May 1, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A two-run home run in the seventh inning by junior Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) proved to the difference in a 2-0 Virginia (25-20) victory over VCU (28-17). Five pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout, the teams’ seventh of the season.
Comer ended the stalemate with his third home run of the year, moving him into a three-way tie for the team lead. He drove a 2-1 off-speed pitch over the left center field wall for an opposite field long ball. Comer plated freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) who hit a one-out double in the at bat prior.
“Big win for us going into the exam break and recovering after the weekend,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “To win tonight’s game I think was important, we’ll have 10 days off where guys can focus on final exams. I’m proud that the guys were able to find a win a way to win tonight.”
Senior Bennett Sousa (North Palm Beach, Fla.) was credited with his team-best, fifth win of the season after taking over with two outs and a runner on in the top of the seventh. He induced an inning-ending ground out to end the seventh inning threat and retired three-straight batters after surrendering a lead-off single in the top of the eighth.
Freshman Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) worked a perfect ninth inning and recorded his fifth save of the season. He has struck out 61 batters in 41.1 innings pitched
Classmate Griff McGarry (Portola Valley, Calif.) provided effective mid-game relief after taking over in the fourth inning. He pitched 2.2 innings and struck out four batters. He has fanned nine batters and has not allowed a run in his last 5.2 innings pitched.
Starting pitcher Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) worked himself out a first-inning jam, stranding two VCU base runners in scoring position. For the game, the Rams left nine runners on base, six of them in scoring position. Whitten faced the first 10 batters of the game and did not allow a hit in 2.1 innings pitched. He yielded to Riley Wilson (Midlothian, Va.) who struck out three batters, including two in the fourth inning.
Senior Justin Novak (Tokyo, Japan) broke up the VCU no-hitter with a single to left in the sixth inning. The Ram pitching combination of Ryan Fox and Benjamin Dum combined to retired the first 11 batters of the game before Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) was hit by a pitch in the fourth. Weber has now reached safely in 31-straight games.
Virginia will return to Atlantic Coast Conference action on Friday, May 11 against Georgia Tech. The program will honor its eight seniors prior to the Saturday contest (May 12). The series finale will be on Monday night at 7 p.m. and broadcast live on ESPNU.
– The Cavaliers avenged a 11-3 loss at the Diamond on March 28 to split the season series.
– Virginia improved to 10-1 at home and 19-3 overall against VCU under O’Connor.
– The Cavaliers are now 16-5 against non-conference opponents this season and 9-1 in midweek games.
– Coming into the game, Virginia was tied for 7th in the country in shutouts.
– Virginia came into the game without an error in its last four games, the first time since the final four games of the 2015 College World Series. A throwing error by McGarry ended a 47.2 inning stretch of errorless baseball.