One team capitalized in the most clutch of moments.
It was that simple on Thursday in Disharoon Park.
Florida State scored 10 runs with two outs on the board, while Virginia left more than 10 runners on base as the Cavaliers opened a three-game home stand with a 14-2 loss.
“They beat us as bad as I can remember that we’ve been beaten,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “We just couldn’t hold them down. Mike Vasil has been solid for us as of late, but he didn’t have the kind of start that we need to win in this league.”
The Seminoles (23-13, 11-8 ACC) didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard. In the top of the first inning, Robby Martin connected on the first of his two RBI singles on the night. J.C. Flowers followed with a two-run home run down the third-base line for a 3-0 lead.
Virginia (22-17, 8-11 ACC) looked like it was going to answer in short order. In the Cavaliers’ half of the first inning, leadoff batter Tanner Morris and No. 2 hitter Nic Kent got on with base hits. Freshman Zack Gelof got the benefit of a bobbled ball to load the bases with no outs.
The Cavaliers got one run back with a sacrifice grounder by cleanup hitter Brendan Rivoli and loaded the bases again, but the golden opportunity passed without another run crossing the plate.
Another opportunity never came.
The rest of the scoreboard was not as disproportionate as the final score. The Seminoles out hit Virginia 13-9 and were charged with three errors to none by the Cavaliers. The difference were the base runners UVa left stranded, particularly in the third and sixth innings, with multiple runners in scoring position.
O’Connor chalked a lot of that up to Florida State starter Drew Parrish, who scattered five hits over six innings, struck out six batters and gave up just one earned run.
“That’s what a good pitcher does,” O’Connor said. “A veteran like Parrish buckles down and makes good pitches.”
Vasil’s ninth start of the season didn’t go as planned. After he was a late scratch in Sunday’s series finale against Miami, the Wellesley, Massachusetts, native gave up nine base hits and was charged with eight earned runs.
Vasil was pushed into action Thursday because Noah Murdock and Griff McGarry both pitched in Saturday’s doubleheader against Miami. But O’Connor said Vasil’s struggles didn’t have anything to do with the schedule change.
“He had more rest. If anything, I would think he had extra motivation to go out and pitch for his teammates,” O’Connor said.
Chesdin Harrington did his job with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, but the Cavaliers’ rough night on the mound continued from there. Evan Sperling — in line to be one of the Wahoos’ top starters at the beginning of the season — walked four batters in two-thirds of an inning, including one to give FSU a 9-1 lead.
Freshman lefty Ben Harris followed with his first career appearance and walked the first batter he faced to add to the Seminoles’ seventh-inning lead. With the bases still loaded, he hit the next batter to give up another run and before the inning ended, Flowers gave Florida State a 13-1 lead with a two-run single to centerfield.
Harris was replaced in the top of the eighth by senior Grant Donahue, who gave the Seminoles their 14-2 lead with a wild pitch.
“Overall, we just didn’t throw enough strikes. We walked over 10 batters, and you’re not going to beat anybody in college baseball doing that,” O’Connor said. “We just gave them too many free passes, and you’re certainly not going to beat Florida State doing that.”
Murdock will start on the mound in game two, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday.