CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Virginia (28-22) scored the first three runs and held on for a 3-2 victory over Virginia Tech (27-24) in its opening game of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday (May 25) at Truist Field. The Cavaliers will play Notre Dame in their final game of pool play on Friday (May 28) for an opportunity to advance to the semifinals.
Freshman Kyle Teel (Mahwah, N.J.) gave Virginia a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run homer to right field. The long ball was his team-leading eighth of the season. The first year has reached base in 13-straight games and finished the day 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
Making his first postseason appearance on the mound, UVA starter, Zach Messinger (Chandler, Ind.), pitched into the sixth inning and struck out six batters. His only blemish was a two-run homer by Tanner Schobel in the sixth that made it a one run ball game. The righthander struck out the side in the first inning and retired eight of his previous 10 batters before surrendering the homer. Messinger improved to 3-1 on the season.
The Cavaliers utilized four relievers to record the final 11 outs of the ball game. Junior Brandon Neeck (Chappaqua, N.Y.) got Virginia out of the sixth inning jam, inducing an inning-ending double play. The trio of Blake Bales (Schoolcraft, Mich.), Andrew Abbott (Republican Grove, Va.) and Kyle Whitten (Manassas, Va.) each tossed a scoreless inning and allowed two runners over the final three innings.
Whitten was credited with his first save of the season after pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The appearance was his 21st of the year.
UVA got on the scoreboard in the second inning after Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.) reached on a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Michaels scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.). The stolen base for Michaels was his third of the year.
The Cavaliers will conclude pool play on Friday (May 28) against top-seeded Notre Dame at 11 a.m. The contest will decide who advances to the ACC Semifinal.
- Virginia won three of the four games this season against Virginia Tech and have taken six of the last eight games.
- The Cavaliers are 9-2 in games that Messinger starts.
- The relief appearance by Abbott was his first of the season, he fanned one batter upping his season total to 127, the most in ACC and the fourth most in a single season in UVA history.
- Virginia has won 11 of its last 15 games and improve to 28-23 under Brian O’Connor.