May 18, 2018
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Powered by four home runs and a nine-run ninth inning, Virginia (28-23, 12-17 ACC) evened the series with a 15-3 victory at Wake Forest (24-30, 12-17 ACC). The regular season will conclude with a rubber match on Saturday (May 19) at 1 p.m.
Virginia owned a 6-3 advantage going into the top of the ninth before sending 13 batters to the plate in the largest run single inning total since plating 10 against VMI on Feb. 23, 2016. Junior Jack Weiller (Waccbuc, N.Y.) hit two home runs in the inning, the first two long balls of his career. He came on as a defensive replacement in the fifth and finished the night 2-for-3 with two runs, two home runs and four RBI.
The 15 Cavalier runs were a season-high and the 14 hits in the contest were the most against an ACC opponent this season. Virginia received three-hit efforts from Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) and Jake McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.). In two games against Wake Forest, Eikhoff is now 5-for-7 with four runs scored and five RBIs.
Junior Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) and freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) provided the early offensive firepower with two-out home runs in the first inning. The Cavaliers had a 4-0 lead after three innings, capped by Tappen’s RBI single in the third. The freshman outfielder was 2-for-5 with three RBI and now has multi-hit efforts in four consecutive games.
Starting pitcher Noah Murdock (Colonial Heights, Va.) made his fourth start of the season and struck out a career-high five batters in four innings pitched. He retired eight-straight batters after surrendering the lead-off single to start his night. Aided by a double play in the first, Murdock faced the minimum over the first three innings. He struck out four-straight batters, including the side in the bottom half of the third. The right-hander was credited with his second win of the year.
Freshman Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) was lights out in his team-high, 23rd relief outing of the year. He pitched 3.1 innings of one-hit baseball and matched a career-best with six strikeouts. Senior Mack Meyer (San Francisco, Calif.) worked a scoreless ninth that included two strikeouts to close out the victory.
– Prior to tonight, Virginia had two innings in which it recorded multiple home runs, in the fifth against Davidson on March 6 and the seventh against Liberty on April 18.
– Four Virginia pitchers combined to strikeout 14 batters. The Cavaliers came into the contest ranked second in the country with 10.5 strikeouts per game.
– The Wake Forest series will be the eight ACC series for Virginia that has been decided on the final day.
– Virginia’s previous single-game high for home runs as a team in 2018 was two, occurring on four different occasions.
– Murdock has faced the minimum amount of batters over the first two innings in his last three starts.
– Abbott has struck out five or more batters in six ACC appearances this season.