ATLANTA, Ga. – Junior Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to power Virginia (12-14, 5-12 ACC) to an 8-2 win over No. 6 Georgia Tech (14-8, 11-6 ACC) on Friday (April 2). The Cavaliers even the three-game series at one and set up a rubber match on Saturday (April 3) at 1 p.m.

The Cavaliers scored five runs in the fourth inning including the slam from Kent. It was the junior’s second home run of the season and the second grand slam of the season by a Virginia hitter. Kent finished the day 2-for-4 with a double, home run and 4 RBI.

Virginia received another lights out performance on the mound from Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.) who earned his third victory of the spring. The lefty tossed seven innings, allowed two runs and struck out nine batters. After allowing two runs in the bottom half of the fourth, Abbott sat down 10-straight Georgia Tech hitters before pitching out of a two-out jam in his final inning of work.

Junior Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) wrapped up the win for the Cavaliers by pitching two hitless innings. Bales allowed one baserunner and recorded his 27th strikeout of the season. The righthander has not allowed a run in 19.1 innings pitched this season.

Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.) drove in three runs on the night despite going 0-for-1 at the plate. The fifth-year catcher bunted home a pair of runs on safety squeezes and made the score 8-2 on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Senior Devin Oritz (Nutley, N.J.) scored on a wild pitch for the other Virginia run in the seventh. Ortiz went 1-for-5 and has now scored a run in six-straight games.

The Virginia lineup collected nine hits for the second-straight night. Three of them came off the bat of Max Cotier (New Milford, Conn.) who finished 3-for-5 with a run scored. For the second-straight night Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) came off the bench and collected a pinch-hit double. He scored twice and went 2-for-2 at the plate.

In Saturday’s series finale, the Cavaliers will send righthander Mike Vasil (3-2) to the hill and he will be opposed by lefty Sam Crawford (2-2). The game contest is scheduled to air live on ACCNX at 1 p.m.

Additional Notes

  • Abbott moved into 14th place on UVA’s all-time strikeout list and now has 224 career strikeouts, one shy of Connor Jones who sits at the No. 13 spot.
  • Including a shortened 2020 season, Virginia has hit five grand slams in its last 43 games. Since 2000, the most grand slams in a season by Virginia is four (2009 & 2013). Four current Virginia players have grand slam in their careers – Kent, Ortiz (2), Newell (2) and Tappen.
  • Virginia improved to 10-2 when scoring first.
  • Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) made his 100th consecutive start in a Virginia uniform. He’s started every game since arriving on Grounds in 2019.