May 15, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior Daniel Lynch (Henrico, Va.) struck out a career-high 13 batters in an 8-4 Virginia (27-21, 11-16) series-clinching win over Georgia Tech (28-24, 12-14 ACC). The start of the game was delayed by two and half hours due to inclement weather.
Lynch pitched seven innings of five-hit baseball and was dominant from the start. He sat down the first seven batters he faced and went on to strike out the side in the third, fifth and seventh innings. He allowed two earned runs and produced his sixth quality start of the year, fifth in ACC action.
The 13 strikeouts for Lynch was the most by a Virginia pitcher this season and the most by a Cavalier pitcher since Nathan Kirby rung up 13 against Pittsburgh on March 7, 2015. It marked the fifth game this season in which Lynch struck out 10 or more batters.
“Winning the series was crucial for us,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Lynch was really, really special. That was one of his best, if not his best outing of the year for us when we needed it most. I’m proud of him, proud of our guys. I thought we swung the bat very aggressively tonight and certainly with the delay and the late night, our guys came ready to play and that was great to see.”
The Cavaliers plated the first two runs of the game on sacrifice flies by Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) and Jake McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.) in the first and second innings respectively. Freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) started his monster night, with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to give the Cavaliers a 4-0 advantage after three innings.
Tappen finished the night 3-for-4 with his third home run, first career triple and three RBIs. The three-hit performance was his second of the season and it was his 12th multi-hit effort of the season.
The Cavaliers added four runs in their final two at bats which proved to be vital in capturing their third-straight series victory over the Yellow Jackets. Thanks to a pair of solo home runs by Joey Bart and RBI doubles by Tristin English and Colin Hall, Georgia Tech pulled within a run late in the contest.
Virginia received some insurance with two runs in the seventh one on an RBI double by Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) that scored Tappen. Rivoli went 2-for-5 in his first action of the series. An inning later, RBI hits by Tappen and Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) gave Virginia a four-run lead.
The Cavalier offense racked up 14 hits in the contest, the most in an ACC game this season. Junior Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) had a season-high three hits and scored a run in the contest.
Andrew Abbott came on to pitch the final two innings and earned his sixth save of the year. He struck out four in two innings of work. Lynch and Abbott combined for 17 strikeouts, the third-highest single-game total by the Virginia pitching staff this season. Of the 17 strikeouts, 15 of them came on swing and misses.
The Cavaliers will have a quick turnaround when they host Richmond at Disharoon Park at 6 p.m. on Tuesday (May 15). The game will be the final home game of the season.
â€¢ McCarthy made his first start since March 6, after missing the first 37 games with a wrist injury. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
â€¢ The Cavalier offense, who came into the contest with the least number of strikeouts in the ACC, struck out only twice.
â€¢ Virginia improved to 28-10 overall in the month of May in the last three seasons and 17-5 in ACC play.