The Friday game was rained out forcing a double dose of left-handed pitching for the Florida State bats on Saturday. This was somewhat of a concern that I mentioned in the preview and that concern came to fruition as the inability to hit left-handers due to the lack of quality right-handed bats. Eyebrows were also raised by the outing starting pitcher Luke Weaver had, the sophomore easily had his worst outing of the year allowing 7 earned runs over 4.2 innings. Three walks and three homeruns doomed Weaver, there was just no letup in this Cavalier lineup and he was uncharacteristically all over the place. This game was just a matter of the FSU offense hitting mistake pitches for singles and the UVA offense hitting mistake pitches into the trees in left field.
Lets start with the what was positive about being shutout, for the second weekend in a row Brandon Leibrandt showed signs of his freshman season as he through a beautiful game against a potent Virginia lineup. The left-hander pitched 8 strong innings issuing 4 hits, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts. Unfortunately pitching was once again let down by the defense as the 5th inning was extended due to an error at second base, a double later and FSU was down 2-0, which may has well have been a 10 run lead. Lefties Scott Silverstein and Kyle Crockett combined for 9 shutout innings allowing only 1 hit, a Seth Miller double in the third.
Scott Sitz got himself into trouble in the 3rd inning with a leadoff walk, a single, an intentional walk and then a double. A sac fly and a single later put the Noles in a 4-0 hole and given the offensive struggles FSU hitters were having there was very little hope of mounting a comeback. Florida State managed a run in the 4th and the 7th to cut the lead in half but it wasn't enough as once again Kyle Crockett for UVA came in and ended the game with another dominating 2 inning save.
Virginia got their payback after being swept in Tallahassee last year as they played great baseball all weekend and appear to be a better and more complete team than Florida State. With the exception of Weaver on Saturday the pitching was pretty good, the bullpen pitched well and what we saw from Leibrandt is encouraging. Questions about Scott Sitz still remain as he appears to be quite hittable despite is low earned run average. The glaring concern is the Noles inability to hit left handed pitching, we saw the signs earlier against Miami and it became obvious this past weekend as it seems to be the cahilles heel of this team.
Florida State lost the lead in the Atlantic Division to NC State, is now tied with Clemson for second and are currently tied for fourth in the conference. The Seminoles need to put this series behind them take care of business on Tuesday against Jacksonville and win the home series against Wake Forest starting on Friday.