Brian O’Connor notches win No. 700: UVA Baseball wins fifth straight, topping Tech

uva baseballUVA Baseball (32-21, 14-15 ACC) recorded its fifth-straight win and clinched its ACC road series against Virginia Tech (25-27, 8-21 ACC) with a 5-3 victory on Friday  at English Field.

Cavalier head coach Brian O’Connor notched career win No. 700 in the process.

O’Connor is the ninth coach in the history of ACC baseball to win 700 or more games. He’s ranked fourth among active DI coaches with a .710 winning percentage.

Virginia produced its second come-from-behind win in as many days thanks to a four-run seventh inning rally. Trailing 2-0, Virginia sent nine batters to the plate and plated four runs on four hits. The go-ahead hit came off the bat of sophomore Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) who doubled over the head of the Hokie right fielder, bringing in two runs.

Freshman Zack Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del.) capped the four-run outburst and made the score, 5-2 with a sacrifice fly that scored Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.).

Rivoli has six RBIs in the series and now has driven in a run in each of his last six games played. He owns the teams longest active hit streak, hitting safely in a career-long, 11-consecutive games.

Making his second start of the season on the mound, senior Chesdin Harrington (Montpelier, Va.) pitched into the eighth inning, finishing with a career-high seven innings pitched. From the fourth to the seventh innings, the right-hander sat down, 11-straight Virginia Tech hitters. He finished with four strikeouts and was credited with his team-leading fifth win of the season.

Sophomore Devin Oritz (Irvington, N.J.) took over for Harrington in the eighth after a lead-off double. The righthander sat down all three batters he faced and struck out a pair of batters. Left-hander Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) earned his second save of the series and third of the season despite allowing a run in the bottom of the ninth. Ortiz has not allowed an earned run in six-straight appearances, a total of 15.2 innings.

Sophomore Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) and senior Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.) each put forth multi-hit efforts. Morris was 2-for-4 and in the top of the sixth, cracked his ACC-leading 21st double of the season. He’s the eighth Cavalier to compile 21 or more doubles in a season and two shy of matching the school record.

The Cavaliers will go for the sweep on Saturday (May 18) with righthander Mike Vasil on the mound. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. and will air live on ACC Network Extra.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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