No. 16 Virginia Powers Past Duke, 13-6
March 25, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The No. 16 Virginia baseball team bounced back from its Friday loss with a 13-6 victory over Duke Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers (18-6, 3-5 ACC) evened the series at a game apiece, with the rubber game slated for 1 p.m. Sunday.
Virginia racked up a season-high 20 hits, its most in an ACC game since a 22-hit day against Duke on May 11, 2013. Charlie Cody (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) homered twice as part of a 3-for-4, four-RBI day. Virginia had balance throughout the lineup, as eight of the nine UVA starters recorded at least two hits, while every starter had a hit. Eight of the nine Cavalier starters knocked in at least one run.
“That was a great response by our ballclub,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “To Duke’s credit, yesterday they swung the bats really well against us and took advantage. I was excited to get to the ballpark today and see how our club would respond to a defeat like that. I was really proud of our guys that we came out ready to play and there was a lot of energy. We swung the bats really well, and I thought Alec Bettinger was terrific. After he gave up the three-run home run, he buckled down and was terrific the rest of the game. It was a huge bounce-back game and hopefully we can respond again tomorrow.”
A day after giving up 26 hits, UVA limited Duke to six Saturday. Reliever Alec Bettinger (Sr., Woodbridge, Va.) worked the final 5 1/3 innings, giving up a run and three hits while striking out five. After giving up a home run in the fourth inning that pulled Duke to within two runs, Bettinger (3-0) slammed the door and held the Blue Devils scoreless over the final five frames to earn the win. Starter Evan Sperling (So., Poquoson, Va.) worked 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, three hits and four walks while striking out six.
Duke starter Adam Laskey (2-2) pitched three innings, allowing eight runs and 12 hits in taking the loss.
Virginia picked up 12 hits in the first three innings in rolling to an 8-0 lead. After Adam Haseley (Jr., Woodbridge, Va.) hit an RBI double in the first inning, UVA added three in the second as Cody hit a solo home run to left and Novak and Ernie Clement (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.) followed with back-to-back run-scoring hits.
The Cavaliers strung six straight hits together in a four-run third inning, with Cody hitting a two-run double and Caleb Knight (Jr., Checotah, Okla.), in his first start at UVA, following with a two-run single.
Duke (13-12, 4-4 ACC) cut into the lead and knocked Sperling from the game with a six-run fourth inning, capped by a three-run home run from Jimmy Herron.
The Cavaliers scored three runs in the sixth inning, getting a run-scoring single from Cameron Simmons (So., Royersford, Pa.) before Cody lined a two-out, two-run shot over the left-center field wall for his second homer of the day and his fourth of the year. It marked his first career multi-home run game.
Smith mashed his seventh home run of the season in the seventh inning, a two-out, two-run blast into the top row of bleachers in right field. It was the 22nd home run of his career.