March 17, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — No. 21 Virginia (12-7, 2-3 ACC) erupted for a five-run, seventh inning and junior Daniel Lynch (Henrico, Va.) turned in a career-day on the mound in a 7-3 victory over Boston College (7-9, 2-3 ACC). The win sets up a rubber match on Sunday (March 18) at Disharoon Park.
Lynch pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this season and fanned a career-high 11 batters to earn his second win of the year. He surrendered just four hits and did not allow a run over 7.2 innings of work. The lefthander has not given up a run in his last 15.2 innings pitched.
“Certainly, when you’re at home you don’t like losing on Friday night so that was a good comeback win for us today,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I’m proud of the way the guys responded and I thought that Daniel Lynch, for two weekends in a row now, was terrific. For him to shut them out into the eighth inning was impressive.”
Already with a 2-0 advantage, Virginia sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and scored five runs, the fourth time this season the Cavaliers have scored five or more runs in a single inning this season.
The first four batters in the Virginia lineup, Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.), Justin Novak (Tokyo, Japan), Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) and Caleb Knight (Checotah, Okla.) combined to go 7-for-17 and scored six of the Cavaliers seven runs. Knight was 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Morris and Novak each put forth multi-hit efforts.
Senior Charlie Cody delivered the big blow in the seventh, with a two-run single up the middle that scored Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) and Novak. Boston College pitchers gave up three hits, issued three walks and a hit by pitch in the game-changing inning.
Eikhoff gave the Cavaliers the initial lead in the bottom of the first with a two-out single through the right side that plated Novak. Eikhoff moved his hit streak to 14 games and has now successfully reached base in all 19 games this season.
Boston College made it interesting in the top of the ninth, scoring all three runs in its final turn at the plate. After an RBI single by Mitch Bigras spoiled the shutout, the Cavaliers walked two batters with the bases loaded. Freshman Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) finally struck out the last batter of the game to record his third save of the season.
The series finale against Boston College is slated for Sunday (March 18) at 1 p.m. The Cavaliers will have Evan Sperling on the mound and he will be opposed by Eagle right-hander, Brian Rapp.
– Saturday marked the fifth time a UVA starting pitcher has struck out 10 or more batters (Casey — 3 times, Sperling — once)
– The Cavalier pitching staff has combined to strike out 10 or more batters in nine of the last 10 games.
– Knight leads the team with 16 runs scored and has reached base safely in all by one game this season. He was hit by a pitch for the eighth time this season and 21st time as a Cavalier.
– Virginia never trailed in the contest and improved to 8-2 when scoring in the first inning.