Virginia Falls to North Carolina in ACC Opener
March 10, 2017
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The No. 8 Virginia baseball team (12-2, 0-1 ACC) opened up the ACC portion of its schedule with a 9-4 loss at No. 10 North Carolina (11-3, 1-0 ACC) on Friday (March 10) at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Second baseman Andy Weber (So., Aurora, Ohio) hit the first home run of his collegiate career to put Virginia up 1-0, but the Tar Heels plated four runs in the third and five in the fifth to take a 9-1 lead. The Cavaliers rallied in the ninth inning, scoring three two-out runs to make it a 9-4 contest.
Virginia starting pitcher Daniel Lynch (So., Henrico, Va.) went 4.1 innings, allowing nine runs (one unearned) on 10 hits, walking three and striking out one. Relievers Grant Donahue (So., Berlin, Md.) and Chesdin Harrington (So., Montpelier, Va.) combined to work the final 3.2 innings without allowing a run.
Weber’s solo shot to right in the top of the third inning was the first hit of the game for the Cavaliers, staking them to a 1-0 lead. The Tar Heels countered in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs with two outs, including a three-run shot from Zack Gahagan. In the bottom of the fifth, the first five batters of the inning reached base on three singles, a double and an error, with all five coming around to score.
Neither team plated another run until the ninth inning. Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) started the frame by getting to second base on an error when the right fielder dropped a fly ball. With two outs, Nate Eikhoff (So., Bristow, Va.) singled to left center to score Smith. After Justin Novak (Jr., Tokyo, Japan) reached on a fielding error, he and Eikhoff advanced to second and third on a wild pitch and then scored on a single by Weber through the left side. The Tar Heels ended the rally with a strikeout to close out their victory.
Weber went 2-for-4 with a three RBI. Eikhoff also went 2-of-4 with a run scored and a run driven in. The bottom three batters in the order went a combined 5-for-12, scoring three runs and providing all four RBI.
Kyle Datres went 3-for-5 with two runs driven in for UNC. Starting pitcher J.B. Bukauskas got the win, working six innings, allowing one run on three hits, striking out seven while walking two.
The series concludes with a doubleheader on Saturday (March 11), with first pitch of game one scheduled for 12 p.m.