What a day for Connelly Early in his 2nd start of the week!
6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 SO.
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) May 14, 2023
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 21 Virginia (40-11, 15-11) clinched its series with Louisville (29-21, 9-17) after a 4-1 victory in game two of a three-game set at Disharoon Park on Saturday (May 13). The Cavaliers have won five-straight games and are the second team in the college baseball to reach the 40-win plateau this season.
Starting pitcher Connelly Early turned one of his best performances in a Virginia uniform with 6.0 innings of one-run baseball. The lefthander retired the first nine batters he faced and struck out six to earn his 10th win of the year. He becomes the 12th UVA pitcher ever to record 10 wins in a season and the first since Connor Jones in 2016.
Sophomore Colin Tuft plated UVA’s first two runs and finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. He gave UVA the initial lead in the third inning with his first homer of the season, a solo blast to left field and put UVA ahead for good with two-out RBI single in the fourth.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Tuft home run came with one out in the third inning, a 435-foot no doubter over the left center field wall. It was the only extra-base hit of the ball game for either team.
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- The Cardinals needed just three batters in their next turn at the plate to knot the game up at one. After a one-out single, JT Benson scored from second on a single up the middle by Jack Payton.
- The 1-1 stalemate was short-lived as Tuft gave UVA the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a two-out single to right field. A second run was cut down at the plate on the play thanks to an outfield assist by right fielder Isaac Humphrey.
- It all unraveled for Louisville starter Tate Kuhner and the Cardinal defense in the fifth inning. The Cavaliers plated two unearned runs without recording a hit. There were three hit by pitches, two errors, a walk and a passed ball in the frame. Ethan O’Donnell scored on a passed ball and Jake Gelof came across on a two-out Louisville fielding error to make the score 4-1.
- Jake Berry finished off the night with his third, three-inning save of the season. He allowed only one hit and two total base runners to notch his fifth save of the season.
- Virginia clinches its fifth ACC series of the season. In all five series wins, UVA has won the first two games.
- The 40-win season is the 13th in program history, 12 of which have come under the direction of head coach Brian O’Connor. The Cavaliers have reached 40 wins in 51 games, tied for the fifth fastest in program history.
- Early has five quality starts this season, the most on the staff.
- With a seven-run fifth inning on Friday and two more on Saturday, Virginia has scored nine of its 19 runs in the series in the fifth.
- Virginia claims its first series win over Louisville since taking two out of three in Charlottesville in 2019. In eight total series since the Cardinals entered the league in 2015, each team has taken four.
- Ethan Anderson extended his hit streak to 10 games with a lead-off single in the bottom of the second inning.
- Casey Saucke has reached base in 15-straight game after getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
The Cavaliers will go for the sweep on Sunday (May 14) with a 1 p.m. start at Disharoon Park. The Cavaliers will have RHP Brian Edgington (6-3) on the mound and he will be opposed by fellow righty Carson Liggett (9-1)