CLEMSON, S.C. – Home runs by Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) and Chris Newell (Newtown Square, Pa.) helped Virginia (15-15, 7-13 ACC) to an 8-4 game two victory over Clemson (15-11, 9-7 ACC) on Saturday (April 10) at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The win evened the weekend series and forces a rubber match on Sunday (April 11).

Gelof broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the seventh with a solo home run to left, his fourth long ball of the season. Newell provided the insurance in the eighth inning by blasting a 3-2 changeup over the center field wall, a three-run shot that put Virginia up 8-4.

The duo each went 2-for-5 with a home run in the contest. Newell matched a career-high with five RBI, most by a Virginia hitter this season. Newell and Gelof were also responsible for Virginia’s first three runs of the game. Newell hustled out a two-run, two-out triple in the second and Gelof plated him with an RBI single to give Virginia the early 3-0 advantage.

The Gelof go-ahead homer lined up starting pitcher Mike Vasil (Wellesley, Mass.) for his team-leading fifth win of the season. The righthander pitched into the seventh inning for the third-straight outing. He exited with one out in the seventh and gave way to Brandon Neeck (Chappaqua, N.Y.) with a runner on base. Neeck retired the next two batters on six pitches.

Vasil finished his day with eight strikeouts, one shy of his season-high.


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Junior Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.) pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings to preserve the victory. He has now pitched 24.1 innings this season without surrendering a run.

Clemson chipped away and eventually erased Virginia’s 3-0 lead on a solo home run by Kier Meredith in the fifth. The Cavaliers responded in the top of the sixth with another two-out base hit, this time off the bat of Tate Ballestero (Morristown, N.J.) who came on as a pinch hitter. The Tigers continued the seesaw affair by tying up the game at five on a leadoff home run by Adam Hackenberg in the sixth.

Sophomore Nate Savino will make his first ACC start of the year on Sunday (April 11) and he will be opposed on the mound by Clemson righty Nick Hoffman. The series finale is set to air on ESPN2 with first pitch slated for 1 p.m.

Additional Notes

  • Virginia improved to 13-2 when scoring first.
  • The 13 hits for Virginia in the contest matched a season high, set last weekend in the finale at Georgia Tech.
  • Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) was one of five Cavalier hitters to put forth multi-hit efforts. His single in the second was his 100th of his career. He also made a highlight reel sliding catch down the right field line to end the sixth inning.
  • Senior Devin Ortiz (Nutley, N.J.) went 1-for-4 with a hit by pitch and extended his hit streak to 10 games.
  • Drew Hamrock (Roswell, Ga.) made his first start of the season, serving as the designated hitter.