Andrew Abbott notches 14 Ks: Virginia takes series opener, 9-3
Andrew Abbott struck out 14 Duke hitters, and a Nic Kent grand slam keyed a six-run Virginia fourth in a 9-3 ‘Hoos win over Duke on Friday night.
Abbott (4-5, 3.86 ERA) gave up three runs on seven hits in seven innings of work, and his 14 Ks matched his career-high set earlier this season.
Abbott struck out three batters in an inning three times and seven of his last eight outs were strikeouts.
In the process, Abbott vaulted himself three spots and now sits in sixth place on UVA’s all-time strikeout list with 256. He came into the contest tied for the ACC lead in strikeouts and ranked fifth in all of college baseball.
The lefthander has 91 strikeouts the season also establishing a career-high.
“Andrew Abbott was outstanding tonight,” said UVA coach Brian O’Connor, who recorded his 300th career ACC win with the victory. “Even though he gave up the three solo home runs, the fact that he had no walks was really important for him and for us. It was a total collective, team effort from an offensive standpoint.
“Everybody in the starting lineup had a hit, there were contributions and quality at bats throughout the lineup. Obviously Nic Kent’s big grand slam really opened it up for us and it was a big at bat (in the game).”
Abbott was provided all the run support he needed after Duke (17-17, 8-14 ACC) tied the game up at two in the fourth inning. The Cavaliers (18-18, 10-15 ACC) responded for six runs in the bottom half of the frame, with four coming on the second grand slam of the season for Kent.
The Cavalier shortstop finished with five RBI on the night and was 2-for-5 at the plate. He has four hits in the last two games.
The Cavaliers compiled 13 hits, the fifth time this season Virginia has racked up 13 or more hits in an ACC game.
Game officials have moved the start time of Saturday’s middle game to 10 a.m. due to inclement weather in the forecast. Virginia will have Mike Vasil (5-3) on the hill, and he will be opposed by righthander Jack Carey (2-1).
The contest will air live on ACCNX as originally planned.