The No. 4 Florida State Seminoles lost a 4-3 contest to the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday in a matchup of the ACC’s two premier teams. FSU had won 13-straight home conference series before dropping this series two games to one.
Bryant Holtmann and Brandon Waddell got the starts for FSU and UVA, respectively, and each pitched well in the early going. The game’s first hit — and run — didn’t come until the top of the third, when the Hoos’ Kenny Towns took Holtmann out to left-centerfield field for a 1-0 Cavs’ lead. After a hit by Nate Irving and a walk to Branden Cogswell, Mike Papi lined a double down the right field line that extended the UVA lead to 3-0.
The Seminoles responded with some power of their own in the bottom of the third. After Ben DeLuzio’s bloop single gave the ‘Noles their first hit, John Sansone clobbered a two-out, two-run homer to left, trimming the gap to 3-2.
After allowing a single and a walk in the fourth, Holtmann was then pulled for Peter Miller after appearing to sustain an injury. It could prove a tricky injury situation for FSU, which is already dealing with a rather freakish injury to another LHP, Brandon Leibrandt. Miller escaped the frame unscathed and stayed on for Florida State.
Both pitchers settled in and put up goose eggs until the seventh. Miller walked Towns to start the inning, and he came around to score on a Papi single off Billy Strode, bringing the score to 4-2.
The ‘Noles got the run back in the eighth, when their best scoring chance of the afternoon presented itself against reliever Connor Jones. DeLuzio singled up the middle for his third hit of the day, and Casey Smit walked. Jameis Winston then laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced both players to scoring position with just one out. After Sansone struck out, UVA walked DJ Stewart, electing to face John Nogowski with the sacs packed. He drew a walk, making it 4-3. But Nick Howard fanned Jose Brizuela to end the inning. Howard stayed on to strike out the side in the ninth.
The Seminoles are now 33-11 and still in control of first place in the ACC Atlantic division. There will be no midweek games for the ‘Noles this week, and they’ll host the Minnesota Golden Gophers for a weekend series starting on Friday.