Miami Defeats Virginia, 9-5
vs. Notre Dame (Pool Play)
5/22/2015 | 11:00 AM
May 20, 2015
DURHAM, N.C. – Miami scored seven runs in the eighth inning to rally from a three-run deficit and top the Virginia baseball team, 9-5, Wednesday afternoon in pool play at the ACC Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. The No. 7 seed in the tournament, Virginia (34-20) had its six-game win streak snapped, while the second-seeded Hurricanes (43-13) extended their win streak to 13 games.
Now 0-1 in pool play, Virginia has the day off on Thursday. The Cavaliers return at 11 a.m. Friday to play No. 3 seed Notre Dame and then take on No. 6 seed NC State at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“Certainly the end of the ballgame was difficult and frustrating,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I was proud of our guys for how they hung in there and figured out a way to get three runs on Kenny Towns’ three-run home run in the sixth inning. I thought Connor Jones was terrific. He continues to pitch very well for us. Miami has got a terrific offensive ballclub. The middle of their order has a lot of home runs and a lot of RBI. They have some guys with speed and we were hoping that we could put them away, but we couldn’t do it. Credit them for that.”
Virginia starting pitcher Connor Jones (So., Chesapeake, Va.) was tremendous and worked 7 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (two earned), four hits and two walks while striking out seven. After giving up three hits in the first two innings, Jones did not allow another hit until Jacob Heyward’s one-out single in the eighth inning. It marked Jones’ fifth straight start of at least seven innings and seven strikeouts.
UVa reliever Alec Bettinger (So., Woodbridge, Va.) took the loss and dropped to 4-4 after giving up four runs (three earned), two hits and a walk in one-third of an inning. Bryan Garcia (5-2) earned the win after pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Miami starter Thomas Woodrey worked 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs (two earned), three hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts.
Both teams finished with seven hits in a game that was a pitchers’ duel for most of the game. Kenny Towns (Sr., Burke, Va.) hit a three-run home run as part of a 2-for-4 day, while Joe McCarthy (Jr., Scranton, Pa.) drove in a pair of runs. Towns now has hit three career homers in the ACC Baseball Championship – all in Durham.
Miami took advantage of a Virginia miscue in the opening inning. George Iskenderian hit a two-out single, moved to second on an errant pickoff throw to first by Jones and scored when Zack Collins singled to left-center.
The Hurricanes parlayed another UVa error in the fifth inning into a run. After a Daniel Pinero (So., Toronto, Ontario) error put runners on the corners with none out, Ricky Eusebio lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
UVa put Adam Haseley (Fr., Windermere, Fla.) and Pinero on first and second on an error and single, respectively, to start the sixth inning. One out later, Towns launched a three-run blast over the Blue Monster in left-center field. It was his fifth home run of the season and his third career homer in the ACC tournament.
Miami sent 10 batters to the plate while scoring seven runs in the eighth inning, marking the most runs allowed by the Cavaliers in an inning this season. After Jones retired the leadoff batter, the next seven Miami batters reached base safely. Jones was relieved by Kevin Doherty (Jr., Laytonsville, Md.) after walking Eusebio to put runners on first and second. Doherty gave up an RBI single to Christopher Barr, and UVa went to Bettinger. Iskenderian reached on an error, with Eusebio scoring to pull Miami within 5-4. Collins walked to load the bases, and David Thompson followed with a two-run single to give Miami the lead. Two batters later, Garrett Kennedy ripped a three-run homer to right to push the lead to 9-5.
Every game of the tournament through Saturday will air on the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic in the Charlottesville area). The games also will stream online on ESPN3. UVa’s live radio broadcasts are available on VirginiaSports.com through a Cavaliers Live subscription, while WINA 1070-AM and WINA.com will have the live local radio broadcast for all postseason games. The ACC tournament games will air across select stations on the Virginia Sports Radio Network:
Charlottesville – WINA 1070 AM
Martinsville – WHEE 1370 AM
Staunton – WTON 94.3 FM