CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The hero on senior day fittingly was senior Christian Hlinka (Frenchtown, N.J.) who doubled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth of a 5-4 comeback win over Wake Forest (17-26, 7-22 ACC). Virginia (25-21, 16-17 ACC) completed the series sweep, its first of the season and first against an ACC opponent since 2019.
Freshman Jake Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the ninth of a 4-4 game to put the winning run on base. After pair of unsuccessful bunt attempts, Hlinka roped a double into the right center field gap that rolled all the way to the wall. Running on the 3-2 pitch, Gelof scored the winning run without drawing a throw.
The free pass was one of four issued to Jake Gelof over the weekend. At the plate he went 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles, a triple, four runs and five RBI in three-games against the Demon Deacons. The first year was credited with the game-winning hit in the ninth in the series-clinching win on Saturday (May 15).
“The competitive spirit and resolve of our guys today was really impressive,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Obviously the Friday night win was special because of the no-hitter but these last two ball games were hard-fought games where we found a way to win. I’m really excited for Christian Hlinka, he stepped in there and did a really nice job. His first at bat he hit right on the screws and certainly did a nice job with two strikes and firing that ball into the gap and winning it.”
Wake Forest scored a go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth to break take a 4-3 advantage, its first and only lead of the day. The Cavaliers responded in the bottom half of the frame with a two-out, game-tying single by Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) that scored Kyle Teel (Mahwah, N.J.) from second base. Teel got aboard on a two-out double down the right field line in the preceding at bat. The Demon Deacons brought in their closer, Eric Adler, after the extra-base hit by Teel and Kent greeted him by lining the first pitch he saw to the opposite field.
Kent finished the day 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. He drove in the first of three Cavalier runs on an RBI ground out in the second inning. Teel scored twice in a 2-for-4 effort at the plate and now has reached base safely in nine-straight games.
Graduate student Stephen Schoch (Laurel, Md.) pitched the final two innings and picked up his third win of the season. The righthander struck out three batters and stranded runners on first and second base in the top of the ninth to give UVA a chance to win it.
The Cavaliers got another quality start from sophomore Nate Savino (Sterling, Va.) who pitches six innings of two-run baseball. The second year fanned a career-high six batters and exited the contest with a 3-2 lead.
Virginia has clinched a berth in the ACC Tournament and will play its final three regular season games at Boston College beginning Thursday (May 20).
- Virginia has won three-straight ACC series and eight of the last 11 games.
- Three of the four Cavalier walk-off wins have come against ACC opponents, two this weekend against Wake Forest.
- The Cavaliers improve to 10-5 overall in one run games and have won five-straight one-run games against ACC opponents.
- The last ACC sweep for Virginia came in 2019 when it took all three at Disharoon Park against Pitt (March 22-24).
- The Cavaliers have won six-straight home series against Wake Forest and are 15-3 against the Demon Deacons in Charlottesville under Brian O’Connor.
- Chris Newell (Newtown Square, Pa.) went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to seven games, the longest active streak on the club.