FSU shreds Virginia in ACC Tournament opener

Florida State’s first game of pool play in the ACC Tournament couldn’t have gone much better.

Reese Albert hit his first home run of the season and Alex Toral hit a two-run home run as FSU routed Virginia 13-3 on Wednesday afternoon in eight innings at Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C. The Seminoles (33-22) halted a four-game slide and will advance to a semifinal this weekend if they defeat Notre Dame on Thursday at 3 p.m.

After dropping four games on the road, a midweek at Florida and a sweep at UNC, the Seminoles considered the transition to the postseason a reset.

“This is a new season,” Toral said. “Everybody is 0-0. Everybody’s stats are refreshed. I think the whole team kind of bought into that mentality and came out here just hungry. Everybody knowing that this is our chance to make a run.”

Bryce Hubbart pitched four innings, allowing seven hits but he did not walk a batter and gave up three earned runs.

Wyatt Crowell (6-1) tossed four shutout innings, allowing just three hits and recording six strikeouts as the Seminoles picked up the win by 10-run mercy rule.

“Crowell, who pitched the back half of the game, is the best left-hander we’ve seen all year,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said.

Toral went 2 for 5, hitting his 14th home run of the season and adding a two-run single in the eighth, as the Seminoles pounded seven Virginia pitchers for 15 hits (including six extra-base hits). Jamie Ferrer and James Tibbs each had a two-run double, Brett Roberts had an RBI double and Tyler Martin went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Colton Vincent went 3 for 4 with a run scored.

Virginia left-hander Brian Gursky (7-2) lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up seven hits and six earned runs.

The Seminoles have often struggled with runners on or runners in scoring position but fared quite well on Wednesday — they hit 10 of 20 with runners on base and 6 of 15 with runners in scoring position.

FSU was swept by Notre Dame on the first three days of April, although the scores were close (2-0 in 12 innings, 5-4 and 9-7). The Seminoles have had a wildly inconsistent season but a win over the Fighting Irish would likely solidify FSU as a No. 2 national seed when the field of 64 is announced on Monday afternoon.

Notre Dame and Virginia (38-16) would also play in a pool game on Friday, but it would become inconsequential if the Seminoles knock off the Fighting Irish on Thursday. In other games, Pittsburgh secured a pool victory and will play the Miami-NC State winner in a semifinal on Saturday.

Box score

The FSU – Virginia box score can be viewed here.

Up next

FSU will play Notre Dame on Thursday at 3 p.m. (Bally Sports regional networks).