Feb. 17, 2018
ORLANDO, Fla. – Powered by 14 hits and five runs over its last two turns at the plate, No. 18 Virginia (1-1) picked up its first win of the season, a 10-4 victory over Samford (0-2) at John Euliano Park.
The Cavaliers never trailed in the contest and scored in all but three innings. Virginia starting pitcher Derek Casey (Mechanicsville, Va.) was credited with his 10th career win after tossing 5.2 innings of one-run baseball. He struck out seven batters and scattered six Bulldog hits.
“Derek (Casey) was terrific, he showed his veteran leadership today by pitching out of some really big jams,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “He made some clutch pitches for us and I think he picked up right where he left off last year.”
Casey went unscathed in one-out bases loaded jams in the bottom of the third and fifth innings. In the third inning, he fanned the final two batters preserving a 2-0 Virginia lead.
Justin Novak (Tokyo, Japan), Jake McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.) and Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) each put forth three-hit games to pace the Virginia offense. Weber finished the day 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored. He has five hits in his first nine at bats (.556) in 2018.
McCarthy had one of the two extra base hits on the day for the Cavaliers, lacing a double down the right field line that scored Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) from second base. McCarthy finished the day with a pair of RBI and seven putouts in center field, including a diving catch to end the fourth inning.
Casey exited with a runner on first and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving way to freshman Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.). The first-year lefty didn’t throw a pitch to end the frame, instead picked off the runner at first to eliminate the threat. Abbott went on to pitch the final 3.1 innings to earn the save. He struck out three batters and allowed three runs on four hits.
Senior Caleb Knight (Checotah, Okla.) collected his first hit of the 2018 season, a solo home run over the left field wall in the fifth inning. The long ball was his fifth of his career and made the score 5-0 in favor of the Cavaliers.
Virginia will wrap up its stay in Orlando tomorrow (Feb. 18) with a neutral site game against Rice. The Cavaliers will send junior Evan Sperling (Poquoson, Va.) to the mound and he will be opposed by right-hander Addison Moss. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. at John Euliano Park.
-Saturday marked the first ever meeting between Samford and Virginia.
-The first Virginia run of the game came after just three batters in the top of the first inning. McCarthy beat out a bunt single, advanced to second on an error and was then sacrificed over to third base. McCarthy then scored easily on a Weber single through the left side.
-Freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) recorded his first collegiate hit, a single up the middle in the first inning.
-Virginia scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 10-2 lead. Samford pitchers walked three batters including Knight with the bases loaded in the frame.