Feb. 16, 2018
ORLANDO, Fla. – A two-run home run by Dallas Beaver in the bottom of the fifth inning proved to the difference in a 6-3, season-opening loss for No. 18 Virginia (0-1) at UCF (1-0).
Virginia tied the game up twice, once in the second inning and again in the top of the fifth, both times on two-out RBI singles. After the Cavaliers gave up a first inning run, junior Justin Novak (Tokyo, Japan) singled through the left side to knot the game up at one in the top of the second. Junior Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio), who went 2-for-4 on the night, tied the game up again in the top of the fifth with a two-out single of his own.
UCF quickly recaptured the lead for good on Beaver’s two-run blast in the bottom half of the inning. He finished the night 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. The Knights added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a double to left field by Brandon Hernandez.
UVA starting pitcher Daniel Lynch (Henrico, Va.) struck out seven batters, two shy of his career-high, in five innings of work. A pair of fielding miscues put runners on in front of both home runs that he surrendered. He was charged with three of the five runs that came across in the first five frames.
Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) hit his third career home run in the top of the fourth inning to pull the Cavaliers within a run. Junior Jake McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.) reached base twice and went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base.
The Cavalier offense was held scoreless and limited to just one hit over the final four innings. UCF junior-transfer, J.J. Montgomery earned his first save and struck out six batters in four innings of relief work.
The Cavaliers will be back in action tomorrow (Feb. 17) when they take on Samford in a neutral site game at John Euliano Park. Virginia will send right-hander Derek Casey to the mound and he will be opposed by Bulldog righty Stephen Jones. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
-Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.), Griff McGarry (Portola Valley, Calif.), Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) each made their collegiate debuts.
-Morris reached base in his first collegiate at bat, a single up the middle in the top of the 2nd.
-Right-handed pitcher Kyle Whitten faced the minimum and struck out a pair in in the sixth inning.
-The loss snaps a three-game, opening day win streak for Virginia.
-Announced attendance of 3,394 was the largest opening day crowd ever at UCF.