CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Freshman Griff O’Ferrall hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh to lift No. 11 Virginia (29-10, 11-8 ACC) to a 4-2 victory over North Carolina (23-15, 8-11 ACC) on Friday night (April 22) at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers improved to 21-2 at their home ballpark.

O’Ferrall broke a 2-2 tie with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo homer to left. The long ball was his second of the season. Graduate student Alex Tappen provided an insurance run in the eighth when he blasted his ninth homer of the season 387 feet over the left field wall.

Freshman reliever Jay Woolfolk recorded his second win in as many games retiring all five batters he faced. He came into the game with the bases loaded in the sixth and struck out UNC’s Mac Horvath to end the threat. Including his outing on Wednesday, he’s retired the last 10 batters he’s faced, seven by way of the strikeout.

Brandon Neeck closed the door for UVA, pitching the final 1.2 inning to earn his first career save. He struck out four of the six batters he faced. The save opportunity was UVA’s third of the season and second in as many games.


  • Tappen got the scoring started in the first inning with a two-out RBI double that plated Jake Gelof who came around to score from first base.

  • The initial lead was short-lived as the first batter of the top of the second, Mikey Madej hit a solo home run tie the game at one.
  • Freshman Colin Tuft put UVA up 2-1 in the bottom half of the second with his first collegiate home run, a solo shot to left field.

  • The fourth inning was bookended by a pair of UVA standout defensive plays. Tuft followed his homer with a diving catch in left center to rob Johhny Castagnozzi of a hit. Gelof saved at least one run with diving stab at third base and a throw from the seat of his pants to first to catch the ACC’s leading base-stealer Vance Honeycutt at first base.

  • North Carolina tied it for the second time with a sacrifice fly by Honeycut that scored Castagnozzi in the sixth.


“That’s what college baseball games are like in this league. Two really, really good teams and the difference is very, very minimal to win games. We had guys like Griff O’Ferrall and (Alex) Tapp(en) and step up and the seventh and eighth and hit big home runs. It’s great to see our guys rise up and do it at the end of the game. I thought Nate Savino did a nice job of managing the game. I’ve seen him better, but he gave us a chance to win the game. Jay Woolfolk comes out of the bullpen, two games in a row and is lights out and Brandon Neeck, since we have moved in to the relief role has been just really, really tremendous. That’s the kind of stuff (tonight) you all remember that he pitched with last year in the regional against Old Dominion, so it’s just so great to see that. I think that’s a real weapon for us at the back part of the game. I’m so proud of him and just proud of our team, that was a just a tough, gritty win for us on Friday this league.”

UP NEXT: The series against North Carolina continues on Saturday with the middle game of a three-game set. Virginia will have lefty Brian Gursky (6-0) on the mound and he will be opposed by fellow southpaw Brandon Schaeffer (3-1). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.


  • Neeck is the fourth UVA pitcher to record a save this season (Wyatt, Mabe, Kosanovich).
  • The game was played in front of 4,078 fans, the third-largest crowd of the season at Dishaaroon Park.
  • The last seven games between North Carolina and UVA have either been one-run games (6) or a two-run game (1). UNC has won five of those seven contests.
  • Including starting pitcher Nate Savino’s five strikeouts over 5.2 innings pitched, the Cavalier trio combined for 11 strikeouts, the 24th time UVA pitchers have combined for 10 or more strikeouts in a game. UVA came into the weekend with 411 total strikeouts, the fifth most in college baseball.
  • Tonight marked the second time that two UVA first years homered in the same game. O’Ferrall and Casey Saucke each went deep against Boston College on March 18.
  • Fralin Family Head football coach Tony Elliott threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Woolfolk, also quarterback on UVA’s football team.