DURHAM, N.C. (theACC.com) – The extra inning magic continues for Florida State.
Reese Albert’s two-out double off the wall in right scored Drew Mendoza from first base and lifted the sixth-seeded and defending champion Seminoles to a 3-2 win over No. 10 seed Virginia in Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship Pool C action Tuesday afternoon.
Florida State (40-17) won in extra innings for the third time in less than a week, the fourth time during the month of May and the sixth time this season. Albert delivered the walk-off heroics for the second time in five days after hitting a three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to give the Seminoles a 6-3 win over NC State last Friday night in the next-to-last game of the regular season.
Albert’s clutch double on Tuesday ended a marathon that had been tied at 2-2 since Virginia’s Nate Eikhoff delivered a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth inning to scored Andy Weber from third. Weber had singled and moved into scoring position on Alex Tappen’s double.
Florida State scored its first two runs on RBI doubles by Cal Raleigh and Steven Wells in the first and third innings. Virginia’s first run came in the top of the third, when Cayman Richardson doubled and scored on Justin Novak’s single to right-center.
Both teams could look back at a number of missed opportunities, but one of the most notable came in the top of the eighth inning when the Cavaliers (28-25) loaded the bases with one out. FSU head coach Mike Martin summoned Clayton Kwiatkowski from the bullpen, and the sophomore lefthander responded by striking out Virginia No. 4 and No. 5 hitters Tappen and Eikhoff – on six pitches – to keep the score deadlocked.
Kwiatkowski (4-1) picked up the win after working the final 3.2 innings without allowing a hit. He walked three batters and struck out four.
Andrew Abbott, who came on in relief of starter Daniel Lynch at the outset of the eighth inning, took the loss for Virginia despite a solid 3.2 innings stint in which he allowed only two hits and struck out five batters without issuing a walk. The Cavaliers slipped to 10-10 this season in games decided by one run.
Virginia next sees action Thursday at 3 p.m., when it faces third-seeded NC State (40-14) in Pool C play. Florida State will meet the Wolfpack on Friday at 7 p.m.
For the second time in the past five days, freshman Reese Albert had a walk-off, extra-innings hit. Against NC State on May 18, Albert hit a three-run home run in Tallahassee to give the Seminoles a 6-3 win in 10 innings. On Tuesday, Albert hit a walk-off double, scoring Drew Mendoza from first base for a 3-2 win in 11 innings.
- FSU improved to 40-17 on the season, the 41st consecutive year reaching the 40-win barrier. The next closest active streak of 40 win seasons is Louisville with 7.
- Cal Raleigh extended his hit streak to a career-high 12 games. Raleigh’s RBI double in the first inning was his team-high 49th RBI of the season.
- Clayton Kwiatkowski tied a career high with 3.2 innings pitched (also vs. Stetson in 2017). Kwiatkowski and Austin Pollock combined to allow just one hit in 8.0 innings out of the bullpen.
- Kwiatkowski is now 4-1 on the year, the 7th FSU pitched with at least four wins.
- Jackson Lueck hit 3-for-5 with three singles Tuesday. In nine ACC Tournament games, Lueck, the 2017 Tournament MVP, is 17-for-35.
- Rhett Aplin went 0-for-5 Tuesday, ending his 33-game streak of reaching base.
- FSU improved to 9-8 against Virginia in the ACC Tournament. FSU has won 13 of its past 14 games in the ACC Tournament and reached the Championship game each of the past three seasons.
The Seminoles take two days off before facing 3-seed NC State Friday at 7:00 p.m. Florida State took 2-of-3 games against the Wolfpack to close the regular season in Tallahassee.
The winner of Friday’s game will advance to the ACC Championships semifinals.
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).