No. 9 Virginia Defeats No. 7 Louisville, 6-3
March 25, 2016
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The No. 9 Virginia baseball team (17-6, 5-2 ACC) used a pair of three run home runs to defeat No. 7 Louisville, 6-3, Friday night (March 25) at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, Ky.
Connor Jones (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) improved to 5-0 on the season, scattering three runs (two earned) in 7.1 inning of work with four strikeouts. Kevin Doherty (Sr., Laytonsville, Md.) pitched the rest of the eighth, while Alec Bettinger (Jr., Woodbridge, Va.) closed out the game for his seventh save.
“It was a really big first win for us here,” UVA head baseball coach Brian O’Connor said. “Louisville is a good club both pitching-wise and offensively. Connor Jones was tremendous for us. He didn’t have as good of a game as he would have liked, but he buckled down and made some big pitches. With the three-run home runs you can see why (Pavin) Smith and (Matt) Thaiss are highly thought of because of the way they can change a game. They certainly did that tonight.”
In the top of the third with Louisville (17-5, 4-3 ACC) leading 1-0, Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) beat out a would-be inning-ending double play and Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) legged out an infield single before Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) hit a home run to right-center field to give UVA a 3-1 lead. It was Thaiss’ team-leading fifth home run of the season.
Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) hit a three-home run of his own off of Louisville reliever Adam Wolf in the seventh, driving in Andy Weber (Fr., Aurora, Ohio) and Clement, to break open a one-run game and give the Cavaliers a 6-2 advantage.
Nate Eikhoff (Fr., Bristow, Va.), Smith, Thaiss and Weber each had two hits for the Cavaliers.
Kyle Funkhouser fell to 2-2 on the season after allowing five runs in 6.1 innings pitched for Louisville.
It was UVA’s first-ever game in the commonwealth of Kentucky.
The two teams continue the series Saturday at 1 p.m. ESPN3 will broadcast the contest.