April 18, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A four-run second inning and a five-run seventh aided Virginia (22-16) to an 14-3 midweek victory over Liberty (22-13) at Disharoon Park. Virginia closed a 10-game home stand with back-to-back victories.
Junior Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Cavalier offense. His two-run double capped the four-run second inning and gave Virginia the lead for good. Weber has now reached base safely in 24-straight games and leads the team with 15 doubles.
The five-run seventh inning was fueled by home runs from Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) and Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) who each hit their second long balls of the season. Comer hit a three-run shot to make the score 9-3 and three batters later Morris deposited one into the right field bullpen to blow the game open at 11-3.
“I was proud of the three first years that pitched today,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I thought Kyle Whitten gave us a terrific start against a very good offensive team. I thought that Griff McGarry was tremendous at the end of the game. I’m excited to see those guys go out and pitch so well and perform for our team.”
In his first collegiate start on the mound, freshman Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) tossed 4.2 innings and struck out a season-high, six batters. After walking the first batter of the game, the right-hander struck out the side and went on to retire nine batters in-a-row. He had 13 relief appearances this season before Wednesday’s start and improved to 2-0 on the year.
Classmate Griff McGarry (Portola Valley, Calif.) pitched the final three innings and earned his first career save. He did not allow a run, scattered three hits and struck out a season-best, five batters. Over the final three innings of the game, McGarry stranded five Liberty base runners, including three in scoring position.
A combination of eight Liberty pitchers issued 11 walks in the contest. The 11 walks drawn by the Cavaliers were the most this season.
Sophomore Cayman Richardson (Mechanicsville, Va.) continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. He drove in a career-high, three runs with two coming on a double to left center in the bottom of the eighth. He extended his hit streak to 13 games.
Virginia will turn around and head to Louisville for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series beginning on Friday (April 20). The entire series will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra. The road trip is part of four-straight road games, the longest stint away from Disharoon Park this season.
– Virginia has now won nine-straight decisions against Liberty dating back to 2013.
– The five-run seventh inning was the sixth time this season the Cavaliers have scored five or more in a single inning.
– Virginia improves to 8-1 in midweek games and now own an 18-7 mark at home this season.