Baseball: #10 UVA drop series finale to Wake Forest, 9-8

uva baseballThe No. 10 UVA baseball team (15-6, 4-2 ACC) was edged by Wake Forest (13-9, 2-4 ACC), 9-8 on Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers clinched the series with two wins on Friday.

After trailing the Demon Deacons, 8-1, the Cavaliers came back to tie the game up at 8-8 in the bottom of the eighth with seven runs in three innings. However, Wake Forest scored a run in the top of the ninth and held on for the win.

“I was proud of our team, we fell down 8-1 in the bottom of the sixth and tied the game up,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “I thought we showed a lot of fight offensively, which is really important. Unfortunately we just couldn’t do enough. We just didn’t throw strikes in the first inning and if we are going to win the third game in this league, our starting pitcher needs to be better. Wake Forest took advantage of our inability to throw the ball over the plate today.”

Sophomore Pavin Smith (Jupiter, Fla.) led Virginia with three hits in four at-bats and two RBIs. Sophomore Adam Haseley (Windermere, Fla.), freshman Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.) and freshman Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) each had two hits. Eight different players scored runs for UVA. Stuart Fairchild led Wake Forest with three hits.

Connor Johnstone recorded the win for Wake Forest in 6.2 innings pitch, giving up 11 hits and six runs. Junior Alec Bettinger (Woodbridge, Va.) had the loss for Virginia. Bettinger pitched 2.0 innings, allowing one run on three hits.

Sophomore Tommy Doyle started on the mound for UVA, going 5.0 innings with eight runs on six hits and five walks. Doyle walked the first batter for Wake Forest then retired two-straight, but a single scored the first run. The Demon Deacons scored another run and had the bases loaded, but Doyle was able to work out of the inning.

Virginia also got on the board in the first, after sophomore Ernie Clement (Rochester, N.Y.) reached on an error and advanced to second. Smith drove Clement in with a single to left field. Doyle settled in, throwing four scoreless innings and retired six-straight through five. However, Wake Forest broke the game open in the sixth, scoring six runs on five hits to take an 8-1 lead.

The Cavaliers cut into the lead with two runs in the sixth after Smith walked and junior Daniel Pinero (Toronto, Ontario) followed with a double to left field. Smith scored on a groundout, while Pinero advanced to third and came home on a wild pitch.

Simmons led off the seventh inning with a single, and Weber got on base with a bunt single to third. A single by Haseley, his ninth hit of the series, scored Weber. Junior Matt Thaiss (Jackson, N.J.) lined out to right field to play Weber. Smith hit a triple to be 3-for-3 on the day to score Haseley and make it 8-6.

Wake Forest threatened in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded, but Bettinger got out of the inning without allowing a run. Freshman Ryan Karstetter (State College, Pa.) reached on an error to start the bottom of the inning and was brought home on a single by senior Kevin Doherty (Laytonsville, Md.). Doherty advanced to third on a fly ball then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 8-8.

In the ninth, the Demon Deacons had a leadoff single by Will Craig, who scored the winning run after a single then a throwing error on the Cavaliers.

Virginia will remain at home as it hosts James Madison on Tuesday, March 22 before returning to ACC play on the road at Louisville March 25-27.

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