UVA baseball loses in extras in ACC Baseball Championship opener: NCAA streak will end

uva baseballNo. 9 Florida State (40-17) defeated UVA, 3-2, in 11 innings, with a walk-off single by Reese Albert at the 2018 ACC Championship. Virginia (28-25) will conclude pool play on Thursday with a matchup against third-seeded NC State at 3 p.m.

After each team failed to score in each of the previous six innings, the Seminoles finally broke through with their ninth hit of the day, a single into the gap in right center by Albert that scored Drew Mendoza from first base in the bottom of the 11th.

The Cavaliers dropped to 10-10 in one-run games and 3-3 in extra inning contests this season.

“That team (Florida State) is tough to put away,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “The first time around the order, they battled Daniel (Lynch) and battled him all day, and he started to settle in and get a few strikeouts. I thought (Andrew) Abbott was tremendous for us out of the pen, as well. I hated to see him lose that game but credit them, the kid put a good swing on the ball.”

Junior Daniel Lynch (Henrico, Va.) went deep into the game again, tossing seven innings of two-run baseball while striking out seven. The left hander stranded five Seminole runners in scoring position and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth to keep the game tied at two. The quality start for Lynch was his seventh of the season and it marked the 10th time this season he’s pitched into the seventh inning.

Lynch finished the year with a career-high 105 strikeouts, the first Cavalier pitcher since Connor Jones in 2015 to reach the century mark.

The Cavaliers fell behind twice in the contest and twice came back to tie the game. In the top of the third inning, Justin Novak (Tokyo, Japan) evened the score at one with an RBI single that scored Cayman Richardson (Mechanicsville, Va.), who led off the frame off with a double. Virginia knotted the game back up in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) that scored Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio.).

The first two Florida State runs both came on two-out hits in the first and third innings, respectively. All three of the Seminole runs scored from first base.

Cavalier freshman Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) came on in relief of Lynch and retired the first 10 batters he faced. Making his team-leading, 24th appearance of the year, the lefty struck out five batters including four of the first six.

Six different Virginia hitters accounted for the team’s six hits. Freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) doubled in the fourth inning and extended his hit streak to 10 games.

The Cavaliers cannot advance out of Pool C and will conclude their 2018 season on Thursday (May 24) with a matchup against NC State. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.