- - Saturday, May 26, 2012

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In three days at the ACC tournament, Virginia recorded 26 hits. Every one of them was a single.

A lack of highlights didn’t mean a lack of offense, though, and the Cavaliers finished their weekend with a 7-0 shutout of No. 1 Florida State on Saturday afternoon.

“Just doing the little things right,” right fielder Colin Harrington said of his team’s success. “I think the hit-and-run, and the run-and-hit, were big for us this weekend.”

The Cavaliers won’t be in Sunday’s title game, but leave with a 12-2 mark at the tournament over the last four years and are likely to host an NCAA regional. Sites will be announced Sunday .

Holding the Seminoles scoreless also provided further validation that sophomore pitcher Artie Lewicki has developed into a top-tier starter for the Wahoos.

Lewicki went seven innings, allowing three hits. In his last five outings, he’s pitched at least six innings. He opened the year as a question mark, but now stands alongside Branden Kline as U.Va. coach Brian O’Connor’s two most dependable options.

“We knew coming into the year he was talented, but didn’t quite know what role he’d pitch in,” O’Connor said. “He’s stepped into that starter’s role and really done a terrific job for us after getting that experience under his belt.”

Lewicki threw fearlessly Saturday, attacking FSU star James Ramsey and getting him to strike out on a 1-2 slider.

“Once I started pitching deeper into ballgames, my confidence level grew,” Lewicki said. “It was just easier to go out there late into the ballgame and pitch.”

Virginia’s offense gave Lewicki a run early after a perfectly executed hit-and-run single by Jared King moved Derek Fisher into scoring position, but otherwise couldn’t manage much against FSU starter Mike Compton.

That changed when Compton left the game in the seventh, and the Seminoles’ defense started to deteriorate along with their pitching. Two walks and a poorly-fielded bunt loaded the bases, and Stephen Bruno and Derek Fisher hit singles to break open the game.

U.Va. batted around in what became a six-run inning, enough to put Friday’s run-rule loss in the rear-view mirror.

“Our guys showed what they were capable of after that difficult loss,” O’Connor said. “I think that speaks to the type of ballclub we have, not only ability-wise, but what those young men are made of.”

The three-game, pool-play format ended for the ‘Hoos with a 2-1 record. No. 8 seed Georgia Tech swept the pool to advance to Sunday’s title game against Miami.

Florida State finished 0-3, the first time a No. 1 seed hasn’t won a game at the event.

The Seminoles’ misfortune turned into a morale-boosting win for U.Va., which nickeled and dimed its way to success in the tournament.

A lack of extra-base hits wasn’t concerning, though, especially since the ‘Hoos are likely to host next weekend at spacious Davenport Field, a venue that should play right into their style.

Read more about the Cavaliers at TimesDispatch.com

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