CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (7-6, 2-5 ACC) fell 10-5 in the opening game of a weekend series against No. 25 Notre Dame (5-2, 5-2 ACC) at Disharoon Park on Friday (March 12). Eight of the game’s final nine runs were scored by the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame hit three home runs that accounted for five of the team’s 10 runs on the afternoon. Fighting Irish reliever Joe Sheridan pitched the final five innings, allowed only one hit and only three Cavaliers reached base from the fifth inning on.
Virginia junior Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) reached base four times and recorded one of the five Cavalier hits on the afternoon. Kent, who leads the team in batting, went 1-for-2 with a double, three walks, a run scored and an RBI. He has hit safely in seven-straight games.
The Fighting Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a Jared Miller long ball to left field. The lead did not last long as the Cavaliers responded with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame. Kent tied the game on his third double of the year that scored Chris Newell (Newtown Square, Pa.) and Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.). Virginia took the lead a batter later on an RBI single from Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.).
Senior Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) capped the big third inning with a single up the middle that scored Gelof and made the score 4-2. The RBI was Rivoli’s fourth in the last three games.
The Cavalier advantage was short-lived after Notre Dame plated three runs, two with two outs, in its half of the fourth and didn’t trail for the rest of the contest.
Virginia starting pitcher Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.) struck out seven batters in 4.1 innings of work. Only four of the six runs on his ledger were earned. Reliever Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) was once again effective out of the bullpen in his ACC-best, eighth appearance. The righthander allowed one hit over 2.2 scoreless innings of work. He picked off an inherited runner in the fifth and caught Jack Brannigan taking off for second to end the sixth inning. Bales has not allowed a run in 9.2 innings pitched this season.
The middle game of the three-game set against Notre Dame is scheduled for Saturday (March 13) at 1 p.m. on ACCNX. Virginia will send righthander Griff McGarry to the mound and he will be opposed by lefty John Michael Bertrand.
- Five Virginia pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts, the 10th time this season the staff has recorded 10 or more strikeouts.
- Newell contributed his first career assist and the second by a Cavalier outfielder in as many games when he cut down Notre Dame leadoff man Spencer Myers going first to third in the fourth inning.
- First year Jake Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) recorded his first collegiate hit in eighth coming on as a pinch-hitter.