Virginia (15-10) won its sixth-straight game after a 5-1 victory over Richmond (11-9-1) on Wednesday evening (March 27) at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers improved to 14-4 at home this season and took all six games of the current home stand.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (15-10) won its sixth-straight game after a 5-1 victory over Richmond (11-9-1) on Wednesday evening (March 27) at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers improved to 14-4 at home this season and took all six games of the current home stand.
A combination of six pitchers limited Richmond to just one run on five hits. Senior Grant Donahue (Berlin, Md.) was credited with his first win of the 2019 season after pitching three innings of scoreless relief beginning in the third. The right-hander matched a career-high with four strikeouts.
“These weeks where you play two midweek games can be challenging from a pitching staff standpoint,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Tonight, it was a collective effort, Grant Donahue gave us three good, shutout innings in the middle of the ball game and got the game under control. We did enough offensively and I’m proud of our guys for their efforts in these two games.”
Virginia erased a 1-0 Richmond lead in the second inning with a pair of runs. Freshman Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) tied the game with an RBI single up the middle and Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.)followed with a ground-rule double that hopped over the left field wall, plating Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio) for the go-ahead score. The double was the 12th of the season for Morris who came into the game tied for second in the ACC in two-baggers.
Kent was one of two Cavalier multi-hit performers on the night, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. He has two hits in four of his last five games and upped his season batting average to .347, second-highest on the club.
The Cavaliers scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 5-1. Two of those runs came off the bat of Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.), who blooped a single in front of the Richmond right fielder with two outs that allowed Morris and Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.). Simmons was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and now has reached base in 11-straight games.
Gelof, the final batter of the game for Virginia, extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single through the left side in the bottom of the eighth inning. He has now reached base safely in all 25 games to begin his college career, the second Cavalier freshman (Joe McCarthy – 34 games) since 2000 to accomplish the feat.
The Cavaliers received a scoreless inning relief work from Billy Price (Morristown, N.J.), Riley Wilson (Midlothian, Va.), Devin Ortiz (Irvington, N.J.) and Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.). Both Ortiz and Wilson recorded two strikeouts in their appearances. Whitten closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, including a strikeout of the final batter.
Virginia will hit the road for a three-game ACC series against No. 4 NC State (24-1) this weekend. The series begins on Friday (March 29) with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The middle game on Saturday (March 30) is also scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the series finale will be on Sunday (March 31) at 1 p.m. All three games will air live on ACC Network Extra.
• Sophomore-transfer Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) made his first start in a Virginia uniform and pitched the first two innings of the game, allowed one run and struck out one.
• Price has now worked three scoreless outings for the Cavaliers and hasn’t walked a batter in 2.1 innings pitched.
• Virginia improves to 23-6 at home and 41-8 overall against non-conference opponents the past two seasons.
• Brian O’Connor is 14-1 against Richmond in his tenure, his only loss coming last year in the final home game of the season.
• Virginia improved to 3-2 against schools from the Commonwealth in 2019.