LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Virginia (38-14, 17-12) hit four home runs in a 16–7 win over No. 10 Louisville (37-16-1, 17-11-1) on Friday (May 20) at Jim Patterson Stadium. The win sets up a rubber match in the series finale on Saturday (May 21) on ACC Network at noon.
The Cavaliers batted around twice in the contest, first in the third inning and again in the fifth. A total of 10 batters were responsible for five runs in the third and UVA hit three home runs in a six-run fifth. Virginia has scored five or more runs in an inning 28 times this season.
The Devin Ortiz three-run home run in the third inning was the 68th by Virginia this season breaking the school record previously set by the 1988 team.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Cavaliers never trailed and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Tappen, the third batter of the game, singled to center and plated Griff O’Ferrall. With two outs, Saucke punched a ball through the right side that scored classmate Justin Rubin.
- Ortiz’s homer in the third inning broke the game open and made it 5-0. The historic home run traveled 456 feet and was his sixth long ball of the season.
- Virginia tacked on two more runs in the third on RBI singles from Chris Newell and Rubin.
- After Louisville scored three runs in the fourth, Virginia put the game out of reach by sending nine batters to the plate in the fifth. First years Saucke and Ethan Anderson hit back-to-back home runs in the frame, the fourth time this season UVA has homered in consecutive at bats.
- Sophomore Jake Gelof got in on the action later in the inning with a three-run over off the batter’s eye in straightaway centerfield. The homer was his 19th of the season and RBI No. 72, 73 and 74. He is three RBI shy of matching Pavin Smith’s school record of 77 set during the 2017 season.
- Starting pitcher Nate Savino bounced back from his shortest out of the season last week and delivered five innings in which he allowed only one earned run. The lefthander struck out three batters and picked up his fifth win of the season.
FROM HEAD COACH BRIAN O’CONNOR
“First I’d say (Nate) Savino was really, really good. The wind was blowing out 20 miles an hour, the ball flies out of here on a hot day like today. His hard fastball down in the zone certainly served him well. Offensively, it was a total collective effort. We had a lot of guys that had big days (Alex) Tappen and had four hits, (Casey) Saucke had four hits and (Jake) Gelof had the big three-run home run. It was good that we got a little bit of separation just because wind was blowing out and we know Louisville has a great team. It’s two great teams coming down to the final game of the regular season tomorrow to win the series, so certainly is a lot at stake and our guys are excited. We look forward to get back out here tomorrow and playing good baseball.”
UP NEXT: The final game of the regular season for Virginia and Louisville will have ACC Tournament seeding implications. Virginia will have lefthander Jake Berry (5-2) on the mound. The Cardinals have yet to announce a starting pitcher. Saturday’s finale will air live on ACC Network at noon.
- Virginia has scored 10 or more runs 24 times this season.
- Of the four times UVA has hit back-to-back home runs this season, Saucke has been part of three of them.
- Tappen collected RBI No. 68 and 69 in the contest and now sits alone in third place on UVA’s single-season list behind Pavin Smith (77 in 2017) and teammate Jake Gelof (74 in 2022).
- Virginia has hit four or more home runs, five times this season and three different occasions in ACC play.
- O’Ferrall extended his reached base streak to 16 games after going 1-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored.
- The 16 runs are the most either team has scored in 21 all-time meetings.
- Tappen matched a career-high with four hits, going 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. He has six career four-hit games, three have come in 2022.