Baseball: #7 Louisville evens series with 9-5 win over Virginia
Virginia got up on #7 Louisville early, but for the second straight game, Louisville’s Dalton Rushing and Alex Binelas each cracked a home run, and on Saturday the long balls proved to be the difference.
Rushing broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth with a two-run shot as part of a three-run Cardinal frame. In the next inning, Binelas went deep for the ninth time this season, a two-run blast that made it 8-3.
After the Cardinals (21-11, 13-6 ACC) added a run in the ninth to make it a six-run game, the Cavaliers scored two runs in their half to pull within four before reliever Evan Webster retired the final three batters to end the game.
Virginia (17-16, 9-14 ACC) held leads of 1-0 and 3-2 in the contest but could not keep the ACC’s top offense at bay. Louisville racked up 17 hits on the afternoon, the most by a Cavalier opponent this season.
“Mike Vasil has done a really great job all year long giving us quality starts when we’ve needed them in the back part of the weekend, but I tip my cap to Louisville. They did a nice job against him today,” UVA coach Brian O’Connor said. “They swung the bats very aggressively and took advantage of opportunities. The game was really won in those middle innings, we had opportunities where we didn’t capitalize and they did. We get an opportunity tomorrow to play better baseball and win a series.”
Freshman Kyle Teel drove in three of the five Cavalier runs on the day and finished 1-for-4 with a bases loaded walk. The first year gave Virginia its final lead with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the third inning.
Friday night’s hero, Devin Ortiz went 2-for-4 with two runs an RBI and a walk, his third-straight multi-hit performance. He drove in a ninth-inning run for the second time in two games on a double down the right field line. Ortiz extended his hit streak to 13 games with an infield single in the third.
Senior Brendan Rivoli was also 2-for-4 with two run scored. He reached base three times and recorded two doubles in the contest. For Rivoli it was his third-straight multi-hit effort and his team-leading 13th of the season.
Catcher Logan Michaels threw out four of the five Louisville runners attempting to steal, the most in a single-game by a UVA backstop since the statistic was first consistently tracked in 2000. He followed up his defensive efforts with a two-hit afternoon.
Virginia will send lefty Nate Savino (1-1) to the mound on Sunday afternoon for the rubber match, and he will be opposed by righthander Luke Smith (0-2).