CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 12 Virginia (3-2, 0-1 ACC) dropped the opening game of a three-game set, 3-2 at the hands of North Carolina (5-0, 1-0 ACC) at Boshamer Stadium on Thursday (Feb. 25). Cavalier lefty Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.) pitched seven innings, allowed three runs and struck out six batters in the loss.
North Carolina starting pitcher Austin Love kept the Cavalier hitters at bay for a large portion of the contest, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. He faced the minimum over the first 7.1 innings before Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out single in the seventh.
Marc Lebreux (Montreal, Canada) was the first Cavalier runner to reach base, drawing a walk in the fourth but was cut down on a double play a batter later. The free pass was the first of two Lebreux earned on the day and it extended his reached base streak to 20 games dating back to last season.
The Cavaliers got on the scoreboard in the eighth after back-to-back hits to lead off the frame. Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) led off the frame with a double down the left field line and Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.) followed with an infield single. Both would end up scoring on RBI ground outs by Chris Newell (Newtown Square, Pa.) and Max Cotier (New Milford, Conn.), respectively.
In Virginia’s final turn at the plate, Gelof was robbed of an extra-base hit to center field by North Carolina’s Justice Thompson who leaped up against the wall to make an over the shoulder grab. It was one of a handful of batted balls by Virginia that found the mitts of Tar Heel outfielders on the day. Thompson also hit what proved to be the game-winning home run, a solo shot in the sixth.
Abbott worked into the sixth inning in his first outing of the season last Friday and topped it by tossing seven frames on Thursday against the Tar Heels. Abbott was the victim of a pair of solo home runs and a two-out first inning RBI double. The quality start for Abbott was the first of his career.
The middle game of the three-game series in Chapel Hill is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start on Friday afternoon. The Cavaliers will send righthander Griff McGarry to the mound and he’ll be opposed by fellow righty Max Carlson.
- Including Thursday, the last four meetings between Virginia and North Carolina have been decided by one run.
- The last Cavalier pitcher to throw seven innings was Chesdin Harrington in a 5-3 win over Virginia Tech on May 17, 2019.
- Gelof and Michaels have hit safely in all five games this season.
- Zach Messinger (Chandler, Ind.) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, aided by an inning-ending double play. He’s worked back-to-back outings without allowing a run.