Wake Forest tops UVA in ACC series opener, 7-3

uva baseballWake Forest (24-29, 12-16 ACC) took the opener of a three-game ACC series, 7-3 against UVA (27-23, 11-17 ACC) behind three home runs at David F. Couch Ballpark. The start time was moved up three hours due to impending weather.

Despite the loss, Virginia clinched a berth into the 2018 ACC Championship in Durham due to a 9-1 Virginia Tech loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill earlier in the day.

After the Cavaliers tied the game up on two separate occasions, Wake Forest broke a 3-3 tie with a solo home run from Chris Lanzilli in the fifth and went on to score the game’s final four runs. Lanzilli delivered the final blow with a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh.

Demon Deacon starting pitcher Griffin Roberts, who came into the game as the ACC’s leader in strikeouts, fanned seven in seven innings of work to earn his fifth win of the season. He retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced and stranded a total of seven Virginia runners in scoring position.

Junior Charlie Cody (Chesapeake, Va.) got the Cavaliers on the board with an RBI single in the top of the second, tying the game at one. The RBI was Cody’s 14th of the season.

Wake Forest recaptured the lead with two runs in its half of the second inning but Virginia manufactured a pair of runs in the top of the third when Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) plated Jake McCarthy (Scranton, Pa.) on a sacrifice fly and Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) scored on an RBI ground out by Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) to knot the game at three.

Cavalier starting pitcher Derek Casey (Mechanicsville, Va.) was charged with four runs in 5.1 innings pitched and took his fourth loss of the season. He struck out four batters, upping his season total to 97.

Virginia’s 4-5-6 hitters, Eikhoff, Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and Cameron Comer (Powell, Ohio), combined to go 6-for-11. Eikhoff reached base four times and went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. He now has three multi-hit performances in his last four games.

Reliever Mack Meyer (San Francisco, Calif.) pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief in his 21st appearance of the season.

The middle game of a three-game series is scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch on Friday (May 18). The Cavaliers will have right-hander Noah Murdock (1-2) on the mound and he will be opposed by Wake Forest righty Morgan McSweeney (2-5).