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#12 Virginia, finally, wins rain-delayed series opener with Clemson, 11-6

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Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

A seven-run rally in the fourth and a four-run output in the seventh powered No. 12 Virginia (36-12, 15-10 ACC) to a 11-6 series-opening win over Clemson (31-19, 9-15 ACC) at Disharoon Park on Saturday.

The first 4.2 innings of the contest were played on Friday night before weather forced the two teams to suspend play.

And then weather became an issue again later Saturday, forcing Game 2 to be pushed back to a 10 a.m. Sunday start.

Game 3 is currently scheduled to follow approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two. A final decision on the date/time of game three will be announced on Sunday morning.

Back to the opener, in which Virginia trailed 4-0 after the first three innings and rallied for a total of seven runs in the fourth inning, the 10th time this season the Cavaliers have scored seven or more runs in an inning.

The Cavaliers scored four runs on Friday night to tie the game before the game was suspended with two outs and runners on second and third. Virginia tacked on three more runs when the game resumed on Saturday and never relinquished the lead.

The Cavalier bullpen trio of Matthew Buchanan, Jay Woolfolk and Brandon Neeck did not allow a run over the final 4.1 innings to preserve the victory. Buchanan was credited with his third win of the season needing just 11 pitches to record three outs. Woolfolk recorded his second hold in as many games with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work. Neeck earned his third save of the year, allowing just one runner in the final 1.2 innings.

Game recap

Clemson scored three runs in its first turn at the plate, two came on a two-out home run by Tyler Corbitt. The long ball was his 11th of the season.

The Tigers quickly made it 4-0 with in the top of the second with a lead-off homer by Jonathan French, his eighth of the year.

Virginia sent 12 batters to the plate in the game-changing fourth inning. Ethan Anderson brought home the first two runs on his second triple in as many games. Clemson reliever Jackson Lindley walked in the third run of the frame and Max Cotier scored on a wild pitch to tie game.

The game resumed on Saturday with back-to-back walks issued to Alex Tappen and Jake Gelof. Freshman Griff O’Ferrall scored the go-ahead run in on Gelof’s bases loaded free pass, the 69th RBI of the season for the Cavalier third baseman. Devin Ortiz capped the rally with a two-run, two out single through the right side to make the score 7-4.

The Tigers immediately responded and made it a one-run game on a two-run homer by Max Wagner, the second batter of the top of the fifth inning.

UVA sent nine men to the plate in the eighth, taking advantage of three more Clemson free passes. Freshman Casey Saucke delivered the knockout blow in the frame with a two-run double into right center field.

As the rain began to fall again in the top of the ninth inning, Cotier made diving stop up the middle, flipped the ball to O’Ferrall at second base to record the final out of the game.

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