GRAND SALAMI to straightaway CF for Chris Newell today! #GoHoos pic.twitter.com/tfLYlZNM8b
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) February 24, 2021
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 14 Virginia (3-1) scored 14 runs on 14 hits in a 14-3 win over VMI (0-1) in midweek action at Disharoon Park on Tuesday (Feb. 23). The Cavaliers erased a 3-0 deficit in the second inning and scored 14 consecutive runs over the next seven turns at the plate to secure their fourth-straight win over VMI.
Sophomore Chris Newell (Newtown Square, Pa.) broke the game open with a grand slam in the sixth inning, part of a five-run frame for the Cavaliers. Newell barreled an 0-2 pitch off the blue monster in center field to put the Cavaliers up 12-3 in the seventh inning. He finished the day 2-for-5 with a double, home run, two runs scored and four RBI.
Junior Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) also provided some firepower with his first home run of the season in the eighth. He rocketed a ball over the left center field wall, a solo shot to make the score 13-3. Gelof went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI in the contest and is now batting a club-best .467 through four games.
“It was nice to see our offensive club come alive today,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “It was encouraging to see those guys take some pretty good passes and get some extra base hits. Playing four games at home to open up this season was nice and now we get a chance to start our ACC play on the road at North Carolina the day after tomorrow.”
The Cavalier pitching staff came into the game tops in the ACC and 10th in the NCAA in strikeouts with 41. Eight different pitchers added 18 strikeouts to that total, the most in a game since fanning 19 against Yale on March 3, 2018.
Starting pitcher Nate Savino (Sterling, Va.) allowed one earned run and pitched into the fourth inning and was lifted after a leadoff single. The lefty struck out five batters, a new career-high, while walking only one in a no-decision.
Making his third appearance the season, reliever Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) was credited with his fifth career win after he struck out three of the four batters he faced in the fourth inning. Matt Wyatt (Towson, Md.), Luke Schauer (Washington, D.C.) and Zach Messinger (Chandler, Ind.) combined to throw the next five innings of shutout out baseball.
Senior Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.), Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.) and Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) rounded out the five multi-hit games by Virginia hitters. For Kent, the 2-for-4 performance at the plate marked his third-straight two-hit effort. Michaels reached base four times and scored a career-high four runs 2-for-2 day at the plate.
Virginia’s weekend series against North Carolina will begin on Thursday (Feb. 25) in Chapel Hill at 4 p.m. The series is scheduled to continue on Friday (Feb. 26) at 3:30 and will conclude on Saturday (Feb. 26) at 2 p.m. with the series finale.
- Tuesday marked the 140th meeting between the two schools and the Cavaliers improve too 108-32 in the all-time series that dates back to 1889, the first year of Virginia baseball.
- The Cavaliers had two extra-base hits in the three-games series against UConn and racked up eight against VMI on Tuesday.
- Freshman Channing Austin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Rece Ritchey (Huntingdon, Pa.) each made their collegiate debuts on the mound in the ninth inning.
- Jimmy Sullivan (Wethersfield, Conn.) came on as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and stayed in to play left. He recorded his first hit of the season in the eighth.
- Marc Lebreux (Montreal, Canada) extended his reached base streak to 19 games and has hit safely in each game this season.
- Kent swiped his third bag of the season and now has been successful on nine-straight stolen base attempts.
- Gelof’s home run in the seventh was his 100th career hit.