April 21, 2018
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Virginia (23-17, 8-12 ACC) starting pitcher Daniel Lynch (Henrico, Va.) and reliever Bennett Sousa (North Palm Beach, Fla.) shut down Louisville (26-12, 10-10 ACC) over the final six innings in a 5-4 come-from-behind win at Jim Patterson Stadium.
After Lynch walked the first batter of the top of the eighth inning, Sousa came on and struck out the side, stranding Cardinal runners at first and third base. In the ninth, the lefthander struck out all three batters he faced to record the six-out save. He has fanned 48 batters in 33.1 innings pitched this season.
Trailing 4-2, the Cavaliers sent eight batters to the plate in a three-run, sixth inning to take the lead for good. Cayman Richardson (Mechanicsville, Va.) started the game-changing inning with a two-run, two-out single that scored Charlie Cody (Chesapeake, Va.) and Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.). Richardson scored on the ensuing at bat, a single up the middle by Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio), making the score 5-4 in favor of Virginia.
Lynch kept the Louisville bats quiet between the fourth and seventh innings, facing just 13 batters. He got defensive help from his catcher Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) in the fifth who cut down a Cardinal runner attempting to steal third and then from Richardson in the sixth who started an 8-4-5 putout that caught Friday night’s hero, Danny Oriente, attempting stretch a double into a triple. The outfield assist from Richardson was one of two on the day.
Lynch was credited with his third win of the season and produced his sixth quality start (fifth in ACC play). Only two of the four runs he gave up were earned and he fanned a total of four batters. Lynch has pitched into the eighth inning four times this season, including three of his last four starts.
The Cavalier 2-through-4 hitters were responsible for six of the 11 hits on the day. Richardson, Weber and freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) each went 2-for-5 in the contest.
Getting his second-straight start at designated hitter, Devin Ortiz went 1-for-3 and plated the second Cavalier run of the afternoon on an RBI ground out in the fourth. The Cavaliers capitalized on a dropped fly ball by starting pitcher Nick Bennett in the top of the second to get on the scoreboard. Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) scored all the way from second base on pop up.
The rubber game of the three-game ACC series is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday (April 22). Cavalier sophomore Noah Murdock (Colonial Heights, Va.) is slated to make his first start of the season and he will be opposed by right-hander Bobby Miller.
– Four of the five Virginia runs in the contest were scored with two outs.
– The comeback win is the 11th of the season for Virginia.
– Richardson leads all Cavalier outfielders with six outfield assists this season, he has started the last 19 games in center field and 21 total.
– At the plate Richardson has now hit safely in 15-straight games, the second longest streak by a Cavalier this season (Eikhoff-16).
– Weber’s two-hit day moved his reached base streak to 26 consecutive games.
– Louisville starting pitcher Nick Bennett came into the game with a 4-0 record and had given up only three earned runs over his last 26 innings pitched. He was charged with four runs and struck out a season-low, three batters.
– Each head coach used both of their allotted replay challenges in the contest. All were used between the fifth and seventh innings