No. 10 Virginia Blanks Florida State, 8-0
April 29, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Behind a two-hit shutout from Noah Murdock (Fr., Colonial Heights, Va.) and Alec Bettinger (Sr., Woodbridge, Va.), the No. 10 Virginia baseball team earned an 8-0 victory at Florida State Saturday afternoon in Game 2 of a three-game ACC series at Dick Howser Stadium. Virginia (34-11, 13-10 ACC) evened the series at a game apiece, with the rubber game set for 1 p.m. Sunday.
“Noah Murdock was terrific today,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “He continues to pitch in the clutch. He had four walks again, but he buckles down and makes the big pitches with runners in scoring position. Obviously the guy is a competitor and he is pitching great baseball for us.
“We had a great offensive performance with a lot of guys stepping up. Cam Simmons did a nice job swinging the bat at the top of the order, and I thought Justin Novak swung the bat really well and had some key hits, as did Caleb Knight and the others. To win a game in this ballpark, you’ve got to bring your best stuff and hopefully we can do that again tomorrow.”
Murdock (3-1) worked six scoreless innings to extend his streak of consecutive scoreless frames to 19 1/3. He last allowed a run in the fourth inning against Pitt on April 7 and has strung together three straight scoreless starts. Murdock gave up two hits and four walks while striking out four. He worked a 1-2-3 first inning, but stranded eight baserunners over the next five innings. Bettinger did not allow a hit over the final three innings in earning his first save of the season.
FSU starter Tyler Horton (5-2) pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, five hits and a walk in taking the loss. The Seminoles (27-17, 11-11) used seven pitchers in the game.
Virginia racked up 16 hits as eight of the nine starters recorded at least one base hit. Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) went 3-for-5 to extend his hit streak to 12 games, and he has hits in 26 of his last 27 contests. Justin Novak (Jr., Tokyo, Japan) added three hits and two runs, while Jake McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) hit a two-run homer and a double as part of a 2-for-3 effort.
Both pitchers worked around trouble at various points over the first four innings, including Murdock leaving the bases loaded in the fourth, before UVA broke the stalemate in the fifth inning on a two-run homer by McCarthy over the 30-foot wall in right field. It was his second homer of the year.
Virginia sent 10 batters to the plate in a five-run sixth inning to take a 7-0 lead, doing all of its damage with two outs. After falling behind 0-2 with the bases loaded against reliever Jim Voyles, Cameron Simmons (So., Royersford, Pa.) hit a two-run single to right. FSU turned to left-hander Alec Byrd to face the left-handed trio Andy Weber (So., Aurora, Ohio), Haseley and Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.), but they foiled the plan, combining for three straight RBI singles to expand the lead to 7-0.
UVA added a run in the eighth on a Robbie Coman (Gr., Lake Worth, Fla.) two-out single to plate Haseley, who reached on a one-out double off the left-field wall.