smith struck out looking and Robby Martin grounded out to first.

FSU stranded 11 on the bases on the day. They were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. They struck out 15 times (seven looking).

FSU starting pitcher Conor Grady (L, 1-1) was solid in seven innings of work, allowing five hits, two runs (both earned), while striking out nine. He threw 96 total pitches (69 strikes).

“It was beautiful. Probably the best I’ve seen him since he’s been here,” FSU head coach Mike Martin Jr. said of Grady. “Three pitches for strikes. It was beautiful baseball.”

Wyatt Crowell replaced Grady on the mound for the eighth inning and ninth inning. He struck out four.

Virginia starting pitcher Mike Vasil (W, 3-0) earned the victory on the day. He went 6.1 innings, allowing three hits, a run (earned), while walking two and striking out nine. He threw 108 pitches (63 strikes). The Cavaliers used three relieved on the day, with Stephen Schoch pitching the final 2.1 innings, earning his fourth save of the season. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out five.

As a staff, Virginia allowed just four hits, one run (earned), while walking seven and striking out 15.

FSU was error-free on the day.

Nelson, Lacey update: FSU was without starting catcher Matheu Nelson and third baseman/outfielder Logan Lacey on Sunday. Nelson was wearing a brace on his wrist, which he took a ball off catching on Saturday. Lacey hurt his hand sliding into a base on Saturday. After the game, FSU head coach Mike Martin Jr. said he had some hopes the two may be available next weekend, but it will depend on the full prognosis after swelling goes down for each.

Up next: FSU hosts USF on Tuesday at 4 p.m. It will be the lone meeting of the season between the Seminoles and the Bulls. FSU is expected to start Carson Montgomery against the Bulls.

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