Virginia Blanks Boston College, 3-0
April 8, 2016
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. Ã¢â‚¬” Connor Jones (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) tossed a one-hit shutout to lift the Virginia baseball team to 3-0 triumph over Boston College Friday afternoon in the opener of a three-game ACC series at Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at Commander Shea Field. Jones (6-1) notched his first career complete game and shutout.
“Connor Jones was terrific,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “That was as good of a performance as he has had in our uniform, and we needed it because Boston College pitched very well. This is going to be a hard-fought series, and Connor certainly rose to the occasion today.”
Jones walked four and struck out four as he recorded the first nine-inning shutout by a Virginia pitcher since Nathan Kirby’s no-hitter at Pitt on April 4, 2014. It was the first nine-inning complete game by a UVA pitcher since Brandon Waddell’s nine-inning stint against Vanderbilt in the 2014 CWS Finals.
There were just five hits in the game as Virginia (20-12, 7-6 ACC) was limited to four by the Boston College staff. Boston College starter Jacob Stevens (2-1) was extremely impressive in his six innings, allowing just an unearned run, one hit and five walks while striking out six as he took the hard-luck loss. All three Virginia runs were unearned as BC’s defense committed three critical errors.
Boston College (14-11, 3-8) got its lone hit from Donovan Casey, a clean single back up the middle that just eluded Jones and shortstop Daniel Pinero (Jr., Toronto, Ontario) behind second base. BC advanced two runners past first base in the game.
Pinero walked three times and drove in the first UVA run, while Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) scored twice.
Virginia struck first with a run in the third inning, taking advantage of a pair of BC errors. UVA loaded the bases with one out after a walk and consecutive errors. With two out, following a long at bat and battling back from a 1-2 count, Pinero coaxed a walk to force in Haseley.
After leaving 10 runners on base over the first eight innings, UVA pushed across a pair of insurance runs against reliever Bobby Skogsbergh in the ninth inning. Justin Novak (So., Tokyo, Japan) was hit by a pitch to lead off, and Haseley laid down a sacrifice bunt that third baseman Gabriel Hernandez threw away, allowing Novak to come around to score and putting Haseley on third base. Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) singled through the drawn-in infield to plate Haseley for a 3-0 lead.
Jones walked a pair of batters in the ninth inning to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but he struck out Casey on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
The teams play Game 2 of the series at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, while the series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday. WINA 1070-AM and 98.9-FM and VirginiaSports.com will have the radio broadcasts of both games. Links to live statistics also can be found on VirginiaSports.com.