PENSACOLA, Fla. – Oklahoma (2-1) swept a doubleheader to earn the series victory over Virginia (1-2) on Saturday (Feb. 15) at Blue Wahoo Stadium, home of the Pensacola Wahoos, Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Sooners evened the series with a 7-2 win in game one and produced a late-game rally to take the rubber match, 5-1.
Virginia will kick-off a 15-game home stand on Tuesday (Feb. 18) with its home opener against VMI. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Disharoon Park.
Oklahoma scored in four of its first five turns at the plate. In the Sooners only scoreless frame in that span, Virginia starting pitcher Chesdin Harrington (Montpelier, Va.) worked out of a bases loaded jam.
The Cavaliers got on the board in the top of the fifth, knocking out Oklahoma starting pitcher Levi Prater who took a no-decision in the contest. Sophomore Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) singled through the left side that enabled Drew Hamrock (Roswell, Ga.) to score from second base. After Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) drew a bases-loaded walk to pull within four run, Oklahoma reliever Zack Matthews struck out the final batter of the inning to escape a potential game-changing inning.
Sophomore Zach Messinger (Chandler, Ind.) and freshman Jacob Baldino (Marietta, Ga.) pitched the final 4.1 innings and surrendered just an unearned run in the top of the ninth. Messinger struck out six of the eight batters he faced, a new career-high. Baldino, making his collegiate debut, took over in the eighth and threw six pitches in a perfect eighth before surrendering an unearned run in the top of the ninth.
Kent finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk while first year Max Cotier (New Milford, Conn.) put together his first two-hit game at the college level.
The Oklahoma pitching staff limited Virginia to three hits in the nightcap. Senior Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.) broke up Dane Acker’s no-hitter in the top of the fifth with an RBI single that scored Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.).
The Sooners broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh when Tyler Hardman took an 0-2 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homer. Oklahoma tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth on another two-out hit, this time a single, off the bat off Hardman. The Sooner first baseman went 2-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI.
Cavalier starting pitcher Mike Vasil (Wellesley, Mass.) pitched the first four innings allowing one run while striking out four. Cotier, Michaels and Rivoli were responsible for the three Virginia hits.
• Freshmen Nate Savino (Sterling, Va.) made his collegiate debut in the second game, working 1.1 innings.
• Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) extended his reached games streak to 14-straight games dating back to last season after drawing a walk in each game.
• Michaels threw out three runners trying to steal in the second game, tied for the most by a Cavalier catcher in a single game since 2000.
• The loss in game one snapped a 12-game winning streak against non-ACC foes.
• Kent and Cotier who batted at the top of the lineup in all three games of the series combined for eight of the team’s 18 hits. Kent’s three-hit performance in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader was the third three-plus hit game of his career.