TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A 6-0 deficit through three innings proved too much to overcome as Florida State (27-18, 11-12 ACC) fell to No. 14 Virginia (35-11, 14-10) 7-5 Sunday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. All five runs came via the long ball, as Dylan Busby hit a solo home run and Drew Mendoza and Quincy Nieporte connected for two-run home runs to close the deficit.
“I was proud of our ball club,” head coach Mike Martin said. “We could have folded the tent and felt sorry for ourselves. We got out there and battled. We’re down 6-0 after three and there was no quit.
“Credit Virginia. They are a legit Top 10-team.”
Florida State starter Andrew Karp (0-3) struggled out of the gate, allowing four hits and a walk to the first five batters he faced before being replaced by Drew Parrish. Virginia scored four runs in the opening frame and added one each in the second and third off Parrish to take a 6-0 lead. Parrish threw 4.0 innings in relief, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out three.
In the bottom of the fourth, Busby’s tenth home run of the year put FSU on the board, and three batters later, Mendoza’s third home run cut the gap to 6-3. Busby and Mendoza both homered in Friday’s series opener as well.
Virginia earned its final run in the sixth inning off Alec Byrd. Byrd threw 1.1 innings in relief of Parrish before giving way to Drew Carlton. Carlton kept Florida State in the game, allowing just three hits and no runs over the final 3.2 innings. In the eighth, he struck out the side, his only three strikeouts of the game.
Virginia starter Adam Haseley (7-1) went 5.0 innings, allowing four runs on four hits. After hitting Dylan Busby to open the sixth inning, he gave way to closer Tommy Doyle. With one out, Nieporte’s ninth home run of the season made the score 7-5 as FSU inched closer.
With two outs in the inning, Rhett Aplin singled and Matt Henderson walked, and both players advanced on a passed ball. Steven Wells, starting in the outfield for Jackson Lueck (illness), struck out swinging to end the last real threat the Seminoles had.
Doyle settled down after that, allowing only one baserunner (a ninth-inning walk to Aplin) over the next three innings to earn his 12th save of the year.
For the Cavaliers, they pounded out 13 hits a day after tallying 16 hits. Five players had at least two hits, and Caleb Knight, who entered hitting .417, was the only player not to have at least one.
Florida State will host Pacific for its final non-conference series of the year. The Seminoles and Tigers will play four games – Friday at 6:00 p.m., a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday’s finale at 12:00 p.m.
All four games will stream on ACC Network Extra on WatchESPN. Eric Luallen will provide play-by-play audio on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee and nationwide on the FSU Gameday App.
Saturday’s 2:00 p.m. game will be Fan Appreciation Day. The game is free for all fans and no tickets will be distributed. The stands will be cleared between games, and the night cap will serve as Military Appreciation Day. Fans must have a ticket to attend the second game on Saturday.
– Dylan Busby and Drew Mendoza both hit home runs in the fourth inning. It was the 10th home run of the year for Busby and third for Mendoza. Both homered in Game 1 of the series Friday night.
– Busby’s home run was his fourth in the last five games against the Cavaliers. He has hit six in the past 10 games overall.
– Alec Byrd made his team-high 23rd appearance of the season, tying Chase Haney for the team lead.
– Quincy Nieporte’s two-run home run in the sixth inning was his ninth of the season. It is the seventh time this season, and second time this weekend, that FSU has hit three home runs in a game. It also gave him 51 RBI for the season, the first time in his three-year FSU career he has hit the 50-RBI mark.
– Matt Henderson’s sixth-inning walk was his 12th straight game reaching base, the longest current streak on the team.
– Drew Carlton lowered his ERA to 1.11 in 20 relief appearances on the season. The junior has 30 strikeouts in 32.1 innings out of the bullpen.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).