April 8, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) capped a career day at the plate with a walk-off single in the ninth inning, propelling Virginia (18-14, 6-9 ACC) to a 6-5 series-clinching victory over Virginia Tech (13-17, 6-9 ACC) at Disharoon Park.
Comer was 4-for-4 and reached base five times in the contest. The four-hit game was the first of his career and the second by a Cavalier this season. Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.), who tied the game with a triple a batter earlier, scored the game-winning run. Rivoli finished the series 5-for-11 and completed the series cycle with his ninth-inning three-bagger.
“Certainly, a great come-from-behind victory by our team,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “It was a hard-fought series, I’m just proud of our guys. We left a lot of runners on base over the first six or seven innings and our guys continued to plug away and get opportunities. Fortunately, in the eighth and ninth we were able to capitalize.”
It marked the fifth walk-off victory of the season for the Cavaliers and eighth win in come-from-behind fashion. Virginia has had three of its five ACC series this season decided on the last at bat. Sunday’s rivalry game against Virginia Tech took 4 hours and 32 minutes, the longest nine-inning game in program history.
Virginia erased a 5-2, seventh-inning deficit with two runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth. Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) pulled the Cavaliers within one in the eighth inning with a two-run single that scored Comer and Jack Weiller (Waccabuc, N.Y.). Morris had three hits on the day and was 7-for-14 with five runs scored against the Hokies.
Immediately after Virginia jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) two-run home run in the bottom of the third, the Hokies responded with three runs in the top of the fourth. The big blow came off the bat of Sam Fragale, a two-run blast that landed nearly in the same spot. The Hokies went on to score the next three runs on three, two-out RBI singles to build a three-run advantage.
Virginia used six pitchers in the contest and received two shutout frames from freshman Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) between the seventh and ninth innings. The right-hander recorded strikeouts with runners in scoring position to end both the seventh and eighth innings. Senior Bennett Sousa (North Palm Beach, Fla.) fanned the final batter in the top of the ninth and was credited with his third win of the year.
The Cavaliers have now won three-straight series and seven of the last nine games against Virginia Tech.
Virginia will be back at home on Wednesday (April 11) when they host Radford at Disharoon Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
– The Cavaliers improve to 101-86 all-time and have won 19 of the last 22 at Disharoon Park against Virginia Tech.
– The Hokies had the lead-off runner aboard in six of the nine innings in the contest.
– Both of Virginia’s four-hit performances came in the weekend series. Cayman Richardson went 4-for-5 in game one on Friday (April 6). He finished the series 6-for-12 with two runs scored.
– Rivoli had a single, two doubles, a triple and a home run in three games against Virginia Tech. Coming into the series he had three hits on the season.
– Morris led the game off with a single and has now recorded a base hit to start the game for Virginia in five of the last seven contests.
– Virginia surpassed its 4 hour and 30 minute marathon against North Carolina on April 17, 2016 with today’s game.
More on the Commonwealth Clash
The series will also signifies the baseball matchup between Virginia and Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash. The Commonwealth Clash presented by Virginia529 is a head-to-head, points-based competition between the athletic teams at University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Commonwealth Clash encourages a friendly, statewide rivalry between the two schools across all school-sponsored sports with 21 individual event points on the line. The school that accumulates 11 points or more will be crowned the winner and take home the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash trophy. Visit www.TheCommonwealthClash.com for more information and updated standings.